Another day of sightseeing- this time on a real touristy bus. Not to my liking I’m afraid but useful to see a wider area- Bondi Beach and get off at a few sites.
I had to go back to finish paying for my beautiful pink diamond ring today and have the fitting checked as the jeweller had to enlarge it a little. Trying it on again made me smile , just looking at this delicate little band of Argyle pink diamonds in rose gold between the white ones. I am crazy to do this but it will become an heirloom for my granddaughter. And naturally give me great pleasure and wonderful memories of my trip of s lifetime..
I went down to see the light show again on the Opera House only to be disappointed once more!
Up early to catch a train to the Blue Hills. A 2 hour journey on a double decker train. Lovely and comfortable train, leather seats that you could move to face whichever way you liked, smooth and easy to nod off! We travelled through the suburbs of Sydney and out into the forested hills. Forest for as far as you can imagine seeing. Breathtaking even on a train. We caught s circular bus, splitting st the Scenic Centre so I could do a series of walks along the cliffs, in the forest and down to waterfalls and viewpoints. A stunning and exhilarating day walking in natural rainforest. I didn’t mind walking on my own, in fact loved it, meeting people and chatting on the bus, then having some quiet in the walk. I listened for birds I can only imagine, but actually saw a few too- a lure bird fanning its tail feathers making s rattling noise, some squawking yellow headed white cockatoos wildly flying about like uncontrolled adolescents, three brown birds that showed flashes of red and white when they flew past in the trees but virtually disappeared when still. Lots of sounds I cannot describe or name. The treks down to waterfalls were taxing and there were so many steps- some so steep they were like ladders, some quite scary and I had to go down backwards and take a deep breath! One bridge across from a cliff face to a rock formation called The Three Sisters was particularly knee trembling! It’s was all stunning and well worth the effort for my knees and back, even though the temperature rose beyond 30 degrees. Luckily there was plenty of dappled shade to keep me relatively cool. When I met up with my brother I still looked like a lobster but from the exertion of the steep walking rather than sunburn. I absolutely loved it and was buzzing as we stopped off for an early dinner in a town on the way back to Sydney called Parametta. We arrived back at 8 pm – after catching the 8.14am train this morning. Wow what a day.
However there was a small matter of the light show on Sydney Opera House to deal with. Should I make one final attempt. Of course. And yes it WAS worth it. A wonderful animated sequence of 7 minutes of visual delight in Aboriginal style. Just as it finished he heavens opened and I was drenched as we all ran down The Memorial steps for cover. I treated myself to Guylain ice cream as a reward for being so persistent and determined to see this light show!
Returning to the apartment I left my final packing until the morning and after a shower dropped – yes literally dropped- into bed.
Aftee final pack and breakfast we put our luggage into storage and headed off in different directions- me to Bondi Beach and L&A into the city. We arranged to meet at Wharf 6 for the Harbour Cruise in the afternoon. I took the train and bus to Bondi Beach and walked the full length of the beach. It was dull and cloudy but I loved being there. Hardy surfers were out as the waves were big. It was good to watch their efforts – one Guy was quite stunning doing somersaults, others just learning. There were joggers and walkers, no one sitting on the beach. I looked at the saltwater swimming pool, a bit bigger than the one in Dunedin but similar. Watched the waves crashing like cymbals on the cliffs at each end of the bay. I’m quite glad it’s not too hot as it’s less busy.
As the rain began to spit I found a little cafe on a corner. It was becoming humid. Had a vegan salad and chai tea, perfect. The cafe was run by the church next door for young vulnerable people to give them a start. They were so welcoming. Caught the bus the whole way back to watch the journey more and decided to try and see if they had any places left on the 2 pm Opera House tour. My luck was in. After thinking it might be boring I was pleasantly surprised. It was fascinating- the architect was Danish after winning a competition it was such an innovative design there were many delays and problems. It’s built like the engineering of a bridge. I really enjoyed the tour. I walked round the wharfs until I found number 6 and sat and waited for their cruise ship to come in. They loved their cruise too.
We went back to the hotel and waited for our taxi and then started our journey home. The flight was at 21.45pm and was on time. The first flight was 16 hours during which I started with horrendous leg and back pain- the worse I’ve had so painkillers were needed regularly, but I did manage 3 hours sleep in between films.
In Dubai I bought some amazing dates- chocolate covered, stuffed with pistachios and different flavours. The second flight was 8 hours and boring, in s smaller plane- not a double decker like the others – narrower seats. Made it to Edinburgh.
A Day in Edinburgh- after visiting the Fruitmarket Gallery where the exhibit wasn’t open so had chai tea and an absolutely gorgeous cake, I went to the City gallery to see some interesting photography. Then I made my pilgrimage to the Cafe Royal only to find that they were refurbishing it and it was closed. Disaster. Decided to go to Portobello beach. After a walk on the beach I had mushroom soup and proper fresh ginger tea ( my favourite) in The Espy overlooking the beautiful beach. Feeling somewhat spaced out as I watched the waves dribble in unlike Bondi Beach rollers.
What a journey I’ve had. What an experience. One to remember forever. I’m glad I did this.