Despite our busy day on Monday, most of us actually got up relatively early on Tuesday, and after breakfast, we headed off to the trainstation to take the train in to Sydney City. I figured that I couldn't be in Sydney without seeing the Opera House (designed by a Dane!) and Anne and her family happily obliged me :)
Doesn't she just look like an adorable imp?! :)
I was ridiculously excited to see the Opera House! I mean, I'd been to see it in 1991, but yet it felt an absolute MUST to walk past again - even if I did just want to walk up to it, take a photo and walk off again ;) I did discover that while it looks terrific from some angles - it's really, really ugly from others! At least IMHO.
Back when I started planning this trip, and started considering going to Sydney for a couple of days, I asked Lars if he'd be okay with me staying away for a bit longer, so I could fit it all in. "Of course! But then you HAVE to go and take a photo of Nemo by the Opera House." ;-)
Proof that Anne and I were together at last!
We took the ferry across the harbour to Manly and had a lovely lunch of fish 'n' chips on the beach... even if we were accosted by some of the most fearless and cheeky seagulls I've ever encountered! Truely "rats with wings". No exaggeration, we had to be constantly on the watch to scare them away, or they'd come sit on our heads trying to steal our food! Mike had one land on him before we figured that one out! (I'd have squealed if that had happened to me, so I was very impressed that he didn't!) Once Mike and Giana finished their lunch they started running around to scare off the birds so the rest of us could finish our meal in peace. It mostly worked... except when they got carried away and ran so far away from the table, that they actually scared the seagulls back to us again ;)
Once back in Sydney harbour, and refreshened by a delicious ice cream (authentic unauthentic Danish ice cream. The chain is called "Royal Copenhagen", much to my amusement, since that's the name of our most expensive china brand!) we walked to the Queen Victoria Building for a quick look-around there. It's a gorgeous looking building, but the most fascinating thing of all was this letter that was displayed:
In case it's too small for the writing to be legible, it says:
To the Rt. Hon, the LORD MAYOR of SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085AD would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of SYDNEY my message to them.
I can assure you, it gave me a right thrill to read this! It was presented to Sydney in 1986 and nobody knows what is written! Okay, first of all, not a thing I would expect from Queen Elizabeth II!!! It seems almost too frivolous to be something she would do. Secondly, I'm insanely curious now! And chances are very small that I'll be alive to experience the reading of it. But absolutely fascinating. Such "scope for imagination" to quote our dear Anne.
That evening, Anne and Ian took me out for dinner at a local restaurant called "King Henry's Court". What a delightful, quaint place that was! It's located in an old church, and the restaurant itself is one giant giftshop, as it's filled with nicknacks of all possible imaginable and unimaginable sorts on all the walls - and everything's for sale! it would have been a very, very, VERY dangerous place for me indeed, if I'd lived any closer, because I found so many things I'd like! Too inconvenient to take with me in the suitcase though, which was probably just as well.
Dinner was very, very yummy, and the atmosphere terrific. I'm so glad I got to experience it :) But Giana completely stole my heart that night. I had to excuse myself briefly before the food arrived, and when I came back, she was sitting on Anne's lap, obviously in distress. "She just realized you were leaving tomorrow," Anne explained. How can a girl not melt when she hears that?! I gave her a huge hug, and sat with her snuggled up to me for most of the rest of the night.
Back home we sat down for a couple of games - both lingustic type games, which I can ensure you was rather interesting in a foreign language! I know my English is above average for a Dane, but my vocabulary is still limited when it comes to botanic words, and there are still times where the Danish words would jump out more readily than the English, so we had lots of fun playing with me occasionally shouting out some Danish word or the other, and Anne asking, "Oh, is that what [whatever] is called in Danish?". And Giana blew me away completely when she was able to give a proper description of Isle of Man - flag and everything! I certainly couldn't have done that at that age! Great fun! :)