South We Go

Week 17 Christmas time in Sydney

This post in Francais

25°, the sun is shinning, the birds are singing, its Christmas time in Sydney. We spent this week showing the sights and sounds of Sydney to Fred’s family and preparing for Christmas. The family photo this year was taken outside in the sunshine instead of inside wearing warm clothes and watching the snow fall. We visited Sydney Aquarium, the Sydney wildlife, went hunting for original UGG’s and a hat made from Kangaroo leather.  We had BBQ’s and watched the surfers catch some waves at Bondi Beach.

Day 112 (22/12/10) Bondi Beach

We had a bit of a lazy morning, letting everyone adjust to the time difference and the change in temperature. For lunch we have decided that we would go and have a bbq on Sydney’s most famous beach Bondi. We filled up our faithful esky and headed to the train station to take the train that took us to the connecting bus station that brought us to Bondi beach. It is not as far as I have made it sound it is about a half hour from the apartment. We started by having a bbq, using one of the free BBQ’s we have been telling them all about for months. We then spent the afternoon on the beach, trying to go into the ocean, but it was far too cold. I managed to get myself sunburnt for the first time since the start of this trip in Australia; I am not use to spending the day lying in the sun.

After roasting like turkeys on the beach we went back to Bondi Junction, to a big shopping centre there to continue our Christmas shopping, as they are only 2 days left before Santa arrives. In the evening we had a very nice dinner at home. We are enjoying having a house to come back to at night and giving our Baby Hippo a little rest for these 2 weeks.

Day 113 (23/12/10) Downtown Sydney

Today we ventured downtown to circular quay. Our first stop was Mac Donald’s where we found some surfers with there surf boarders, bear foot ordering lunch. No doubt they have just gotten of the ferry from Manly that leaves from Circular Quay.  We then walked to the Opera House that is close by and took many pictures. It is one of the monuments you just can not miss out seeing if you come here. We then decided that we needed to take a break from walking, and what better way to do so then sitting on the ferry for a while, here the ferry is public transport and is included in our weekly travel pass. So we got on a ferry heading north and enjoyed the sights of Sydney from the top of the ferry. We saw some amazing houses with private outdoor swimming pools and a very nice looked boat parked right outside there house on the bay.

We then took the ferry to darling harbour, a must visit in Sydney, a tourist paradise. We wanted to visit the Chinese gardens, but by the time we got to them they were closed. We got the chance however to see a big lizard and some of my favourite funny looking birds.

We then did the last of our Christmas shopping in the shops downtown, all we have left to do is wrap up the presents and put them in the stockings.

Day 114 (24/12/10) Mission find the Christmas Turkey

Today Fred’s sister arrived from London, so in the morning he went to get here from the airport. Once they came back home it was time for us to go and get the turkey we had ordered on the phone yesterday. The shop we ordered the turkey from was on the other side of the bay from where we are staying and as we could not take our van, we took public transport. It took us over an hour to get to the turkey shop, where we were surprised to find the cooked turkey we had ordered was in fact not cooked. A little misunderstanding it seems….so home we went with the uncooked turkey in the backpack. Once back at home everyone else had gone out for the afternoon so we made the most of the empty house and wrapped up the presents.

We then went to Mass and had a wonderful Christmas eve dinner. After dinner, once everyone was asleep we played Santa and put the presents in the stockings that were by the chimney.

Day 115 (25/12/10) Sunny Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! The sun is shinny the sky is blue and it is Christmas day. The day started as all the other mornings with breakfast. Then once everyone was awake it was time to open the presents. Santa was very generous and everyone got lots of gifts, we even got some small koalas as well. After all the presents were open and we had bags and bags full of wrapping paper around us, it was time to take the family Christmas photo. For the photo we all put on our Christmas hats or reindeer ears and posed on the balcony for the photo, each of us had a camera and we all set them to go off at the same time, so we were stars for the photo.

Afterwards we had a snack and then headed off outside to enjoy the great weather. We walked down to double bay, where we sat in the sun and enjoyed the views of the harbour. After a while we started to look for the spot from which we will watch the New Years Eve fire works and then headed back to the apartment. We spent the afternoon as kids playing with our gifts. For our Christmas dinner we had our turkey, which turned out to be great. We cracked Christmas crackers and read the silly jokes.

Day 116 (26/12/10) Paddy Markets, Sydney Aquarium

As it was raining when we woke up this morning we spent the morning in the apartment catching up on our blog. We seem to do this about once a week, but hopefully from now on we will update our blog more often, or at least this is what I promise myself every time we get behind with the blog.

Just before 1pm we left we apartment and went down to Darling Point to watch the start of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. Once we sail boats sailed out of sight we headed to the train station to take the train into the centre of town. Our first destination was Paddy’s market; we jumped onto the mono rail at town hall and started by going all the way around to see Sydney from the sky. The mono rail was full, so we did not get to see so much from the windows but it was nice to be flying over the centre of Sydney. At paddy’s market we did some shopping, I got a cool new bag and Fred got some new sunglasses. After spending a few hours in the markets we left and headed to the Sydney Aquarium.

Sydney Aquarium is one of the coolest places in Sydney and is really worth spending half a day there. We took our time looking at all the different types of fish, all of which live in the waters of Australia. We took lots of really cool photos and saw lots of sharks and 2 sea cows!

We headed home just as a storm was coming in.

Day 117 (27/12/10) Shopping and Hot Chocolate

Today again the sun refused to shine over the city of Sydney, so we spent the morning at home not doing anything special. We went out just before lunch and Fred and I went to one of my favourite fast food restaurants in down town Sydney, the Pepper Lunch restaurant. There you order you pepper rice steak and it comes on a hot plate and you cook it the way you like it and eat it hot. After lunch we went to Darling harbour with the plan to go and visit the Sydney Wildlife, but once we got there, we saw that they were too many people waiting to get in and we thought that it would not be nice to enter if it was crowded. So instead we went shopping, for Christmas, I got a card saying that Santa would take me shopping for a new bikini, so that is what we did. We found a shop that had a buy one get the second one for 10$ more, so Santa got me two new bikini’s for Christmas and some other things as well.

Day 118 (28/12/10) Sydney Wildlife

Today we spent for morning looking for a car that could fit all 6 of us in, as tomorrow we would like to out of Sydney to the Blue Mountains. As it is the peak season in Sydney this is not an easy task, with most cars being booked a long time in advance. Eventually after a few hours of searching we found the type of car we needed. Then it was Sushi time, I love Sushi and use to eat it at least once a week in France, but since we started travelling it has become a treat to eat Sushi. We then decided that we should go and visit the Sydney Wildlife, even though it would be crowded. After spending the last 3 months travelling and visiting mostly Eco tourist sites and of course seeing more animals than we can count in the wild, it was saddening for us to visit a place where the animals looked so unhappy and almost unhealthy. Their ‘cages’ were very small for most animals and there was not very much information about each species to educate the tourists on how endangered some of these species are. The other thing that annoyed us, was that they were a lot of parents, with young children, some of the children were still in prams, so I am sure they did not even understand what they where seeing or where afraid. The sad thing about most tourists that visit places like these is that they do not understand how lucky they are to be seeing these rare and almost extinct animals, they think that the animals are there for their amusement and behave worse then naughty children by tapping on the glass or ‘calling’ to the animals which scares them.

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