Queen Mary 2 – 16 March 2010
Arriving in Sydney harbour is always special and this time we arrived in the afternoon. We were met at the Heads by hundred of small boats and the shoreline was lined with many people – much flag waving from those ashore and those of us on board.
A little more personal and amusing view on our ports in Australia this year as I was being shown around by a born and bred Aussie, Kim, who joined me onboard for a week. He was also more than pleased to answer a variety of questions thrown at him by our CS guests. Dinner in Sydney was to be a surprise. I had been inquiring by email what should I wear would we eat in or out and would there be a view etc. and was told casual, al fresco dining with a fantastic view!
We left the ship for dinner – walking from the navel dockyard – QM2 is too large for the more popular and usual Circular Quay (opposite the famed Opera House) – we exited the dock gates and there was our “dining” venue. The world famoius “Harry’s Cafe de Wheels” – it was in fact a 24 hour corner street caravan (without wheels) selling Aussie meat pies! There was a long line and the sides were covered in photos of President’s and movie stars who had eaten there. My companion bought a “tiger” pie for me an extra fork!
I must say it did have the best view in town as we sat on the sea wall just beneath the bow of Queen Mary 2. Every Australian I spoke to on board seemed to know of it telling me it never closed and was indeed an Oz icon, Following dinner we took a taxi over to Bondi beach which I always enjoy as it has changed so little since my first visit some 30 years ago.
When in town be sure to visit the beautifully restored Queen Victora building for some upmarket stores or just to admire the architecture.
The next evening we dined at Rose Bay overlooking the sea plane base. We started our dinner with other good Aussie friends with 3 dozen creamy Aussie oysters washed down with Tasmanian sparkling wine – both excellent!
Our next port was Adelaide where I highly recommend walking and exploring the pretty old houses (with rose gardens) in the back streets. Here the lunch bought for me was Kangaroo! (Certainly had my fill of Aussie fare) Kangaroo is farmed, as I was told, the wild animals may carry TB.
Finally Freemantle – We took the 30 minute train ride into Perth where we wandered the near empty Sunday morning streets and enjoyed a “flat white” somewhat like a latte in warm sun. Then back to Freemantle in a “sardine” packed carriage – it seemed all of Perth had just awoken and was headed for the beach.
We found a lovely restaurant above the beach “The view” which I highly recommend (no pies or kangaroo,) The crayfish was the sweetest most tender I have ever sampled – the Mojitas weren’t bad either!
Now we are on our way to the tropical island of Mauritius.
More later – Deirdre