Sydney.....the story so far.
Our first day in Sydney was spent sorting out the boring stuff. We opened a bank account, got our sim cards and sorted out our address, so you can write us lovely letters.
That evening we went down to the harbour, and saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge all lit up and looking pretty. So we took some arty farty pictures.
On Tuesday we went on a ferry to Garden Island, which is the main Naval base for the Sydney area. They have now opened up part of it to the public. Here we got lovely views of the harbour. We also saw initials that had been carved into the rock, which are thought to have been made by the first European fleet that landed in 1788.
For lunch we went to Harry de Wheels, the world famous pie man. We had a Tiger Pie, commonly known as a floater. This is a meat pie with a layer of mash, then a layer of mushy peas and finally a ladle of gravy pushed into the top. This tasted really good and we were still hungry so we went back for a chilli hot dog, but this wasn't as good.
We got up early on Wednesday and went to the Botanical gardens, where we joined a guided tour. The tour guide was a nice Australian lady, who was full of strange anecdotes. She told us all about the history of the gardens and the different trees and how the first settlers used them in their everyday lives. There were lots of fruit bats (flying foxes) in the trees, which we found out aren't really blind! They are slowly killing the trees they hang from because their tight grip cuts off the circulation and stops it growing leaves. So they are trying to find humane ways of moving them on. Sion says just shoot them, but Sion's just mean.
After the tour we had lunch in the park, then walked down to Mrs Macquarie's chair. She was the Govener's wife and she had a chair carved out of the rock where she would sit and watch the ships come in dreaming of home. There was also a wall built to separate her from the convicts and stop her seeing any profanities along her way.
During the rest of the afternoon and evening we continued our search for a van. By mid day Thursday we had found and bought our van, betty, for our trip around Australia. The rest of the day was taken up sorting out paperwork. In the evening we took a ferry to Darling Harbour for dinner. We then walked back through China town. It was nothing like the China town in Singapore, and we were a little dissapointed.
We got up early on Friday morning and took our van to a garage to be checked over before our long journey. There are a few things that need to be done, and then she will be ready for the road. We hope.
Friday afternoon we went to discover the rocks in more detail. The rocks is the historic part of town. This area is the oldest part of Sydney, and is the site of the oldest private house, Cadmans Cottage. During part of the 1800's it was the main shipping office of Sydney harbour, where all incoming and outgoing trade was registered. We also went to the overseas passenger terminal, where there is a viewing platform with beautiful views of the harbour. Rachel was dissapointed there were no cruise ships to wave to. In the evening we went to Luna Park, a 1930's fair ground. The rides were expensive, but it was a fun place to take photos.