Aus Update 31 - Sydney

<Paula> 18th to 27th-Feb-2007.  I am not going to do a blow by blow account of our time in Sydney but rather a rundown.  You will have noticed that our travelling changed in December from camping in the middle of nowhere to visiting with friends and family, which has been great only we lack exciting (or not so exciting) adventures to inform you all of.  So here is Sydney in a nutshell.  We stayed with Pete & Heidi, who shortly after our arrival shared their very recent exciting news of engagement!  You will notice that alot of our photos are taken from their balcony, you really can't get a more relaxing place to sit and watch the action on the water (and in the sky at times).

Sunrise over the harbour

To the left of the opera house you can see the Queen Mary 2 getting under way. It's actually ALL the lights to the left of the opera house, it totally hides the land

As we would see ships go past Chris would get on the internet and find out who they were, where they were from and what they carried, just because he could.

We took this photo on our last day at Pete & Heidi's.   There is a park in front of their apartment building that people were always coming to and taking photos of themselves with the view so we thought we would too.

We were in Sydney at the same time as both the Queen Mary and the QE2 cruise ships were in.  The city put on a great fire works display which was attended by more than was anticipated, and there was a big outcry as the city's transport system couldn't handle it.  

I remember seeing the QE2 when I was a kid and it looked a lot bigger than this, but still very impressive.

This is the QE2 leaving Sydney

We thought it strange that there were military helicopters patroling the skys and military water craft patroling the harbour along with the already vigilantly present water police.  Two scenarios were presented at dinner one night; the first being - Soon a giant dragon is going to come up out of the harbour and wander down the streets between the tall buildings with helicopters close behind.  The second being far more believable - Australia has a crack team of anti terrorism agents and they are in Sydney chasing down threats of biological warfare in our streets (for '24' fans you will know what I am talking about). Yes we all watch to much TV, and the actual reason for the increased security was that the Vice President of the United States was in town for three days.  Some could comment here making links but I will be keeping it to myself.  Sydneysiders were infuriated when they closed the Harbour Bridge to everyone while his motorcade drove over!

Because we had both been to Sydney multiple times before we didn't do much in the way of tourist stuff.  Although I had never been to The Rocks and thought it would be worth a visit.  After my very educational tour of a museun outlining the history of The Rocks I decided that if I was going to be a convict transported to Australia I would have wanted to be in the first fleet.  The reason being that if you survived the harrowing trip to begin with and you survived the first couple of years of disease and stavation, you were allowed to own land, set up businesses, hire fellow convicts as staff (or slaves) and you were able to marry and have children.  The only thing you weren't allowed to do was leave the area, but why would you want to, you are located in the centre of commerce for the new land, you were carving the foundations of a new nation.  Not that I would want to be a convict but the first fleet really had a unique experience in that regardless of class they were all dependant on each other for survival.  A lot of new immigrants moved to Austalia settling in The Rocks, a lot being Irish and the blend of cultures and the shipping wharves in the area make for fascinating tales and has built a rich culture all of it's own that continues today.  I was surprised to find out that there are people that live in this area that were born here and have always lived here.

After visiting The Rocks we walked back to Pete & Heidi's over the bridge, this is the view looking back to Circular Quay. QE2 moored at the right

The other thing we did while here was catch up with a couple of people that I hadn't seen in a very long time.  A friend of mine from the States (Wylie) was in Sydney with his partner, Aprille. We spent a day with them catching up.  A lot has happened in the last 12 or so years.  We also visited with Lyle and Michelle, whom I also haven't seen for 10 years.  It was really good to catch up.

28-Feb to 5-Mar We went our seperate ways at this point...  Considering we have been with each other 24 hours a day for the last 8 months in very small living quarters, some people could understand this.  But actually I am joking. Chris did fly back to NZ for a few days to catch up with some people at work and with family and I travelled to Cooranbong to spend some time with my cousin Jill.  We have actually gotten used being in each others company in such confined conditions 24/7, which has been good.

6-Mar  We spent an interesting day on the 6th. We had an appointment at Sydney Ultrasound for Women, and we are happy to announce that we are pregnant and this 12 week scan showed a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat. We are also pleased that there is no sign of cancer this time.  So what do you say after that?  It concludes our time in Sydney.