16th November – Thursday
We’re going in to see Sydney today and decide to drive to Manly to catch the ferry to Circular Quay. Even leaving late we encounter some typical busy Sydney traffic, but we arrive in reasonably good time to find that there’s really nowhere to park for longer than 2 hours in Manly (for a high 4×4 anyway). In searching for a park I drove so close to the old School Of Artillery at North Head that I decided to stop in to see what was going on there now. I knew that it is no longer owned by the Army, and hasn’t been for ages, but on arriving it still outwardly appeared the same. All the Government has done is divied up all of the different buildings and leased them out to various businesses or educational institutions from what I could see. The parade ground still stood empty and unused, the barracks where I roomed was locked up and looked un-touched. The gun park where we were taught the artillery guns was today at least a car park for a film crew for something called “Bite Club”, and the gun bays were now a Crossfit gym. There’s a number of walks to various interesting parts of North Head, but I’d already spent too long reminiscing, showing my family stuff they couldn’t give a stuff about. Good times. We left, continuing our elusive search for a car park, eventually dropping Maree and Jessie off at the wharf whilst Zach and I drove just out of town where we found a park, a mere 15 minute walk back. Manly Harbour looked as lovely as I remembered, and we arrived back just in time to catch a ferry. It was a beautiful day too, which made the ride across to Sydney nice. Once we got there we did a lap of the Sydney Opera House and then grabbed some lunch at Hungry Jacks. We were set upon by a small flock of seagulls more eager for our food than we were. One came from behind Zach’s shoulder and snatched a bite of his burger that he was holding in his hands! We couldn’t believe it, so to prove it, another seagull did the same trick to Jessie’s burger. GEEZ, just f off! We moved to avoid further attacks, and then walked to what used to be called ‘Centrepoint Tower’ or ‘AMP Tower’, but is now called ‘Sydney Tower’. Unfortunately it costs $96 for a family to ride the elevator to the observation deck, so we ended up giving that a miss (I’m pretty sure I’m the only one annoyed, but they would have loved it). Zach decided he should wear his Broncos jersey for his day in Sydney, and he gets a couple of bites, but he says later that the three people that commented all appeared a little “strange”. We walked back towards The Rocks passing some knuckle heads getting their kicks by dining 100 feet up in the air on tables and chairs suspended from a crane. They should have done it earlier in the day when the weather was nicer. It’s starting to get quite windy, overcast and cool. We had a quick look at the Sydney Gallery of Contemporary Art, and then a few private art galleries including Ken Dones. Maree enjoyed this part of the day immensely. Zach on the other hand was trying to work out how he could climb the crane to jump off. We boarded the ferry back to Manly to avoid a scene, and Jessie and I went to get the car while Maree and Zach grabbed some groceries. Just as we picked them up and the drizzly rain started. I think in retrospect, we all would have enjoyed our day more if we had have stayed at Manly. We all loved the ferry ride though.