Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Farewell O'vive......Hello Australia

David & Nathalie

Sydney Opera House

During the past two weeks, we spent as much time as possible with our good friends from O'vive. Dave, Nathalie, Emilie and Alec shipped O'vive home on Dockwise at the end of February and spent their last two weeks hanging out in Whangarei.

Glass beads made my Nathalie, Emilie, Jenny, Jocelyn & Marg

Beadmaking class - 800 degree flame!

Jenny creating a beautiful bead

Jenny & Emilie at the Whangarei library

Good friends and fun times at the park in Whangarei
We had some wonderful times together hiking, beading and (of course) eating. Dave and Nathalie hosted a farewell BBQ at their flat on Sunday and we had a wonderful time with them and with many other cruisers who we've met along the way.
BBQ at O'vive's flat - O'vive, Tin Soldier, Orca III, Candine, Ocealys and Malachi

Nathalie took this picture of me with my potluck contribution.
Dave, Nathalie, Emilie and Alec......we will miss you!
Bright and early Tuesday morning, after a tearful goodbye the night before, we set off for Auckland to catch our Air New Zealand flight to Sydney, Australia!
We had a great flight. The plane and crew were outstanding and, aside from a brief encounter with 120kn headwinds which jostled us around a bit more than we're comfortable with, the flight was smooth.
We're staying in a serviced apartment on the 36th floor but we still can't see the water! Lots of tall buildings in the CBD. We are; however, close to everything and yesterday we joined a bus tour of the city. The day started off rainy but by early afternoon, the clouds were gone and the sun was shining, it was glorious. The fair weather allowed us to take advantage of the open top deck of the bus and to enjoy panoramic views as we drove around the city. Sometimes we had to duck so that we wouldn't get smacked in the face by low branches.
Our Hotel - the pointy one in the background
Kids on open top bus

The highlight of our day was a tour of the Sydney Opera House. This outstanding piece of architecture has a rich and colourful history and we all really enjoyed the story behind this beautiful building. Perhaps us girls will take in a performance......not Jay though.

The roof of the opera house has over one million small white tiles

Beautiful reception area indoors

Autographed ballet slippers - Janessa, this one's for you!
Another point of interest for us girls was the Australia Opals. We went to one shop that had a museum. The owner, a paleontologist, has an excellent collection of opalized mollusks, wood and even dinosaur bones!

Like Vancouver, Sydneys streets are lined with an eclectic mix of old and new architecture. One of the most prominent and impressive buildings in the city is the Queen Victoria Building (1898), which is an upscale shopping mall. Sydney also boasts an impressive tower standing 305 metres above the city, a baby compared to the CN Tower at 553 metres.
Queen Victora Building - Front
Queen Victoria Shopping Arcade
There are news stands on most corners, just like in New York
This is the view of the city from Darling Harbour where we'll be spending the night today. That's the Sydney Tower in the background and just above the ships smokestack, you can see the big Australian flag that is flown off the Anzac bridge as a memorial to fallen soldiers.

1 comment:

Marlene Sherwin said...

Hi all
isn't Sydney wonderful. We enjoyed the clock in the Queen Victoria building. Did you stop at Paddy's Station?? We stayed at the Grace hotel. Have you gone to old town and the beginning of Australia. I climbed the Sydny bridge the highlight of my trip.