Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | October 27, 2014

Adventures on the Other Side of the World #13

Enjoying a burst of sun at Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Enjoying a burst of sun at Bondi Beach in Sydney.

Today in Melbourne I understand it was storm dark, full of black clouds that rolled in and stayed. Here in Sydney, our clouds were much friendlier, and I had a beautiful day. As expected, Alexander crept out for sunrise, and as I said I would, I complete ignored said sunrise and went back to sleep. I’m sure it was lovely, but sleep is also lovely and I’ve decided to see a little more of that while I’m here.  I dozed for about another hour, when Alexander came back bearing coffee and a chocolate croissant.  So my day started out right, as you can imagine.

The Glenferrie has a breakfast buffet, and it has improved since Alexander’s last stay. There were the usual cold items, but also a tonne of hot plates. I had scrambled eggs, bacon and hash browns, which is my go to. I was pleasantly surprised to see a pot of real coffee instead of instant and hot water, as well. Good job on that, Glenferrie. I intend to make my way down a little earlier tomorrow so I am not eating the last remnants, like today.

After breakfast, we headed out and caught a ferry from Kirribilli Wolgrove Avenue to Circular Quay, where we then caught a beach down to Bondi Beach, which I understand is a popular Sydney Beach. The cloud cover and wind meant things were a wee bit chilly for a swim, and the currents were too high for them anyway, so instead we plopped ourselves down in the sand to enjoy the bits of sun while we could.  The paddle boarders seemed to be having a good time.

Oh no, a shark!

Oh no, a shark!

After Bondi Beach, we took the bus back to Cicular Quay.  The traffic was a bit slow, so the buses took a little long, but still nothing like I bet it is on a weekend. From Circular Quay, we took a ferry to Manly Beach, as my guide in Melbourne had suggested. There, I spotted a Sea Life Sanctuary, so we went to check it out. It looked a little pricy for what I thought was the size, but like Pingu’s house or the tents in Harry Potter, there was more than met the eye, and it was well worth the $25 entry fee for adults. Alexander and I went it, and there were not only aquariums, but underneath there were tunnels that, when you looked up, you could see were under the aquariums that housed tons of sea life. There were sea turtles, cuttlefish (which are related to octopi), regular fish, and sharks. Yes, sharks. The Sanctuary includes a breeding program.

We also go to see, for no extra cost, the sea horses being fed, as well as take a guided tour of the shark tunnels. It was really great, and I learned a lot.  For example, I had no idea that some sharks laid eggs. Or the rough breeding routine for sharks. Not pleasant, I tell you. I am very glad I am not a shark.  They do not have an easy time with the courtship.

Fairy penguins relaxing after a good meal at the Sea Life Sanctuary in the Manly Beach Area.

Fairy penguins relaxing after a good meal at the Sea Life Sanctuary in the Manly Beach Area.

Also at the Sea Life Sanctuary? More tiny Fairy Penguins.  And though you are separated by glass, you can take your own pictures of these fabulous little creatures.  I also had my iPhone, so took a little video for myself of one of the little penguins just happily swimming in the enclosure, letting the water take him here and there.  The penguins are so cute. I wish I could take one home!  Alas, no foreign wildlife to Canada. If I could, I think I’d be packing a swamp wallaby and a penguin in my carryon at the very least.  Instead, I’ll have photos and videos to take with me, and that is not a bad thing.

After the Sanctuary, Alexander and I took the ferry home, as we were meeting his second cousin for dinner. I’d never met this cousin, of course, but neither had Alexander. Another relative had connected them via Facebook, since Alexander is living in Australia and the cousin was going to be visiting for work purposes in Sydney.  This is a very small world.

Alexander chills on the ferry on the wait home as I soaked in the sun. Yay vitamin D!

Alexander chills on the ferry on the wait home as I soaked in the sun. Yay vitamin D!

We had a lovely time, eating outside at a little Italian place, where I had delicious bruschetta, a lovely veal dish with roasted potato and seasonal veggies, finished with creme brûlée, and the vanilla kind, which is my favourite.  I also had wine. All in all, it was a lovely time.

Now we are back at the hotel for more wine and some air conditioning (as it got hot in the afternoon and has stayed hot, hovering near thirty), and soon I will head to bed.  Not to catch the sunrise with Alexander (as you might have guessed, I’m a bit over the early morning thing), but just to rest up for another big day. Vacation is awesome!

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