To say we have visited Australia would be a little bit of an exaggeration, what we have really done is visit Seth's friend from school, Ben in Sydney. It has been a great visit though with a lot of laughs and fair effort to mix the business of sight seeing with the pleasure of relaxing and enjoying the company of friends. Ben (and his house mates) were great hosts for the week and made sure we didn't relax too much but got to go out and see plenty of the city too.
Thanks to where we were staying our we spent the first couple of days in or around Bundi beach and walking along the coast to the other near by beaches. We hadn't really thought through what the temperature would be like in Sydney at this time of year and so we were slightly surprised when we arrived on the first day at 5am to be told it was 9 degrees, but that at least lessened the shock when we first tested the temperature of the water at Bundi. No wonder all the surfers were in wetsuits! We didn't go swimming!
Most of the rest of our days in Sydney were spent in the CBD and central area of the city, including the all important Central Quays which is between the Opera House and The Bridge. The frist time we saw this was with Ben and Kevin when we went to the Opera Bar for an all important beer looking at the famous landmarks. The Bridge is just as impressive and imposing in real life as it is in the pictures we have all seen. We didn't do the bridge walk (I'm still intreged to see how they justify the ticket prices if anyone can tell me?) while in town but instead went up on of the Pylons which offered great views over the harbour from the top, and also a lot of information about the history and building of the bridge. As our first and only major tourist activity in the city it was very good and well worth braving the 200 steps. As for the Opera House, after a picnic in the Botanic Gardens we went for a close up inspection and it is a beautiful piece of architecture. The detail and scale of the building was far more impressive then I had realised.
For our last full day in city (we were spending the weekend with Ben's girlfriend out of the city) we were incredibly lucky to be given tickets to see the Davies Cup with none other then the amazing Roger Federer vs Lleyton Hewitt playing! What a treat! Also on court that day was Bernard Tomic vs Stanislas Wawrinka, although less famous at the moment (Bernard Tomic is only 18 years old so still early days in his tennis career) their match was also exciting to watch. It really was a fantasic experience and we are so grateful to Ben's friend for giving us these tickets for what was (obviously!) a sold out day of tennis.
After the tennis we rushed over town to meet Ben and headed up to Warnervale to meet Sylvia and spend a fun evening with them, a few bottles of fine Australian wine and the cats. It was a great evening ending only when we realised the sun would be coming up relatively soon so may be we should go to sleep. The next day (starting slightly then normal) we headed back into Sydney via a few beaches and a sandy picnic of delicious fresh prawns and bread. Yet another fantastic day and a great way to round off our time in Australia.