Sydney: Part 2

Our Friday morning started super slow – we were all so hooked on the jigsaw puzzle that we barely made it out of the house 🙂 Finally we did get on a bus to Circular Quay and went into Customs House, where you can walk on a glass floor under which you can see a model of Sydney. We then explored The Rocks, a historic area of the city centre. There we visited the Discovery Museum, which was really interesting.

On Saturday, we got on the bus quite early in the morning, as the weather forecast predicted 38 °C. We walked the Harbour Bridge and had a great view of the harbour and the Opera House.

Sydney Opera House

It was getting really hot, so we needed a break and felt to have earned our breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks!

Breakfast at “Pancakes on the Rocks”

We then continued walking along the harbour; along Barangaroo towards Darling Harbour. There we took the ferry back to Circular Quay. It was such a lovely day, Marcel and I learned quite a lot about Sydney, and it was so great to have our „personal guides“ with us.

Taronga Zoo

Given the thunderstorm on Saturday evening, it had cooled down so it seemed to be the perfect day for visiting the Zoo. When we were about to get started in the morning, it was raining a bit. Typical Gummersbach-type of minor drizzle, so Marcel and I didn’t flinch. But it was quite funny, given that Paul had told us the day before: “Australians don’t do rain.” 😀 Well, with some German influence, they actually do (well, at least “drizzle”).

Lee and I went grocery shopping (supermarkets are open 7 days a week in Australia), so we prepared some bread rolls for our day trip. Our first destination was the seal show where we sat down in the “splash zone”. Funnily enough, Marcel and I initially preferred a seat in a back row, but Paul persuaded us with a simple “Be Australian – come down here!” 😀 The show was really great and we learned a lot about the seals and also how they are trained.

The keepers also talked about environmental impact of our choices and encouraged to buy products that are certified (e.g., MSC certified sustainable sea food). I really appreciated the Zoo’s consistency given that for example the coffee that was on offer was also fair trade.

When we left the seal show, we went straight to the elephants where a keeper was just giving her talk. We listened to the last part and then went to the gorillas. First there seemed to be nobody at home, but then I saw a keeper in one corner, throwing food. And then the gorillas came…

We explored the Australian animal section a bit and then it was time for the bird show. To be honest: Marcel and I are usually no big fans of the birds section in a zoo. But Leanna had seen the bird show before and said, it quite good actually. And it was… There were no nets above our heads, which I found surprising. The owls were flying quite close above the heads of the audience and it was quite fun with all the  “Woooaaaah!” and “Wooooow!” around us. You can hear it quite well in the short video clip, when the vulture is coming from behind. I was suprised how big it was.

After the show, we went back to the Australian section, saw quite active koalas (they sleep 20 hours a day), and both Rocky and Skippy met some distant family members 😀

Rocky and a distant cousin
Skippy meeting some family members

We learned that there are kangaroos that can climb trees (tree-kangaroos), and we saw also a rock-wallaby which we haven’t heard of before. It was a fantastic day, which ended with a great dinner at the Thai place close to the Woods’ apartment, packing our backpacks, and having another shot at the puzzle.

Best hosts EVER

It has been so much fun to be here with the Woods. We couldn’t have imagined having a better time in Sydney and we enjoyed every bit of it. From a guided car tour, to walking through the city and enjoying Thai food at the place around the corner, playing „Kids know best“ (and learning a ton of stuff), the many great conversations, and yes – becoming addicted to jigsaw puzzles. Who would have thought that this is sooo much fun?!

Playing games with a soon-to-be seven year old can be really funny, too. Some words of wisdom by the Dalai Hugo are worth repeating here. When discussing the color of the token in the board game “Kids know best”, Marcel got told:

It doesn’t matter which color you have; it’s about you being smart.

We were playing not really competitively and Leanna said to Hugo, that it is not about who wins or looses, but about how you play the game. Hugo disagreed:

NO! It’s about having fun.

And goodness, did we have fun!

Dear Lee, Paul, and Hugo: Thanks a million for inviting us to your home this week, for taking so much of your time showing us around your beautiful city, helping us sorting out some administrative stuff, and – oh my gosh – thanks a lot for even doing our laundry. Thank you for everything! We are looking forward to meeting you again in March!

New South Wales, Rocky, Skippy, Sydney, Taronga Zoo
Sydney: Part 1
Welcome to Tasmania

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