Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Blue Mountains

3 days in a glorious  setting that words cannot describe the utter beauty so I'm going to let the photos do the talking.
 miles and miles and miles of eucalyptus trees.


 cliff paths.

travel by sky walk, cable car or very steep railway.
Walk the boardwalks through the rain forest

 Did you spot the Lyrebirds?
Rock formations known as the Three sisters

Then as the weather changed.
We headed for the local pub and that fab log fire.

The Blue Mountains are must see if you are ever in Australia, but don't be fobbed off with a day trip you need to spend time here to really appreciate the beauty.

Our journey home starts tomorrow. We have really enjoyed Australia even if it is their winter (it was warm enough for us). Plus the added excitement of the Lions and a chance to meet up with Charlie & Robyn made this a holiday to remember.

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So all I can say is.....



This morning there are a lot of happy smiling fans at breakfast. We can't believe that we have witnessed a piece of rugby history. Words cannot express how we feel. So so proud. We are picking up a car and heading for the Blue Mountains for a rest. All this staying in hotels, flying here there and everywhere is tiring.

We stopped at the Tourist information place at Glenbrook and booked ourselves a 3 bedroomed cottage for 3 nights in Wentworth Falls. 

This is the place we got. A lovely light cottage with all mod cons apart from wifi.
 No more getting dressed for breakfast. We could slob around in our pjs for as long as we liked.

But check out the industrial hairdryer.
I didn't know Black and Decker made hairdryers.

Wentworth Falls is on the edge of the popular areas of the Blue Mountains and it's very tranquil. Spectacular views.

Time for some r&r.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

The big game

Today's the day. How will it end? in tears, in joy, the next 12 hours will tell. We had to fill in about 6 hours before we went to the lions den. So we decided to walk down to the Botanical gardens and Mrs Macquaries chair. Story goes that the Governor's wife was so homesick for England that she walked every day to the end of the harbour and sat and waved to the ships leaving for England. Thank God for wifi is all I say.

    We had a wander through the Botanical gardens and saw some amazing trees.

and birdies
These are the Fleet Steps, this where the Queen alights from her boat when she visits Australia.
I forgot to count them.
Back to the hotel to get ready for the main event.Time to don the red shirt (and the smoggie hat).

The mood in the Lions Den was very subdued. It took the Manic Street Preachers to raise the crowd.
No problems getting into the stadium this time.
Plenty of gold in the crowd. It was noticeable that there seemed to be a bit of selective seating arrangements! Lots of Aussies in the lower tiers whereas there were solid blocks of red higher up. Probably so that it looked good on the telly. 
But that didn't help them. Once Cobisero scored that first try within 2 mins the Lions were lifted, belief was restored. Even though the Wallabies got within 3 points you could just feel that it was going the Lions way.
Full time .....we thumped them 41-16. As the Wallabie's fans left the Lions were chanting "cheerio, cheerio, cheerio" BRILLIANT. Words cannot describe the atmosphere. Unbelievable.

 16 years since the Lions have won a test series and we were there.

A quiet Friday

Not much happening today. Charlie & Robyn have returned to Napier. So we have spent the day catching up with washing and ironing you know that sort of mundane stuff. But come the evening we're off to the Sheraton on the Park hotel for a question & answer session with some Lions Legends. There's a free 2 hour bar and 1 hour of canapes Yippee!!!

We had a walk out to Paddy's Market. We think it's been a long time since Paddy was there as it's full of Chinese!

At the Sheraton a great line up greeted us, Paul Wallace(Ireland) Craig Chalmers (Scotland) the great David Campesse (Australia) and finally that cheeky Will Greenwood(England).

 It was a great night with some funny stories recanted. 

I even had my photo taken with the great Simon Shaw who was still playing for England aged 40! He's a giant of a man, I only reached his arm pits!! He was so polite and patient with the fans who wanted photos.

The mood amongst the Lions fans was one of apprehension, could we do it or would we fall at the last fence? Lots of debate about the shock of dropping Brian O'Driscoll. Tomorrow will tell.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Last day with Charlie & Robyn

A bit of a sad day today. It's our last day with Charlie and Robyn but we've already made plans for a family get together-type holiday in 2017. So today we decided to take the ferry up to the Olympic Park to check out the stadium ready for Saturdays game.

But before that we met up at the Queen Victoria Building or as the locals call it the QVB. It is full of amazing stained glass windows. This one, as Charlie said, is like an eye ball.
Fabulous windows,

As we walked down to Circular Quays we saw the amazing Westfield tower, which houses a revolving restaurant. 
You can see this tower where ever you look in Sydney. We didn't go up because I'm not good with heights. I'm ok with looking out but looking down just scares me rigid!

The ferry took us past those usual sights that you know by now. What we hadn't realised was that the Olympic park was about 2 km from the ferry drop off!!! Good job we were on the bus route. 

The ANZ stadium is fantastic. Although not as high as Twickenham it can hold 80,000+ spectators. 
Quite a few Lions fans were also checking out the venue.

We had been told to go up to the 17th Floor of the nearby Novotel hotel, to a viewing gallery, to see more of the Olympic park. 
Great views
We spent the afternoon eating our Subway sandwiches, supping our NZ Sav Blanc(courtesy of Charlie & Robyn)just watching the world go by.

For our last evening together we went to a restaurant in The Rocks, which was a DIY BBQ.

 You bought your meat, 

followed the suggested bbq times and then cooked your own meal. 

Fill you plate with salad.

and eat it all up!

 Our last photo together.
 See you in 2017