Sydney is perhaps the most beautiful city in the world. And we got to spend five days there this week! Our friends moved to Sydney from London last January, so we made the trip to visit them (the things we suffer through for our friends!). We stayed in a hotel in the city centre for the first three nights, and then moved out to our friends' home in Roseville (a N. suburb) for the weekend. V. and I honeymooned in Sydney in 2003, so we got to relive many of those moments (without the jet lag) as we pushed Will around town. Circular Quay is a big draw for us. It's the place where all the ferries leave for destinations around the harbour, but it is also smack dab in between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, so the views there are stunning. On Thursday we met up with our friends at the Taronga Zoo, which is perched along some cliffs on the north side of the harbour. Although it's compact and the exhibits are therefore on the small side, I definitely recommend it to any visitor simply because of its location. When arriving from the ferry, visitors can take a cable car ride up over the zoo and get treated to magnificent views of the city. On Friday we wandered around by foot, stopping for breakfast at Darling Harbour, visiting our honeymoon hotel in Hyde Park, looking through the windows of the Seven Network's studios (we watch "Sunrise" each morning, which is kind of a laid-back "Today" show for those of you from the U.S.), meandering through the walkways of the Sydney Hospital (built in 1811), and then stopping to smell the spring flowers in full bloom at the Royal Botanic Gardens. We finished the day by taking the ferry to Manly (which was in full Grand Final fever), where we had dinner under the stars with our friends.
On Saturday we had a quick coffee at Bondi, where Will was given a Kevin '07 balloon (Kevin Rudd is the leader of the Labor party, and who will undoubtedly become the next prime minister). Who knows...maybe Will will end up voting in an Aussie election someday! We then spent the rest of the weekend in Roseville, a nice leafy, northern suburb. Because I have meetings today, I flew back to Brisbane last night, and Will & V. will return tonight. For more pictures, see the album.
By the way, flying domestically in Australia is a bit like it was in the U.S. before 2001. No one asked to see my ID. I didn't have to take off my shoes when going through security. And non-ticketed passengers can go all the way to the gate. On top of that, the airports are not at all crowded, even on a busy flying day like yesterday, so the entire flying experience here is more relaxed than I am used to. And that's a good thing.