Day 2 – Saturday 22nd March
I arrived in Sydney very later Thursday evening and after an uneventful, if expensive, taxi journey, was back at the Quest Hotel in North Ryde where I stayed on my last trip. Friday was spent working. A relatively civilised 8 am breakfast and then a sweaty 20 minute walk into the office.
With the system go live only a week away there is still a huge amount of work to get done. So after a short tour of the new office space and time to catch up with a few people, it was into the first meeting of the trip after which, head down and work. 5.30 came round very quickly and it was the end of the day. Phil kindly dropped me back at the hotel where there was time for a call back to the UK and then exhausted collapse.
It’s now around 11 am and I am heading into Sydney. Having slept longer that expected I am running later than anticipated but will be in the centre of town in time for lunch. Destination today; Darling Harbour.
It is hard to believe that I am sitting watching the world go by on the opposite side of the globe from home. The sun is shining and it is extremely warm, although not unbearable; just about perfect. I have had to find shade a few times to avoid burning which is what I am doing right now. Currently by Australia’s National Maritime Museum I am looking out over several of the floating exhibits, battle ships and private craft, beyond which is the business district with the high rise bank office buildings. Amongst them all is a name from home; BT.
I am not sure just how far I have walked today, although I did cheat and jumped on the light rail to bring me back from the Anzac Bridge into the centre of Sydney. I have certainly seen much more of the water front and the city than before. While walking from central station I passed a number of sights including the Anzac War Mamorial, St. Marys Cathedral and the Australian Museum. There were also a couple that I will be going back to visit; Hyde Park Barracks which was the processing point for many, if not all, the convicts coming into the country. There is also the Crime and Punishment museum which I will probably visit tomorrow as it is only open at weekends.
Finally I find myself back at Circular Quay so take a stroll round The Rocks and then back over to the Opera House. As I passed the Mercantile Hotel in the Rocks district a girl is singing “I’ll take the high road” which seemed a little out of place. Regardless of which road, I wonder if she will be in Scotland before me?
Dinner sorted in a bar over looking the harbour and now time to chill for a while. Time to catch up on my blog and a little people watching; those in the Opera Bar and heading into the theatre. Time to cool down and relax.
Day 3 – Sunday 23rd March
Another beautiful day here in Sydney; blue sky’s and sunshine so just right for some culture! First stop the Justice and Police Museum.
The museum has an amazing selection of early police photographs on display showing Sydney as it was and the less savoury occupants. The scenes in the photos range from car accidents to murder and were all taken in an attempt to solve a crime. It is housed in the old police station and court buildings which show just how the petty criminals of the city were processed and punished.
After some lunch it was off to Hyde Park Barracks Museum. This relatively small building was responsible for processing as many as 50,000 convicts who arrived in Sydney. Constructed by the convicts themselves, the museum tells the fascinating story of how they were handled, put to work and punished. It shows the conditions in which they lived and how they were forced to sleep in hammocks with barely enough room between then to allow a man to climb in. The convict history of Sydney is a fascinating one which I intend to write more about at a latter time.
I found that I had spent a good couple of hours exploring the museum so the day was coming to and end; a stroll through the botanical gardens, round the Opera House and I was back at the station.
Day 4 – Work!
Its now Monday morning – all work till next weekend.