Just had a terrific weekend in Sydney. Sydney is one of my favourite places. We stayed just opposite the Sydney Harbour Bridge with magnificent views of the harbour. The bridge was not only flying the Australian flag this weekend but also the flags of the Sydney (rugby – Aussie rules and League) football teams who were playing in the grand finals this weekend. We were in Sydney for a family wedding. The bride looked stunning and the wedding was great fun. Lots of catching up, eating, drinking and dancing! The weather is hotting up now here in Australia as we are fully into Spring.
I recently spent a week in Sydney www.sydney.com.au. Sydney is the capital city of the state of New South Wales, but it is NOT the capital of Australia, which is a common misconception.
The capital of Australia is Canberra, which was more or less custom built as the capital, to cease the wrangling between Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, and Sydney, over which city should be the capital of Australia. Canberra is a much smaller city and is situated in the Australian Capital Territory. Australia has six States (Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales) and two Territories (Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory).
It is also little known, that the size of the landmass of Australia is similar to that of USA. It may be depicted as a small island on a map, but it is far from that. It is a common mistake, made by overseas visitors, that they can drive from, for example, Cairns to Sydney, comfortably in a day or two. This is far from reality!
Public transport in Sydney is very cheap, clean and customer friendly www.transportnsw.info. Customers who are over 60 years can purchase a day ticket for $2.50 which allows unlimited travel on trains, buses and ferries. The photos are from a recent trip where I hopped on a bus from the city to Taronga Zoo www.taronga.org.au and caught the ferry back to Circular Quay in the City. I had spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House www.sydneyoperahouse.com and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I do love exploring Sydney, it is full of interesting and exciting places.
I can hardly believe that we have been on the road since April 15th this year. We left Brisbane for Turkey, via Singapore and London. We stayed in exchange homes in Bodrum and Izmir in Turkey, then in Syros in Greece, followed by Rocca de Mezzo in the Italian mountains, then finally in Nice on the French Riviera. Wow, the time has just flown past. What a terrific European trip. All of those beautiful homes to live in, and exciting places to visit.
As a frequent flyer, I can be quite critical of airlines. I have flown first class with a few airlines. The best airline that I have ever flown with is most definitely Etihad Airways. We were fortunate enough to fly Etihad from Paris to Abu Dhabi then on to Brisbane and the flight was magnificent in every way. So much space, such wonderful service and we even had a personal chef to attend to our every need in the food and beverage department.
It is great, when I can honestly say to people, that one of the many favourite parts of my trip, was the flight home.
In a later blog, I will give my hints for the ways to find the best prices to travel in style and my hints as to how to gain fist class tickets at economy prices.
I cannot recommend them more highly. And, yes, we were flying first class, however, one of my daughters has flown economy with them and assures me that it is the top economy service she has ever experienced! www.etihad.com
On my return to Australia, I realize why I have chosen to stay here as my adopted home for the last 23 years. It is such a beautiful country. Winter is very mild in my home town of Brisbane. www.visitbrisbane.com.au
The skies have been blue every day since I arrived home. I flew to Sydney this weekend to catch up with my daughter and Sydney is one of the world’s greatest cities too. www.sydney.com
I feel so blessed to have such a great country to live in and also to have the home exchange lifestyle which allows me to travel the world in luxury for free.
By the way, I did omit one exchange house from those listed in the first paragraph. More about that exchange house next week, in the blog “Escape from Stalag Serino!”, which is part two of “Home exchange from Hell.”