Sunday, 26 March 2017

Arrival in Sydney

26 Mar/Day 40

Head out of Cairns on Qantas to Sydney. Not very good service which I consider might reflect staff antagonism to current plans to sell the airline to institutional investors (it was until recently, I believe, owned 25% by BA).Flight delayed an only a mumbled apology – none from the Captain, which I always think makes any excuse sound a bit more sincere.

approach to Sydney
All this is compensated for by a superb view of Sydney Harbour, the bridge (75 years old only a week before and built by the company – Dorman Long – in Middlesborough for whom my uncle Gordon worked many years ago.), and the Opera House on final approach to Mascot/Kingsford-Smith Airport. Can’t get used to everywhere  feeling it must call itself ‘………International’ these days instead of a bit of variety and local history.

Allie and I have a slight contretemps over whether or not to take a taxi. Ever the thrifty Schwabian, she thinks bus/train might be (and undoubtedly is) cheaper. I, equally committed as a minimum-hassle-unless-the-cost-is-outrageous adherent, plump for taxi. This has mixed blessings as the taxi driver, I guess a Greek by origin, clearly does not know our hotel despite an exact address and ends up doing circuits of the Rocks area (at my expense).
the famous Sydney opera house
The B&B I chose on the internet is perfect and within 500m of the Opera house and even closer to the Bridge. We saw an advert for a performance of Carmina Burana  at the former tomorrow night and rush down before the box office closes only to be told it is sold out. 

Particularly disappointing as Karl Orff is buried at Kloster Andechs near our former Tutzing home. Richard Hickox is musical director, I notice, and I recall seeing him conduct a concert including pianist John Lill at the church on Wandsworth Green in 1984.

ALLIE: DAY 40: Monday, 26th of March

Flight to Sydney the harbour city of Australia

Another wonderful sunny morning. I run to the beach and dive into the sea whilst Phil is ‘allowed’ to have another quiet hour in bed – the perfect marriage arrangement!
The rest of the morning is spent on the internet or with writing and packing. Then we are off to the airport to drop our hired car and check in for our flight QF 925 to Sydney.

stunning views across Sydney harbour
The flight is delayed, but once we are up in the air it’s only 2 ½ hrs. We cross parts of inland Australia. 
What a huge deserted country. How must life be in these outback farms where your next neighbour lives 100km away from you and the only medical service can be done by the flying doctors?

The approach into Sydney International airport is stunning. We are lucky to sit on the left side and get an excellent view over the downtown city area, the opera house and the famous harbour bridge that had just celebrated its 75th birthday.

Within 25min of a taxi drive and we arrive at our small “TheRocks” Bed & Breakfast.  The location is excellent. We are right in the middle of the ‘Rocks’ the quirky and lively old town centre. 

It’s just 5min to the bridge and to the harbour side. We take an evening stroll to the famous Opera house and ask for tickets for tomorrows Carmina Burana. But alas it’s already sold out. What a pity!  
The harbour front is full with ferries and lined with trendy coffee shops, oyster bars and expensive restaurants. 

You certainly need to earn a fat salary in order to live here comfortably. Everything is very expensive. 

That’s part of the reason why we end up later at an Irish pub eating bangers & mash and fish & chips and not at an harbour front Trattoria eating oysters and looking at the illuminated opera house. 

But we have life music and the band even plays a special song for me! Phil says, he never should leave me alone for a minute, I always get chatted up by some boys.

But if I am left to buy the drinks…that’s what might happen!

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