Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mum's Visit Nov 2006 - Part 1

Mum's Visit - Part 1
Mum's Visit - Part 2
Mum's Visit - Part 3

Last November my mom came to visit for the whole month. I was able to take the entire time off and we did a blitz tour of South/East Ozzie. Here is the travelogue:

Mom arrived from the UK at the crack of dawn on Nov first, and after a shower and champagne brunch we took her out for the famous Saffa introductory tour of Sydney (1). This involves a stroll through Balmain to the ferry stop, a ferry ride under the Harbour Bridge and past the Opera House to Circular Quay, then a walk beside the water past the Opera House (with pub stop) and Botanical Gardens to Lady Macquarie’s Chair viewpoint and Woolloomooloo (another pub stop). Then a leisurely walk through the middle of town to the Darling Harbour waterfront and a late lunch overlooking the water, then a taxi ride home. Then more wine sitting in the garden…We managed to keep mum up til 9pm, which is pretty good going, and she says she slept quite well til 3am… We have a lot of big crow-like birds here called magpies (which tootle) and currawongs (which have a moaning caw) that like to congregate in the garden at daybreak… mum didn’t appreciate that one bit although she got used to it by the end!

The next couple of days encompassed the Aquarium, Fish Markets, Sydney Museum, various lunches and barbeques, and culminated in a belated birthday dinner for mum in the lovely Café Sydney which is on the fifth floor of the old Customs House overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, lit up at night.

On Sat the 4th mum and I flew to Tasmania and drove to the Cradle Mountain National Park (2), which is lovely and rugged. It reminded us a lot of Scotland in fact, and even snowed to reinforce the impression! Yes, snow in November! We stayed in a lovely little cottage with a huge gas fire, so had a pleasant place to warm up and dry off in after going walking during the day ;-). We spotted wombats grazing, and also spent a bit of time at a Tasmanian Devil info center and got to stroke one… turns out the ravening beast image is not true at all, they’re really shy and only eat dead things. They’re about the size of a Staffordshire terrier, with heavy neck and shoulders, very interesting. We also saw a few wallabies, one of which kept turning up on our porch hoping to be fed!

After 4 nights on Tasmania we flew to Melbourne, and drove due west a couple of hours to the coast, then spent the next two days driving east along the Great Ocean Road (3), which is stunning. Cliffs, rock formations in the surf, winding roads through mountain passes, rainforest and rolling green hills dropping down to holiday villages on white sandy beaches.

We also saw koalas perched in gum trees munching on leaves, completely unfazed by us underneath! We reached Melbourne (4) on Friday night, had a really blustery walk along the beachfront near kite-surfers while looking for a sheltered pub and ended up in a very funky backstreet bohemian area called St Kilda out of the wind watching the weird world go by ;-).

Back to Sydney on the Saturday, and Milord and I went to the U2 concert that night, which was as well done as ever, although they’re getting rather too political these days for my taste and kept losing the momentum. On the Sunday m'Lord took us flying in a little 4-seater plane over the Blue Mountains, then along the coast past Manly Beach and the Heads, and we were able to fly up the harbour and do a few circles near the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, which was fantastic! Our neighbours threw an impromptu barbeque that night and invited us, which was very pleasant. The neighbourhood possum also made an appearance, walking along the tops of the fences!

Mum's Visit - Part 2

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