Thursday, January 27, 2005

Australia Day

What an awesome day! Only recently arrived and we'd got our first bank holiday down under - ace!! We went to Neilson Park and Shark Beach - the park is immediately in front of the beach. It's in a pretty posh area called Vaucluse, which has huge houses and stunning views over the sea. The park has lots of trees which is good as they provide lots of dappled shade - great for families. Several of the guys from Team Bondi were meeting there and invited us along. We also had a friend from Guildford over being interviewed for a programming position (he got the job - hoorey) as well as Frederick from Sweden! So we all went with our new picnic chairs and swimmers. It was incredibly hot and we were really thankful for the trees. Saying that, there were some people actually sunbathing on the beach in the full sun - complete madness! We just sat back, relaxing, reading and chatting with everyone.
We made it into the sea for a swim as well - my first time in Australian waters! It was so exhilerating (that's code meaning the water was still on the cold side)!! There were very gentle waves that bobbed us along!! It was quite reassuring to see the shark net, especially considering it was called Shark Beach!! We couldn't stay in too long, as we could feel the sun beating down on our exposed heads and arms! We could have stayed in for ages though.
We dried off and went up onto the top of the cliff overlooking the beach. There was an air show somewhere and we could see the Australian equivalent to the Red Arrows (don't know what they're called).
We decided to drift off and get something to eat, so we drove up to The Gap and Watson's Bay, which are at the top of South Head, just a bit further along from where we were. The views from there were absolutely stunning. I could have walked around there for the rest of the day, but again, we were very conscious of the sun and we'd been exposed a long time already! So we went for some fish and chips from Doyles (supposed to be very good). I have to say I was a bit disappointed - Rothwells in Donny is much better!
After filling our tummies, we went back to the Wharf to freshen up before going out again to Darling Harbour. There were lots of free little music stages with jazz and irish bands among others. Each stage had it's own little crazy dancer - completely bonkers, but entertaining! We walked to the water to see the fireworks. They were brilliant and seemed to go on all night. One type were set off from the side of a float thing in the middle of the water, so that they shot off across the top of the water - really stunning to see.
And then it was time to go home! We were thoroughly exhausted from all that enjoyment!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

From The Gap looking to Vaucluse and the city on Australia Day

Shark Beach on Australia Day

The Gap, Watson's Bay on Australia Day