Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mum's Visit Part 1: Sydney

Sorry it's taken me so long to update. I just looked at the date of my last post, and it was in January! Whoops! It's not for lack of exciting and awesome things happening - in fact, it's because I've been so busy with fun and adventure that I haven't had the time or inclination to spend an hour and a half staring at html code. Regardless, I'm here now, and this will be one of several posts I'll hopefully get up in the next week or so! As you may have heard, my mum came to visit in May, for my birthday and Mother's Day. It was wonderful have her here to experience the beautiful country we live in. I got some time off work and we spent a week together in Sydney.

This is the famous Sydney Opera House, by night!

And by day!

We went for a tour and got to see inside and how it's built and sat in several of the theatres (though we didn't see a show).


Sydney Harbour is gorgeous by night and day.

We had a great time at the Powerhouse Museum (even though we just missed the Harry Potter exhibition!!) They had some great exhibits and it was an amazing building - Sydney's original steam power centre.

Here's mum with the steam train!

 A view from the top floor!

An old steam engine.

Mum with the horse drawn carriage from days of yore.

The Chinese Friendship Gardens, a very lovely peaceful walk near Darling Harbour just outside of Chinatown. I was very happy to get a shot that didn't include another tourist taking a picture (there were many of us).

We headed down to Bondi Beach. It was extremely windy and we were in danger of blowing away, but it was still a cool place to stick our feet in the water.

Mum getting into the Australian waters for the first time!

St. Mary's Cathedral just outside Hyde Park:

Just outside of the Art Gallery of NSW, Mum found a statue of Scotland's most famous poet, Robert (Rabbie) Burns, so of course we had to get a picture of them together!

Sydney Hospital, just by the Botanical Gardens. Australia's oldest hospital. Reminds me a bit of Hogwarts.

The MONORAIL! We didn't go on it, because it was rather expensive and we had bus passes, but I got this pretty neat shot of it leaving the station.

We spent an entire day at Taronga Zoo, Sydney's "zoo with a view". The giraffes can see the Opera House!

The mountain goats:

Mum and some kangaroos in the background:

The most exciting thing for mum was seeing meerkats and gorillas in real life.

(the sentinel is named Zanzibar)

Mama gorilla and baby at lunch time.

The cheeky little teenage gorilla.

A tapir. The picture doesn't convey his size, but he was huge. Like a Clydesdale, but more hippo-like.

Spot the "pirate ship" as we rode the gondola over Taronga Zoo.

A trip to Sydney wouldn't be complete without a bit of shopping, so after mum was all tuckered out from the zoo, I headed to the Darling Harbour Shopping Centre, and happened to snap some nice evening photos (and a few pairs of shoes).

We went for a lovely walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens one morning.

Here I am sitting in the fern house in my new dress.

Mum and I enjoying our stroll.

There were so many fruit bats sleeping and squabbling in the trees of the botanical gardens. Very unusual to see in the daytime. We even saw some in flight. Even the caretakers of the gardens don't quite know what to make of them.

On our last day we took a ferry ride over to Manly beach. On our way we passed what I believe is called Pinchgut Island, which house Fort Denison, a former prison.

At Manly, Mum got her toes wet again!

We had such a great time in Sydney. These are just a few highlights (I took far too many pictures). We enjoyed St. Paddy's Markets, shopping in Newtown and Surry Hills, taking the double-decker subway, seeing all the art and history and greenery, eating at a new vegan restaurant every day (!!!) and watching The Voice (we were too pooped in the evenings to do anything else). 

Thanks for reading! Next post will be part 2 of Mum's visit!