Sunday, January 09, 2011

We have been busy since New Years. We moved the boat out to Manly which is still in Sydney Harbour but out at the entrance. While we were there we took a 10 K walk along the shore line. The walk offered superb views. Manly is located on a thin strip of land that has a great beach with lots of surfing potential on the ocean side and calmer harbour side beaches on the other side. Where we were anchored seemed to be the spot where weekend sailors would come out to have lunch. The anchorage would fill up in the morning and then later on in afternoon everyone would pull anchor and head home.

The north and south headlands of Sydney Harbour.

We are now in what they call Middle Harbour. There is a bridge that connects the suburbs on the north side of the harbour to downtown Sydney. We were too tall to go under this bridge, so we had to wait until they raised the bridge. We were fascinated to watch four lanes of traffic stop and up went the bridge, there were lights to let us know when we could proceed. The out going traffic went through first and then we zipped through. It is very calm in here, there is no swell. We have purchased a weeks pass on the bus system so are making our way around the Sydney area.

One of the things I had wanted to do since we got here was to go to the Olympic site. We had a great day there. We toured the Olympic Stadium although I was disappointed there was no track in there any more. It is used for rugby and cricket now as well as big concerts, they can seat 85,000 people. We got to see the press box, the locker rooms and the VIP suites. 600 people paid $34,000 before the Olympics for 2 top notch seats, (which allows you the use of a very posh dining room) to every event that is going to be put on in that stadium for 34 years, that included all the Olympic events that were held in the Stadium, what a deal!!! We wondered around the rest of the Olympic site and saw a youngsters swim meet that was taking place in the Olympic pool, a tennis match between a French and a Chez. contestants, the Olympic torch, and the Olympic warm up track, which is now their Athletics venue. I jogged a 400 m on the track just to say I had been on the same track as Cathy Freeman and Michael Johnson.

That evening we went to the Sydney Festival first night. Everything was free. It was the same sort of mob scene that we encountered on New Years Eve. There were at least 5 free stages set up in the downtown area. We stayed in one spot and watched a comedian, some acrobats and a burlesque performer. Then we wandered over to watch Emmylou Harris perform. The consensus the next day was that Emmylou was just going through the motions and although she has a beautiful voice her stage presence had no pizzazz. On our way home we had to detour around another area that was packed solid with dancing, singing fans. We got slightly mixed up and wandered around for about half and hour before finding the bus stop we wanted.

The burlesque performer, not Emmylou Harris!!!!

Yesterday we took the bus/train/bus to Bondi beach and then the bus/train/ferry/bus back. It was Sunday afternoon on a beautiful day and the beach was packed with young people, the surf was crowded. The shops along the beach front reflect the surfer/beach lifestyle that is prevalent. Barry really wanted to go to an event at the Opera House so as a Christmas gift to each other we are treating ourselves to a performance of Madame Butterfly tomorrow night. It will be out first ever opera so I am looking forward to the experience.