Sunday, July 26, 2009
We arrived in the evening at Sydney and it was pouring rain which they locals liked since they have been in such an extreme draught for so long! We took a cab to The Harbor Rocks Hotel which was really cool. It is situated in the heart of Sydney's historic Rocks district. You can read more about it here:
The hotel was erected on Sydney's first hospital by 12 convict carpenters and 16 hired men. There is also a ghost that inhabits the hotel in search of his long lost lover. We didn't see him about. It was interesting to learn that the first settlers landed here in January 1788. They have since converted all the 19th century warehouses into chic restaurants, stylish bars, hearty pubs, interactive museums, artisan markets, eclectic shopping and a host of free events, including didgeridoo players in the streets. Seeing it at night was very cool since all the reflections of the lights were like little jewels on the streets. We are also at the foot of the Sydney bridge and walking distance from the ferries that will take us to Bondi and Manley beaches. The Opera house at night is truly a spectacular site. It is in fact amazing in any light and we spent a lot of time dining out near there and just watching the ships go in and out of the harbor.
Monday, July 27, 2009
We walked all over this incredible town today. I found a terrific didgeridoo shop called the Spirit of Downunder and a guy named Reno, who is a fantastic didgeridoo player helped me pick out a new didgeridoo. He had some of the most professional instruments I had seen yet and one of the employees there also used to work at Didgebeat.com where I had ordered on line from in the past. It was great to able to purchase from them in person finally. He had a wide variety of prices and choices for didges for all players at any skill level. After playing for nearly two hours, I settled on an Arnhem land style didge since I did not have one like that in my collection yet. Later today we headed for the Blue Mountains with Australian Wild Escapes with our guide John. That is on another link titled "The Blue Mountains".
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Today was our free day to tour Sydney and we admired all the tall buildings and shops, the huge bridge, and took a ferry to Bondi and Manley beaches where as luck would have it, the surf was mostly flat. I saw and took a picture of the one and only rideable wave that came by in one hour but the place was really beautiful with lots of quaint shops and of course, everything evolving around the surf lifestyle. We took the ferry back to circular quay in Sydney and spent the rest of the day listening to didgeridoo players on the streets, buying their CD's, and checking out all of the shops in town. What is really interesting is that just about every one of these massive sky scrapers has its own mall underneath. At one I saw original paintings by Frank Stella whom I had just done a lesson on in June.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We headed to the Hunter Valley area for a tour of the wineries with our guide Graham which is on another link.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Sadly, our holday has come to an end and we make the 12 1/2 hour flight back to LA and then back to Norfolk, VA. Feeling sat and a bit jet lagged.