Thursday, March 25, 2010

Manly Beach

This morning we toured the Sydney Aquarium on Darling Harbour; a very impressive and and large building on the waterfront. It featured all kinds of indigenous wildlife in their natural settings. A big hit was the Shark Tank, which allows visitors to pass under the tank in big glass tunnels. A number of historical boats and ships are moored outside on slips, including a full-sized replica of the Endeavour, with which Captain Cook first discovered Australia, and HNS Vampire, a retired World War II warship.

In the afternoon we transferred to a condo on Manly Beach; across the bay and about a 30-minute ferry ride outside of Sydney. It is a small community backing onto one of those sparkling beaches that dot the area. As such it has the feeling of a resort, and yet is only a short commute to the big city. The beach is not packed, given that it is a weekday and it is the early Fall here in Australia, but there is still lots of activity on The Strip. On weekends and holidays, and all during the summer you can tell from the many restaurants and large beer-gardens that front beach that it has to be swarming with people at times. For you Vancouverites, think Kitsalino Beach.

Our apartment is located right on the beach, and from our windows and balcony we can watch the surfers trying out their boards, cruise ships steaming by for exotic destinations in the Far East and Pacific, and all of the activity on the beach. As would have been expected, strolling and jogging the shore rates high on the list of things to do, as well as sunbathing and lounging, but surfing and beach volleyball are also very popular. The water offshore is dotted from pre-dawn right through to dusk with people trying to catch the perfect wave. It has been unseasonably warm here, (25 – 27 degrees), but we rest comfortably with a refreshing breeze blowing through our bedroom window, and the soothing sound of the surf to lull you to sleep at night.

Yesterday we armed ourselves with a 5-day City Attraction pass, which allows us to choose from Sydney's many interesting attractions, and today we are going to purchase a 7-day Transportation Pass that allows the use of city bus, ferry and tram lines. As a result, we will take the 30-minute ferry ride into town and then use the transportation system to get around. For the next week we expect to spend our time either touring in Sydney or enjoying the life at Manly Beach. I will report back soon.

Aussie Oddities:

When the Burger King chain moved into Australia, everything went well at first, but then they got sued by a local businessman for infringement; it seems that there already was a Burger King outfit in the area. A costly court ensued, and the American chain lost the right to the name. Nor was the Aussie Burger King willing to sell its name. So, Hungry Jacks was born; it has the look and feel of Burger King, but, Down Under, it isn't!

The Big Three chain restaurants in the Sydney Area are; MacDonalds, KFC, and the afore-mentioned Hungry Jacks. The fare is pretty much the same, but the portions appear smaller than back home.

That old standby, Woolworth's, has survived and appears to be doing well down here.


Blogger Della Rollins said...

Sounds like you guys are having a great trip. Can't wait to hear all about it when you get home!



4:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home