"SYDNEY - 40 years later" Sydney by sirgaw
Sydney Travel Guide: 5,782 reviews and 13,449 photos
Lady Gaw and I were married in 1969 and spent our honeymoon in Sydney. We’ve tried to remember exactly how many nights we stayed in the harbour city, but 40 years on our memories have faded. Although we’ve returned to Sydney 3 or 4 times since and that included a visit when the Olympics were held in 2000 - we wanted to return to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and do it in style. Our 2 daughters “shouted” (Oz slang for bought) us flights to and from Melbourne and we are very grateful for their gift.
The Virgin Blue aircraft touched down at Mascot and after a short delay we were in the terminal and heading towards the baggage carousel and then freedom for a short holiday of 5 nights/6 days.
We caught a cab to our hotel The Harbourview in North Sydney and really lucked in with a luxury suite with an amazing view of the harbour, the bridge and the city. It was a view that we really enjoyed during our stay and often would just gaze out the window at the ever changing scenery of ferries and other water craft plying the waters of what must be one of the world’s most beautiful harbours. After a quick unpack and a coffee, a visit to the Greenwood shopping centre for a supermarket visit and purchase our breakfasts for the next 5 mornings. We returned to the hotel, caught up with the TV news and then had a quick, cheap and cheerful dinner at the Station Hotel, which, like the shopping centre, was across the road from our hotel.
Day one and we discovered how little an all day seniors transport card costs in Sydney. It took us all of 1 minute to walk to the North Sydney Railway station from our hotel and purchase transport cards, which cost a ridiculously low $2.50 each for travel on all trains, buses and ferries. We took a train to the Town Hall Station and then explored the Queen Victoria Building, followed by another short train ride where we visited a copy of Il Porcellino (Little Pig), the original of which we had seen in Florence, Italy. More walking and we found a large food court where we joined the throngs of Sydney office workers tucking into their lunch at the noisy and busy venue.
Further tramping through the city centre and we arrived at Circular Quay ferry terminal, which was a riot of constantly moving visitors from all over the world and in Sydney for the Masters Games. We decided to take a ferry ride to Watsons Bay, followed by a walk to the notorious Gap and then returned by another ferry back to Circular. After a coffee, a walk to the nearby The Rocks and The Rocks Discovery Museum and then a walk over Sydney Harbour Bridge to our hotel in North Sydney and another cheap meal at Capitano’s Pizzaeria followed by an early night after all that walking.
Day two and our wedding anniversary. After a long breakfast and exchange of presents, again we hit the local trains and the short hop to Circular Quay. We caught a ferry to Double Bay where we had spent our honeymoon 40 years earlier and looked for the motel where we had stayed. Sadly developers had swooped on the building and it’s now an up-market shopping centre with expensive apartments on the upper levels. We decided to “do lunch” at a café across the street and watch the passing parade of expensive cars circling the block looking for an all important parking spot. We walked in the Double Bay (better known to locals as Double Pay) area, before a 20 minute bus ride back to Circular Quay, where we caught a train back to our hotel.
Every Wednesday the Hotel Harbourview puts on a free to staying guests’ drinks and light snacks and a chance for guests to meet other guests and hotel management - it’s a hotel bonding session with its guests in the hope they will return. We decided to take advantage of the offer. A few free nibbles and drinks would reduce the cost for our already booked harbour view table at the hotel restaurant for a special evening to celebrate 40 years of marriage. To help celebrate the special occasion, we were given a bottle of wine by the hotels accountant. Normally accountants are not known for their generosity; hope that guy is able to keep his job.
Day three and we did several laps on the Sydney Monorail to Darling Harbour and spent some time at the National Maritime Museum followed by lunch at a food court and then strolled to the Chinese Gardens of Friendship. Lady Gaw just had to go to Paddy’s Market while I lingered outside (I’m not a shopping person). Then we took in Chinatown before settling on an early dinner at iTaiwan where we had to fight with a computer for our meal. We strolled back to the Town Hall station and caught a train back to our hotel.
Day four and we just had to go and visit the world famous Sydney Opera House. We did the essentials tour - and I really suggest that tour is included for all other Sydney visitors. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Sydney. We walked back to Circular Quay, watched some very entertaining Australian Aboriginal buskers "doing their stuff" and then caught a ferry to Manly and watched the magnificent Sydney Harbour pass by. After a stroll down The Corsco in Manly - and a stop for coffee - we walked the Manly surf beach esplanade before returning to the ferry for our last "harbour cruise." That night we enjoyed an expensive Indian meal with a great view across the harbour.
The last day sadly we had to pack the bags and head home, but managed to enjoy a brunch at the nearby shopping centre before catching a cab back to the airport and the 70 minute flight back home to Melbourne.
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