Thursday – Christmas Eve
On Thursday we flew from Adelaide back to Sydney. Considering it was Christmas Eve I have to say that this was one of the most stress free flights I’ve had lately. Speedy check in, a quick zip through security, and then a smooth trip over to Sydney. We checked in at our hotel then set out to explore a bit. I got my first glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, then it was on to Darling Harbour for dinner and fireworks. Christmas Eve dinner in my family is traditionally fish. This year, we took seafood to a whole new extreme! We shared a platter of chilli lobster, cold prawns, oysters, a blue swimmer crab, fried fish, smoked salmon, some salt and pepper prawns and calamari. Between three of us we were not able to finish all of this, although we did give it a good try! Just after we finished chowing down the Christmas Eve fireworks went off in Darling Harbour.
Friday – Christmas Day
I was up early on Christmas Day and raring to run. I plotted out a route that would take me past a lot of the important sights around Sydney. I left my hotel in Darling Harbour and ran north along Kent Street towards Millers Point. It was probably about 7 am and navigating the street north through town things were pretty deserted. Until I happened upon two gentlemen collecting bottles…or something…on the street. One guy was bending over and was clearly oblivious to the fact that his shorts has completely fallen below his rear end. Ahem, just a wee bit more than I was bargaining for that morning!! Soon I was right below the Harbour Bridge though, with the Opera House in my sights! As I passed the train station a group of cyclists were out for Christmas morning ride. Not a bad idea for Christmas morning if you ask me! After running around the Opera House I passed into the Botanical Gardens for a bit. Next time I’d definitely like to run around here a bit more. I ran down Macquarie Street for a bit, past the Parliament buildings, Sydney Mint and Hyde Park Barracks.
And after that it was time to head back to the hotel. Maybe just over four miles later? Later in the evening we did the quintessential thing to do in Sydney on Christmas and we headed over to Bondi Beach. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t that fantastic though as the remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Laurence rolled into town… Believe it or not, there are actually people swimming in the water behind me!
Saturday – Boxing Day
Time for something new – I needed to hit up a pool! I probably haven’t swum in almost a month?? I headed off to the Cook + Phillip Park Aquatic Centre early in the morning, a 50 metre underground pool right in downtown. Thanks to it being a YMCA facility I even managed to get in for free with my Calgary membership! They had eight lanes open for swimming – slow, medium and fast, and freestyle only and other strokes. I had a bunch of workout cards with me, but they mostly depended on using a 25 metre pool, plus various pull buoys and kick boards. I decided to ignore the swim cards and just swim. The best thing about a 50 metre pool is that you may be sharing a lane with two or three other people but you feel like you are the only one there. I just put my head down and swam for almost an hour. Boy, it felt good to be back in the water!
One thing that I noticed – men here don’t wear your typical jammer style swimsuits. They tend to favour budgie smugglers instead… And with that, it was time to leave Sydney!! We are in the Hunter Valley for a few days, then back to Sydney in time for New Years. I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas!