Another early breakfast, this time because we were scheduled to leave the ship at 8.15am. We had woken at 6.30, showered, dressed and in the Windjammer for 7.10am. Our suitcases had been taken from the corridor sometime during the night and stored down below.
We met Steve and Ellie in the Promenade and we gave them our Opal cards as they still had cash on them and they were staying in a Sydney hotel over night and were hoping to go to Bondi Beach. We chatted with them for awhile over coffees in the cafe before finding a seat in one of the lounges and waited for our number to be called. Our flight wasn’t until the late afternoon so I had booked a trip out to Manly Beach and then a transfer to the airport.
We were called early, proceeded to disembark, picked up our luggage in the Terminal and then found the coach that was taking us to Manly. All went very smoothly. There was only 14 other cruisers who had opted to do this so we could all spread out and have a window seat. We were surprised to find that we had a guide with us and would be stopping off at various locations around the city to take photos. Sydney is a beautiful city (the bits we saw) and you soon discover that the Aussies are truly proud of it.
We had just less than an hour to spend in Manly, named after Captain Cook landed there and described the natives there as being confident and manly. We took the opportunity to do a spot of shopping before exploring the beach. In my opinion a much better beach than its more famous neighbour in Bondi. Prettier and a better variety of shops. Not surprising that its beach has been used in a well known Aussie soap.
On our return to the city we had one last photo stop which gave us splendid views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and our cruise ship, soon to depart again, without us.
We were the first drop off on the coach at the International Airport Terminal and had plenty of time to work our way through check-in and passport control. The airport was relatively quiet and we were through to departures in record time. While Sue did a spot of shopping I sat in a bar and added to this blog.
The flight from Sydney to Hong Kong left on time took 8 hours and 40 mins and arrived 15 mins early. We had a 2 hour transit before catching the 12 hour 45 mins flight to Heathrow, it again arrived 15 mins early. Not much to say about the journey other than in Hong Kong we disembarked at Gate 60 and had to walk to Gate 1 to catch our onward flight. Conveniently there were several conveyor walkways on route as I gauge the distance to be about a mile. Lucky we didn’t arrive at Gate 80!
As we left the Arrivals Hall the bus was in to take us to the car so we were soon on the M25 heading north. Luckily we spotted motorway info’ signs notifying that the M1 was shut and managed to divert onto the M40 before we passed its junction. We were home just before 8am.