Australia, Trip 3 – Part 6

A lazy weekend was in order! That was my thought and that is exactly how it panned out.

On Saturday I needed to go into Chatswood to do a little shopping and get my hair cut; regardless of where you are and what you are up to in the world the routine chores of life continue on. That sorted back to the hotel, drop everything off and then out in the car.

So far this trip I haven’t been up the north coast and so I decided a drive, perhaps a walk and some time just relaxing on one of the beaches north of Sydney would be the way to go. From North Ryde I headed out towards Manly Beach. From there I continued heading north enjoying the amazing views out across the golden beaches which are so typical of this part of the country. Not being in any particular hurry there were various detours when something caught my eye or a sign pointed off to a beach that I hadn’t been to previously.

It was a glorious day weather wise and so generally the beaches were busy with surfers enjoying the waves and families having fun in the water or the sand.

Australians are known for enjoying the outdoor life style and clearly the weather plays a part in this, but it still surprised me how many families had taken their lunch or dinner outside and as a complete group were enjoying the day and their time together. Sadly not something you see too much at back home.

2014-10-11 16.13.42At one point, I didn’t note exactly where, I saw a number of people para-gliding off the cliffs. As I pulled up to look one guy was about to launch himself right from the edge of the road! After several false starts he was off, but I am not sure the thermals were as good as he hoped because after I got back from a short walk he was back where he started but this time packing all his gear away.

Continuing north I headed through Dee Why, North Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Newport, Avalon, Whale Beach and finally into Palm Beach the home of the television series Home and Away.

At Palm Beach I parked the car, took a stroll and then just sat and read my book as the sun slowly set over paradise.

2014-10-11 18.46.15-2Sunday was to be another easy day, but this time in Sydney. I needed to get back into the city just to remind myself how wonderful it actually is – not that I really need to be reminded!

No car today, train from North Ryde to Milsons Point.

During my last trip over I walked the bridge from Sydney to MIlsons Point and grabbed some food from a small take away under the approach ramp. Today I intended to do the reverse walk and so decided to have lunch at the same place I had been before. Definitely a good choice, The Seafood and Burger Cafe, well worth a visit!

A small market was taking place in the arches and greens surrounding the bridge and station. I had a stroll and then headed for the bridge itself.

Everybody knows Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s famous the world over not least for the iconic pictures of the fireworks at new year and to celebrate the Olympics in 2000. It is one of those destinations in the world that is instantly recognised. Although not brave, or perhaps stupid, enough to walk over the highest parts of the bridge, simply walking across at road/rail level offers some amazing views of the harbour, the city and the structure itself. What continues to amaze me is the overall size of the bridge. Not only the height and the length, which are clear to all, but it is wide enough to carry trains in both directions as well as six lanes of vehicles and two walkways – pedestrians one side and cyclists the other.

2014-10-12 13.48.38

From the bridge I walked down through The Rocks, round Circular Quay, past the Opera House and up in to the park. More time sitting, reading and people watching was in order.

While in the park one of the cruise ships which moor up at the international terminal in Circular Quay edged out from the dock and headed through the harbour towards the open sea. These ships are huge, it is difficult to image how they float without tipping over. There seems to be so little actually in the water.

A great, lazy weekend enjoying the good weather and the amazing views.

—————————————–

After such a wonderful weekend out in the glorious warm spring sunshine the beginning of the following week came as such a shock. It was just under 30 degrees C on Sunday but on Monday the temperature had dropped as a major storm approached New South Wales. In my hotel Monday evening I watched the storm roll in. The rain, thunder and lightening were so intense, it was if the gates of hell themselves had opened.

On Tuesday morning heading into the office it was noticeably colder but it still came as a shock to find that roads within the Blue Mountains had been closed due to snow! Pictures were circulating round the office of the maintenance crews making snowmen while out on the night shift.

SnowAs appears to be the way in Sydney no sooner had the storm arrived, it was gone and the last couple of days of my visit the weather was back to its glorious best.

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