Saturday 16 August 2014

Goodbye Sydney :(

Our last week in Sydney FLEW by. 
And we were all very sorry to leave.
Sydney World Tower
Saying that we also felt like we'd seen loads of it 
and loved every minute.
Pyrmont Bridge
The boys and I spent a lovely day at Darling Harbour (named after a governor of NSW Ralph Darling). It meant a bus journey and a walk through some of the big city, some of which felt like I imagine NYC would, some surprisingly similar to Manchester or London, and some could only be Sydney.
As in many cities it's a wonderful mixture of very old and very new.
The area we were heading to had a brilliant park called Tumbalong(loads of water play...always a hit with all three boys no matter how old they get) and lots of lovely restaurants, grassy areas and water features.

We spent a couple of hours there (trying to protect our ice creams from the pesky Ibis birds - like a seagull only much MUCH bigger!)

 then walked around Cockle Bay and King Street Wharf.
Lots of very touristy stuff here (Madame Tussauds etc) but still a lovely place to wander round. 
Always nice to see Fathers Welcome
When Cleggy had to travel up to the Central Coast (just over an hours drive North) we decided to jump in (the teeny hire car) and go with him. After some research I had found it was the 'Pelican Capital' of could we not visit?!

 It was SO different to Sydney - we dropped him in the middle of nowhere (literally) and set off to find the coast
It's a little bit like The Lakes, but with some huge empty beaches thrown in for good measure
lots more classic cars
We stopped in a local park to find a toilet...and literally stumbled across a scoop of Pelicans, just sat there in the park!
  Finish this sequence: 
pelican, seagull, pelican, seagull, pelican...
I was in heaven - not only are they fascinating, but they are slow... so, as wild animals go, reasonably easy to photograph

We drove to The Entrance itself - and there were plenty more pelicans to see, but none as close as the first ones we found.
I had discovered there was a feeding time on the front every day at 3.30 so we planned to return after picking Cleggy back up from the middle of nowhere. When we left at 3.00 the tourists and the pelicans were getting their prime spot!
Surprisingly graceful despite their size
On a whim we decided to pop to the same park we had been to earlier to show Cleggy the Pelicans close up - and to our utter delight found a couple of fishermen feeding a small group of giddy pelicans, watched by a small group of Japanese tourists, and soon joined by a small group of giddy Bryce-Cleggs!

 We didn't end up going to the tourist feeding spot - serendipity had provided a much better treat
greedy chops!
check out that flying fish
I felt sorry for this pelican - he caught the fish, but speared on his beak. I don't think he actually got any of it!!
We hung around for a while, until the sun started to set
I have discovered a new love of the pelican 
(and might have found myself on Wikipedia later on that night...reading out facts to my considerably less interested family!!)
One of the reasons we were able to see so much of Sydney was that our lovely friends Sara and Andrew were so generous with their time.
On another day when Cleggy was working they took me for a coffee - which ended up being a take out coffee followed by a whistle stop tour of a little part of the coast we hadn't yet seen.
It included a drive around the wonderfully flash houses in Vaucluse, Shark Bay at Neilsons Park and  Parsley Bay.
real estate photo!

The Hermitage
and the delightful Kutti Beach, a teeny beach next to Watsons Bay with a small collection of houses with gardens stretching down to the bay (I found one for sale for a cool $25million!!)
It looked like it was private - but you could sneak down this teeny  wooden stairway
We also had a big night out. Apart from wanting to thank them they had also both hit age 50 in the past 12 some champagne was called for. Starting at The Opera Bar (where else) we then headed in to an area called Surrey Hills, to a gorgeous place called The Winery.
photos from their website...I had drunk too much champagne to hold the camera steady!
Followed by an amazing Vietnamese meal at Xage. Result.
On our last full day Andrew took us on another whizz around the final places we hadn't seen but were on the list - and some that we didn't know should have been on the list!
One brilliant spot was the North Olympic Pool, almost underneath the Harbour Bridge.
I was able to indulge in another favourite pastime - photographing beautiful Sydney architecture.
Most of these photos are taken on the move so quality is not always great!
We went through Paddington, Balmain, Newtown, Elizabeth Bay and more I can't remember...

yep, you read right...tranny bingo
the other two were stuck in the back of the car....we didn't realise...
LOVE this about Australia - please walk on the grass....
We stopped for brunch at Balmoral beach (stunning) 
on the North side of the harbour.
The Boathouse is up there as one of my favourite places ever. 
Amazing location, beautifully decorated, local food and flowers available to buy, tasty (healthy) food and great coffee. Oh, and brilliant staff and service.
 ...and afternoon hot chocolate at Redleaf Pool
  One of our favourite places to be was our holiday house in Bondi. From the front it looks like a typical Sydney bungalow...
but inside it was ace, and we spent many a happy night there.
We also loved Bondi.
The light
 The winter flowers
The view from the top of our road
watching (and trying to photograph) the surfers

The mojitos
Our favourite Bondi cafe: Bondi Picnic
 This guy gave The Teen a croissant on the house on our last visit...he was particularly chuffed!
people watching
 (with a bottle of wine on Hall Street)
having a coffee with my all time favourite person
more people watching
admiring the evening light
sampling the icecream
Gelato Messina - salted caramel and white chocolate - worth being fat for
surfers IN the evening light
(barefoot, natch)
It's been a blast - and we can't wait to return one day.
Until then, its off to Noosa, 
a couple of hours flight North in Queensland.
fee x