Friday, December 17, 2010

A/NZ - Return to Sydney - Day 16

I guess it was a rough night. We are about an hour late getting into Sydney. The ship is usually right on time. The Captain said it was unexpected weather. Sigrid and I slept right through it like we were real sailors. I do have a vague recollection of clutching the mattress to keep myself in bed. It is still cloudy with occasional showers. It sure would be nice to see Sydney on a sunny day. Not this trip I guess. This tug boat helped guide us to the terminal.

The Sydney skyline.

Fort Dennison on Pinchgut Island. In 1942 a Japanese mini-sub was detected in the harbor. An American destroyer opened fire on the sub and blew up part of the island.....well.....the island looks a little bit like a submarine.

A view of the Opera House as we head for the docks.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Decorated for Christmas.

We didn't have as much shore time as we would have liked due to getting in late and the crowds of passengers getting off the ship to go home. There will be a whole new bunch of passengers getting on board today (about 1,300) for the next two weeks of cruising.

That means we have to maneuver around 1,300 disoriented people who don't know where anything is on the ship and who will stand paralyzed in the Lido food line trying to figure out what they want to eat. They will crowd into line because they don't know that there is a line........the crew will eventually train them. The crew will have to slap their hands as they try to pickup the food themselves which is not allowed during the first three days on the ship. The cruise line is absolutely paranoid about the spread of disease on the ship and I am glad. They figure that if someone is sick, it will show up within three days and then if not, you can get your own food. There are Purell dispensers everywhere around the ship. If you aren't careful, you can get all dried out by disinfecting yourself too many times.

We saw most of the areas around The Rocks, so we decided to see what we could of the rest of Sydney while here. We bought 24 hour tickets for the Sydney Transportation System which includes the Sydney Explorer bus, the Bondi Explorer, and the regular city buses. All are "Hop-On-Hop-Off" so you can stop where you like and then continue on your own schedule. All the buses come in 20 minute intervals. We chose the Sydney Explorer which covers the downtown area with 27 different stops. If we had a full day, we would have later taken the Bondi Express which goes to the outlying areas of the city. A 24 hour ticket costs $40 per person.

We rode from the terminal to the center of the city and got out to walk. St. Mary's Catholic Church was the first place we explored. What a beautiful church! Too bad we couldn't take photos inside.

Sydney has far more parks than the average large city. This one is across the street from the church. Notice the Christmas flags on the poles.

A Christmas Tree in a park on the other side of the church.

This is not our bus but you see lots of these driving around the city.

Sydney's Needle revolving restaurant and observation platform. You can bungee jump off the top of the thanks.

One of many museums in Sydney. They must have more museums and galleries of various kinds than any city I have ever seen. You could spend a month just going to these places in Sydney.

A statue of Captain James Cook in yet another park.

A flower bed in Hyde Park.

I guess you would call this an "alley" if there was a road instead of a walkway between the trees.

Hyde Park had a Japanese garden area.

After walking a few miles, we climbed back on the bus and finished the city tour before heading back to the ship. We had to check back in almost as if we were new guest. We did have a new cabin for the second half of the trip. I mentioned the reasons for this in an earlier post. The new cabin was a veranda suite so we had a great ocean view all the time.

It is a very comfortable cabin located near the middle of the ship so there isn't nearly as much movement as there was in the old cabin.

We are off to Melbourne.

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