Sydney in the Water and in the Air

by Petra Bucheli

Sunday 18th September - Thursday 6th October, 2016

Sydney is located at the Jackson Harbour, a nature harbour in the form of a fjord with many arms. So if you want to experience Sydney, you do not get around a boat trip. On September 20th Konrad took a day off. He compensated like that a weekend work day. We booked a reasonably cheap whale watching tour. More than five years ago I swore that I will do something like this again due to my sea sickness. But here there should be humpback whales just a bit off-shore on the way south.

As I have seen many nice pictures of jumping humpbacks, I wanted to see that live. They are the only big whales jumping. With the drugs prepared we went out to the sea. Quite fast we found two whales and followed them for about two hours. Already at the start Jann was weeping, maybe due to the remedy against sea sickness. Still Jann and I were both sick and sat at the very back of the ship and looked at the whales from there. They were only swimming, rarely the showed their tail fin before diving again. At least I got a good picture with such a tail fin in front of the Sydney skyline. It is still written in the starts whether I do something like that again.

Next Sunday we met Yin, a friend from our last stay in Sydney. Together we made a trip with the ferry to Paramatta which is located at the very end of the fjord a bit up the Paramatta River. Paramatta is growing very fast at the moment according to the many construction sites. But it is still much more relaxed than Sydney, which is very busy. After the mandatory visit to the playground we went for lunch. We found a restaurant which even offered gluten free pizza and still they were very nice. Jann and Kiara got balloons formed to animals. Because of that Jann now wants to go again to Paramatta.

In Sydney ferries are a common public transport. We went with it to the zoo as it is the shortest way to get there. Jann wanted to see lions and tigers. He got disappointed as there are no lions and the tigers moved out as they get a new compound. We have seen about half of the zoo. We plan further visits and thus I bought an annual pass. So we can go whenever we like. In the afternoon Jann and I saw a cool show with seals. Kiara missed it as she was sleeping in the pram. She does her afternoon nap usually therein. Like that we still can do something and do not need to care too much about her sleep.

We also went to Manly with the ferry. This is another part of Sydney. Manly borders on one side to the harbour and on the other side is the open ocean. It takes a ten minute walk to get there. But first we went to the aquarium at the harbour. There are much less visitors than in downtown Sydney. And it is not always suitable for the pram, but Kiara anyway wants now to walk more and more and to discover the world on her own feet. She liked very much the little penguins. At the end of the aquarium there is a indoor playground which is for kids with 3 years of age or above. Jann liked it and wants to go there again. Kiara did not like it and could not go inside and there was no other opportunity for her to play. Often she wants to do the same as Jann. Finally I wanted to walk to the Pacific, but we met another play ground. But here Kiara could also climb and slide. Finally we made it to the other side and enjoyed the afternoon break with view to the open sea. After we had to go back, as the way back home takes an hour.

Beside the excursions we meet sometimes with the workmates of Konrad for a barbecue. Jann likes it, he enjoys the corn cobs. He now eats them always with the corn cob sticks and asks when do we go to Queen Street next time. There is the house with the shared flat of the company and the barbecue meeting point.

So far we were a lot at and on the water, but now lets get to the air. At the beginning of September I have been to the Botanical Garden and I promised Jann that we will see many flying dogs. We did not find one. Everyone who has been to Sydney knows that they are not that difficult to find. They should hang in the trees next to the visitor centre and the toilets. Konrad did laughed at me and said, I should look better into the trees next time. At the beginning of October we made another excursion to the Botanical Garden, this time with Konrad. Now he had the lead in the mission "searching the flying dogs". There were no animals. In such moments you nowadays simply can take the smartphone and check the Internet about the state of the flying dogs of the Botanical Garden. Last year they were moved out. OK! Jann could not understand that and was heavily disappointed. I promised him that will to go to search them in the Centennial Park next week.

On Tuesday I fulfilled the promise. I knew more or less where the flying dogs should be during the day. Indeed we found hundreds of them. Most of them were sleeping, but a few were already flying on noon. We want to go another time in the evening to see them fly.