New Year

After one day free of an official program today we make a trip together with the group. The majority decided to go on a sight-seeing trip by bus. We stop at several beautiful spots all over Sydney, our guide knows his stuff and tells us a lot of wonderful interesting details.

From Rose Bay with stunning views across the whole Bay to Sydney we drive on to Bondi Beach. The famous beach is one of the world’s most popular surfing regions. No one in the group is a surfer and we actually don’t really have the time. We just stay long enough for me to buy a t-shirt for my son with “Bondi Beach” written on the front.

Soon enough we have to climb the bus again and go on to another headland, on foot we reach the lookout point “Mrs Macquaries Chair”, called so after the wife of the then Governor of New South Wales, Major-General Lachlan Macquarie. It’s a large rock of sandstone that has been cut to the form of a bank by prisoners back in 1810.

The last station of our round trip leads us to the so-called French Quarter. The name comes from the quarter with the same name in New Orleans, the buildings have got the same architectural features of the colonial era.

These are enough new impressions for us now, we urgently need a break. Fortunately the afternoon is free and we are able to unglue from the group. We decide to encash another ticket and take the ferry to Manly.

Manly is cramped – of course: Nobody has to work on New Year’s Day and locals as well as tourists go to the beaches. We find an Indian restaurant that’s not too crowded and enjoy a good lunch. Somehow here it even tastes more Indian than in our Indian restaurant at home. Afterwards we visit the Manly Sealife Santuary.

Eventually my feet refuse to walk on. I am barely able to return to the ferry, besides us hundreds of people also want to go back to Sydney this way. A digital display shows how many passengers still are allowed to go on board. We have to wait 45 minutes standing densely packed in the crowd until we finally may enter the ferry. Back in Sydney we take a taxi back to the hotel.