So Long SydneyFebruary 1, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C
After checking out of our Sydney Hotel, we made our way to the Overseas Passenger Terminal where we caught sight of our home for the next two weeks - Holland America’s Noordam cruise ship. What a fantastic berth she had, nestling in between two iconic monuments - the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We were able to drop our cases off, although it was only 9am, which left the rest of the morning free to explore a bit more of Sydney.
Decided take one of the local ferries from the adjacent Circular Quay to Manly - Sydney’s other famous beach. It was a pleasant 30 minute sail through the lovely harbour area. Manly was named by Captain Arthur Phillip for the indigenous people living there, stating that "their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place". Campbell and I thought therefore we would fit in well.
Although most of the passengers on the ferry were your typical families and teenagers heading to the beach to have fun, there was one rough and ready family whom Australians would definitely call ‘bogan’. Mother and daughter were both shoeless, bra-less and toothless and covered in tattoos. Mother in fact reminded me of Susie B’s character Shirley in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Strewth! The son looked as if he hadn’t had a shower in quite some time, and father had a huge cooler crate in tow. ‘We’re gonna have a barbie on the beach’ he announced with a huge grin that revealed he attended the same dentist. From a peek inside his crate there was enough food and drink to feed a small army.
Manly Beach was similar to Bondi - with even bigger crashing waves, and I enjoyed my swim. We returned in time to board our ship just after 1pm. The check-in process was quite slow as everyone had been told to come at the same time, and was delayed further when it was announced that all non Australian passengers required a Visa to enter New Zealand. This was news to most of us Brits and Americans, and it seems this change just came in in October. An hour later and $47 each lighter we had our NZ Visas and headed on board.
Initial impressions of the ship were very favourable - and although a bit older than some we have been on - it has recently been updated and was clean and comfortable with a friendly Steward. Enjoyed a lovely lunch on board in the shadow of the Opera House - amazing!
And now time for sail away to Tasmania!Read more