We woke at 9am to a cloudy but warm day. After coffee and a shower we made our way to Central Station, purchasing 2 Opal cards from a 7/11 on the way. We loaded them with $20 each and they are valid on the trains, buses and ferries. When you spend $15 in travel each day the rest of the days travel is free. A great idea and it works. They work by tapping on and off at the entrance to the station, bus or ferry. Dead easy, even technophobe Sue grasped the idea from the off.
We caught the train to Bondi Junction and then a bus to the beach, everything went seamless. Got off one, got on the other.
Bondi Beach was a little disappointing. Perhaps the cloudy sky had something to do with it but to me it looked like an Aussie Filey. Similar size, shape and back drop, though currently warmer and of course the flora and fauna are different (I am including the locals in that comparison).
First, we ambled to the rocky promontory to the left of the bay, the first part accompanied by a a young German backpacker keen to chat. As expected the sea was infested with surfers of varying degrees of abilities. We sat for awhile and watched, though a couple of white, large curved beak birds that were earnestly pecking the grass close by held our interest more.
Satisfying ourselves that we had taken enough photos from that viewpoint we returned to the centre of the bay, found a bar and sat down at a table next to the beach. As we had lunch and drinks we watched the passers-by and chatted to the friendly waitress and later to a couple who came to sit at the a table next to ours. It turned out that they were from Gloucester and on a tour of Aussie land before they kicked the bucket. Fair enough.
On reflection, Bondi is no Coco cabaña. We didn’t feel the urge to dip our toes in the water or determine to return again. Maybe if younger, I would be of a different opinion, but I am not so sure.
After a quite satisfying Aussie sized lunch we slowly ambled our way to the promontory on the right of the bay. A much more interesting walk, passing along a cliff walkway that had been sculpted into weird shapes by the elements. There was the obligatory stops for Sue to read the many information boards along our way. By far the most interesting one being a description of the rescue of 250 surfers in a 1938 surfing competition when a freak wave took them out to sea, 5 died. The Great Whites missed an opportunity there Bluey!
We returned to the central bay shops and Sue bought the usual postcard before boarding the bus back to Bondi Junction and then a train to Central.
We spent a couple of ours relaxing in our room before setting off to the Lyric Theatre near Darling Harbour later in the afternoon.
We had a meal in one of the many restaurants surrounding the theatre before taking our seats to watch a performance of the musical Martilda. We had great seats in the centre stalls, a perfect view of an astounding musical. ‘Easily the stand-out musical of the decade’, according to the Sunday times. The Royal Shakespeare Company were the performing artists and they produced a wonderful evenings entertainment.
Returning to the hotel we had a little hiccup in the lift on the ascent to our floor. It became a descent into the basement. No matter what we did with our room cards (which activated the lift) it would not respond. In desperation we attempted to walk the three car parking floors back to ground level but were halted by shutter doors at ground level. Returning to the lifts we again tried all combinations of cards and floor numbers to no avail. Luckily, eventually some one called the lift to the lobby when we were inside it. Protesting to reception that the cards did not work just resulted in scepticism, which disappeared when they tried the cards themselves and they failed to operate. Apologising, we received new cards and made our way to the room for coffee and bed.