Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Friday, April 06, 2007

QE2, QM2 (Day 14) Part 2

I think Taronga Zoo was the biggest disappointment of our time in Australia. I thought that maybe our time in Tropical Cairns had made us over expectant and that if we were only visiting Sydney the zoo would have been more appealing. This assumption was dashed when we visited the Featherdale Wildlife Park on Day 15, and were blown away by the place. But again more on that another day. You get a ferry over to the zoo and then a cable car to the top of the mountain where the zoo is situated. The best thing about the zoo, in my opinion, is the view looking back towards Sydney harbour from the top.

When we were walking around Sydney Harbour we noticed something unusual on the skyline.

In the words of one famous Australian " can you see what it is yet?"

If not take a look at the following pics we took, from the detour our ferry took, on it's trip to Manly Beach you might see a few clues.

We happened to arrive in Sydney at a very significant time. The time when the biggest ocean liner in the world, the Queen Mary 2, would be docked in it's harbour. We were in for a few more treats that day as it would turn out, as the second biggest ocean liner in the world, was due into the harbour that evening, the Queen Elizabeth 2 , or QE 2 as she is commonly known.

In order to get to Manly beach you have to pass through it's village first. Here's a pic of the main street in Manly and a couple of the beach.

There are loads of restaurants along the beach front and we decided to eat here as opposed to trying to find somewhere in Sydney. Every now and again you pick a restaurant with little or no expectations as to the quality of food you will be receiving, especially if it doesn't get a mention in the Lonely Planet. The Rouge Mediterranean Restaurant in Manly was one such place, but after we sat down and perused the menu we got a good vibe. It was one of the best food experiences of our time in Australia without doubt! If you click here you'll see we are not alone in our admiration. It was the first of two restaurants that were real finds, but again more on that later.

We headed back to the ferry terminal to catch a ferry back to Sydney and were a little taken back by the throng of people queueing. As it would turn out all the boat owner's in Sydney had set sail and turned out to welcome the historic event of the QE 2 arriving into the same port as the QM2, a very rare occurrence. If one of the liners would, by it's very stature and history bring a degree of excitement, then two brought a frenzy. What resulted was something of a rarity, harbour gridlock!

The ferries just couldn't get through the harbour without many detours and delays causing chaos at the terminal. The fact that everybody in Manly was heading into Sydney harbour to see the spectacle, and the last treat of the day,the fireworks, only compounded the problem. Here's a pic of the queue and one of the QE 2.

We arrived back later than planned, dusted ourselves off in our hotel, and set out again for the darkness of the local park to view the fire works that were organised to celebrate the coming together of the two ships. All the boats stayed out for the display and sounded their horns at the end, it was a really great and unexpected treat. Who would have thought that you would get to see a fire works display in Sydney harbour in late February!

A perfect way to end, our second day in Sydney.


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