We’ve had a fantastic, exhausting day today. Although we set our alarm for 8am we really had to rush to make it in time for the complimentary breakfast available until 1000. We have been given 8 breakfast vouchers and we’re so pleased when we check out that they don’t take tomorrow vouchers off us meaning we can get breakfast for nothing in the morning!
We walk across the road and into the lobby of the Hyde Park Plaza Hotel. It’s in a really good location opposite Hyde Park and on the corner of Oxford Street and after leaving our gear in the luggage room set off through the park towards the Opera House. It takes us around 20 minutes and we have to go back halfway to change. It very hot and we’re all wrapped up in winter gear. Shorts and sandals would have been more appropriate clothing but we settle for swapping our jumpers for t-shirts.
The park’s lovely with some really unusual trees called Bottle Trees, sculptures and signs asking you to smell the roses, walk on the grass and hug the trees! As we get nearer to the waters edge we see a long path that curves around the harbour and on the opposite side in front of the Harbour Bridge is the stunning and beautiful Opera House. Gleaming in the sunlight, the instantly recognisable building really is architecturally amazing. Very graceful looking, the curves are framed perfectly by the backdrop of the bridge and the impression with the sparkling water is really lovely.
As I stand there looking at it I wonder that we have even made it here. When we booked our trip I never gave Australia any thought, it seemed so far away in time and distance that seeing the Opera House felt like a dream that might never happen. When I think back over our adventure of the past months I think again how lucky we are to have the opportunity to do all this cool stuff.
We take loads of photos and then walk around the path towards the bridge. By now we’re very thirsty but when we stop to buy a bottle of water and a packet of strepsils and it comes to over 20 dollars we think again about stopping here and carry on round a bit. We pass a couple of street performers on the way and the kids have their photo taken with an Aborigine fella. We buy their CD of Didgeridoo music and then hurray, arrive at a food court. Maisie, Ali and I have sushi and Simon gets a sandwich, in total less than 20 dollars. (I think we were really skinned earlier. Actually can anyone reading this let me know the cost of strepsils in England as it’s really bugging me)
We decide to walk across the Harbour Bridge. It’s really a long way but worth it to get some more photos of the Opera House. You can climb it but it’s very expensive and although we’re not as high the view is the same from where we are. We walk back across and through the area called The Rocks. This is where the first European Settlers lived and the houses are small terraces like those found in England. When we were talking to Adrian and Liz the other night in the Blue Mountains they described Sydney as being like London should be!
We get a taxi back and as our room is now ready we check in. Wow! What a fab room. It’s actually a massive suite with a kitchen and proper bathroom. The kids get really excited when they find a playstation controller but we’re not having any of that!
Simon has really excelled here in managing to get the hotel to put 2 extra beds in the suite at no extra cost and as we can also use the spa, sauna and rooftop pool I’m in heaven!
We spend an hour doing just that before making our way back to our room. It’s 6.30 now and I’m sat typing this looking out of the window at the skyscrapers all around. Lit up they look beautiful and the glass of wine and Elvis on the laptop helps to make it feel so special. I never wanted to come to Australia and yet it’s such a wonderful place. I can’t imagine anyone coming here and not loving it. With such huge diversity across the country and the friendly locals it’s been a great experience and one that I would love to repeat soon.