Around the Dot

Wednesday, February 21

Big Ships: Queen Elizabeth & Mary 2 Meet In Sydney Harbour
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 21.2.07

Reading on Maroubra BeachIt was all on the news this last couple of days and Peter, our “cicerone” in Sydney (we both shared a flat for 3 months at UCLA), invited us to join him and his girlfriend to the harbour tonight.

So we decided to see what the fuss was all about and we walked through the botanic garden to observe the Queen Mary 2 from far. We arrived just in time to hear it blow its horn 3 times to salute its “sister” (btw, it’s hard to call a boat a “she” and not an “it”). The Queen Elizabeth 2 cruising to Circular Quay responded with 3 blows as it crossed the pier of Garden Island.

We then followed the incredible flow of people going to CQ, crossing on our way the not less incredible flow of people going in the other direction.

I managed to take a few picture of the Queen Elizabeth 2 as it passed the Opera House and we arrived on the quay to see it moor at the pier. Even though it is a smaller ship than the QM2, it still looked impressive with the terminal and the Harbour Bridge as background.

From there we decided to take a higher vantage point and we found a great secret spot (the street above the train station bridge). This was perfect to catch the fireworks.

A final detour by the terminal to catch a glimpse from close and we headed down to Chinatown to end the evening in front of a noodle bowl.

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Sunday, February 18

Paris-London and now... SYDNEY!!!
Around the Dot by Raquel
on 18.2.07

Originally uploaded by raquel.rigal.
We've just left Europe for sunny Sydney

Monday, February 12

Ferry To Manly
Around the Dot by Guillaume
on 12.2.07

The legend, as told by our Lonely Planet guide, is that Manly was named so by its European discoverers because of the attributes (that’s my interpretation) of the locals they found there. Well, I don’t know if this is still true – although a pick from the promenade at nudist Lady Bay opposite the bay might give you an indication.

Today, Manly is a great place with shops and life around Le Corso – as well as the two beaches that this street connects: south west at the ferry pier is a small quiet harbour beach and east is the main reason to come here: a wide beach with impressive waves and nice promenade – very typical, I’d say, of Sydney. We didn’t take a swim this time because the weather was so-so but we’ll be back.
More than the beach, what I liked was taking the ferry to go there. It was really nice to finally be on the water as Sydney is an invitation to the sea. Embarking at Circular Quay, the ferry takes you through the bay, offering amazing views of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the city. The ride is really smooth until you reach the ocean swell but even then it is just enough to provide kids (and grown-ups) with good fun. The way back gave us another perspective with a different lighting. I couldn’t help to take picture after picture.

Manly is definitely a must do for the Sydney visitor. It’ll take you half a day and you don’t need a car. You’ll be on water with great view of the city and highlight. What more to ask?

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