Over the years Mick and I have been to many concerts in Sydney. We had it down pat. I would work through my lunch break, Mick would pick me up at 4 o'clock and we would drive the three hours to the Sydney Entertainment Centre. We would then grab a quick McDonalds for tea before taking our seats to watch the place fill up, all in time for the 8 o'clock start. After the concert finished at about 11 o'clock we would then drive the three hours home, getting to bed at about 2 o'clock in the morning before fronting up to work the next day. No worries........but as the years went on, it became harder and harder until we stopped doing it. We had another advantage back then too. Bathurst had its new Entertainment Centre, which was a Ticketek agency. When people queued for three days to buy tickets to Paul McCartney's tour, or waited on the phone for ages, Mick turned up at the Bathurst Entertainment Centre at five to nine, walked straight in and got fantastic seats. It still remains one of the best concerts we have seen.
Back to the present..... We have seen most of the big bands that we have wanted to. However, I like Supertramp
. The band is long gone, but recently I noticed an ad for a concert by Roger Hodgson
, the singer-songwriter and co-founder of Supertramp. What the heck, let's go. We had no idea what it would be like, but if nothing else, it was a good excuse to go to Sydney for a couple of days.
The State Theatre is such a beautiful venue. (Yes, it did fill up completely before the start.)
Even the ladies' powder room was stunning.
So what was the concert like? Fabulous! It was fairly intimate and the music was just how the albums sounded. All the classics were played. I think it rates way up there in the concerts we have seen. It was certainly worth the gamble.
We still had the full following day to play the tourist before catching the train home, so what to do?
Firstly, go for a stroll through Hyde Park, seeing as it was just over the road from our hotel.
The Shrine of Remembrance.
We haven't seen the bullet sculpture before. It is a fitting memorial.
After breakfast in Macquarie Street, surrounded by lawyers and barristers, we walked down to Circular Quay again. Another day, another cruise ship, this time Celebrity Solstice.
.........and hopped on a ferry in the opposite direction.
Past Fort Denison.
Across the heads to Manly. We haven't been here for years. On my first trip on the Manly Ferry when I was little I got sea sick. I really am not a good sailor. Happily, there has never been a repeat performance.
Our ferry was the Queenscliff. We had saved our trip to Manly for the second day hoping that the sea breeze may make things a little cooler. No such luck. It reached 38 degrees at Manly and was 40 degrees in the city! We did everything at a rather leisurely pace.
The famous Manly Corso has some beautiful buildings.
There weren't too many people out and about. I think it was just too hot.
Of course we had to visit the beach. Lots of swimmers.
And quite a few surfers.
Yes, although I wasn't dressed for swimming, I did get my feet wet.
As always, when you are at the beach you have to have fish and chips.
We went wandering up some side streets and popped into the Lifeline op shop, as you do. We were blown away by the counter. What a clever use of old books, which I'm sure they have a plentiful supply of. We've never seen anything like it.
"Market Place" had some fun murals on the wall about Manly.
Mick was quite taken with the old signs on the pub.
Then it was time to head back to the city. What a contrast it had been, breakfast among the corporates and lunch by the beach with everyone in holiday mode.
Past Garden Island Naval Base.
Once again, we had nothing planned so just walked.....slowly, as it was too hot for anything else. We were surprised to find a little green park in among the skyscrapers. We enjoyed just sitting on the soft, cool grass for a while.
This is Jessie Street Gardens
. Mr Google came in handy again. It was only created in the late 1980s when the Gateway development was created. Jessie Street was a feminist and peace activist.
There are two statues, the first pays tribute to the women who were in the military services in WWII. My Aunty Helen was in the WAAF, so this is rather poignant.
I love the expression on her face.
The second is the Pioneer Women's Memorial.
It wasn't long before we came across another tiny park. This one was Macquarie Place Park
. Apparently the Governor and other officials lived fronting this space. We were intrigued by the obelisk. It turns out, this is the exact point that all distances from Sydney were measured.
I always knew that Bathurst was 137 miles from Sydney, but I have no idea how many kilometres we are.
There was also an anchor on a plinth. It is the anchor from the ship "Sirius" which came out in the First Fleet. I have two First Fleet ancestors, neither of which came to Australia on the Sirius.
The "Sirius" and the "Supply" both sailed from Sydney to Norfolk Island in early 1790 carrying a cargo of convicts and provisions. Unfortunately, the Sirius was wrecked on a reef just off the island coast.
When I returned home I consulted Mr Google again. It turns out that my ancestor William Boggis
was one of those convicts who travelled to Norfolk Island on one or other of those ships in 1790 and would have been involved in salvaging the cargo. The anchor was salvaged in 1905.
Another obsure piece of history that we stumbled upon.
We still had a bit of time to fill, so headed for the air conditioned shopping arcades. There were heaps of fun pig decorations to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Pig.
Finally, we sat down in Hyde Park with an iced coffee and watched some chess. A very relaxing way to finish off our day of exploring.
We thoroughly enjoyed our couple of days in the big smoke, and especially the ease of travelling by train. This was our first real use of the Opal Cards. You spend a maximum of $15.80 per day, so all our travelling on the trains and ferries for the two days cost the sum total of $63.20. It would have cost more than that for petrol and parking, let alone the hassle of negotiating the traffic and road closures due to the building of the light rail. The best thing is that you don't have to drive home when you are tired.
I can see us trying to sneak down there more often, even if for just a day.