21 December 2010


Brothers reunited!
The Opera House
After ten months apart from Andrew, I was delighted when checking in at Big Hostel to see him jump out from behind the desk! He has been travelling and working in Australia since February, so it was great to see him again, catch up with each other and hear about all the best places to see in Australia's biggest city. After giving us a fortune's worth of free tickets for weekend pub crawls and party boats, we set about planning our week together.

At the top of the Sydney Tower
Pam and I were unashamed tourists on our first afternoon in Sydney. We made a beeline straight for Sydney's most iconic landmark: the Opera House. What we hadn't banked on, however, was the huge crowd of people trying to get into a show there by Oprah Winfrey. It was so busy, we could barely see the Opera House (or 'Oprah House' as the newspapers insisted it be called for the day) and so walked to the city's second most iconic landmark: the Sydney Harbour Bridge. From there, we had a great vantage point and took hundreds of photographs of the Opera House while people down below tried to catch a glimpse of the American chat show queen.

Darling Harbour
That night, Andrew treated us to a delicious Indian meal, a few beers and a trip to the cinema to see the Due Date - a hilarious comedy tailored to a male audience. Pam was out-voted for film choice.

The next day, though, she got her own back on me as I followed her around every clothes shop in the city. That evening, tired out from pounding the streets, we took a trip up the Sydney Tower which gave us incredible views of Sydney. It was only from such a height that I realised just how much water plays a part in its landscape.

That night, we met up again with Andrew at the plush Soho Bar, where his discount card came in very handy as we polished off a few cocktails and renewed old battles on the pool table.

Spot the idiot
The most famous beach in Sydney is found in Bondi and it was there we decided to go the following day. With the weather turning a bit Scottish, we opted to do a trail walk along the cliffs of Bondi first, in the hope the sun would come out later. The views from the cliffs were spectacular and allowed for some great picture moments, though I couldn't condone Andrew's idiocy when he sat down on the edge of a cliff, about 100 feet above the swirling ocean. I hate to say it, but he's right, it did make for a pretty cool photo.

There's nothing wrong with a post-lunch siesta!
After lunch, when the sun did eventually show itself, we were too tired for any strenuous activity and opted instead for sticking our heads inside our bags and falling asleep on the beach for an hour! Pam claims to have been kept awake by our synchronised snoring, but I think she's exaggerating...

Our week in Sydney was flying by and before we knew it, we were on Route 69's party bus pub crawl. It would be fair to say that Pam and I probably would not have chosen to go on this if it hadn't been for the free tickets Andrew had given us, but we were excited about it all the same. That was until we realised that every other person on our bus of around 40 people worked for a company and were celebrating their Christmas night out! We felt a bit out of place to begin with, but after the first couple of stops, we were welcomed in as honorary employees of the company for the night. Little did they know that upon entering each pub, Pam and I were being slipped double the amount of free drink tokens by our accommodating host!

At the Hawaiian sunset cruise
We awoke the next day after an award-worthy long lie and felt ready to keep the party going on Route 69's Hawaiian sunset cruise. As we boarded the party boat, we were given a lei and a bottle of Long Island Iced Tea cocktail, which was to be the subject of one of my more embarrassing faux pas.

With my drink in hand, I caught the eye of a guy on the boat who raised his bottle to me. I asked if he was enjoying his Long Island Iced Tea and told him I was nursing mine slowly as I didn't really like it. Andrew, who was beside me, said under his breath, "James, that's the owner." The owner of the boat, I asked. No, this guy owns the company that makes the drink you're speaking about. After a heartfelt apology that was graciously accepted, I hurried to the refuge of the bar and ordered a cider!

At dinner together on our last night
On our last day in Sydney, Pam and I decided to escape the city and took the ferry across to Manly for a day at the beach. We met with Andrew in the evening for a last meal together, vowing to meet up again when we return for New Year. Now, though, we begin our journey to Melbourne where we're spending time with our friend Kylie and her family for Christmas!



  1. Sounds like you enjoyed Sydney! We particularly enjoyed the ferry trips and the views from the harbour, plus walking from Manly along the shore. You are missing some very missable weather here in the UK!

  2. So we see from the news programmes over here - the snow is incredible. We miss it, but I'll bet everyone back home is sick of it now!

    We are going back to Sydney over new year and are going to stay in Manly because we liked it so much.

  3. Just been watching the fireworks on Sydney harbour bridge to celebrate the new year! Wonder if you were there! Of course, as I write, it is still 2010 in Banchory! By the way, do you know the story of "eternity" and Sydney at the Millenium? If not, try googling it! Happy New Year!

  4. Yes, we were right underneath the bridge! The fireworks were amazing! I hope you had a good new year, too. I hadn't heard of the eternity story so looked it up - quite incredible.


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