A Night at the Opera (Early)

Weekend Catch-up

Dani’s choice first, this weekend (just passed), and he wanted to got to Sea Life in the city centre. Darling Harbour to be precise.

From my point of view it was no better than the Aquarium we visited with Dani’s nana in Ellesmere Port of all places! It was OK in the end. It kind of got better the more areas we passed through.The best thing about it was the penguin area where they had artificial snow. It was cold but worth seeing.

The main thing was that Dani thought it was “awesome”. Everything now is either “awesome” or “sick”. He is picking up the local slang with an accent to go with it.

Then to the Opera… sort of.

Following that Dani’s mum had the bright idea of going to the Opera House (yes that funny shaped building again!) for a bite to eat and a drink. We took the ferry around the headland under the bridge and of course it presented that photo opportunity once again. In the space of just over 24 hours I was snapping that architectural “icon” yet again. OK; let me make this clear. I will not be doing that tourist thing again any time soon.

Under that Bridge (again)
Another “iconic” shot…

When we got there it was packed. Suddenly food didn’t seem a good idea as there was nowhere to sit. We just ordered a drink. Then Dani turned into Mr. Miserable. He was hungry. It’s that thing kids do. A bit like a diabetic when their blood sugar level drops dramatically, all of a sudden, and they just need a little biscuit or something. We didn’t know it at the time but in less than half an hour it would have emptied. So, after rushing our drinks we left the scene quickly, passing a shop where we bought him a packet of crisps. As soon as he started eating them, he changed back into Dr. Jeckyll. No idea where Mr. Hyde had gone but I didn’t miss him one bit – the grumpy git!

Dr. Jekyll arrives at the Opera
Then starts to turn into…
Mr. Hyde…
This kid is hungry. Can’t you tell?

Now he was calm again we nipped into a pub for a more relaxed beverage. Then the skies emptied. Then we jumped on a bus back home.

Spanish invasion of Clontarf beach….

The weather has been very changeable lately so planning a day out in the open is not easy. Still, as it is the weekend, we definitely need to get out and about and explore new areas of the city at the very least. Sunday, Dani’s mum had organised a meeting with a load of Spanish ex-pats.

The meeting was organised by a group called ALCE (which stands for La Agrupación de Lengua y Cultura Españolas – Spanish Language and Culture Group) and backed by the Spanish embassy here in Australia. The ALCE lot organise Spanish reading/writing classes for the children of ex-pats who are now obviously going to English-speaking schools. Dani’s mum wanted to try and get him enrolled and find out where the nearest classes were to where we live. It turns out that they are not taking anyone till next school year. A lucky escape for Dani eh? I am not sure he was too keen on the idea of “Spanish school” on top of normal school.

ALCE advertised their presence

Not to worry. Dani’s mum met up with an old colleague from years ago and at least made contact with the right people. At least we are now kind of ‘in the loop’. Everyone brought some food along so it was like a picnic in the park, alongside Clontarf beach. There were even serviettes! Blimey, that’s a kind of toilet paper! Rarer than gold-dust these days.

Clontarf Beach

Clontarf beach is in a nice little bay sheltered from the ocean waves so very safe for the kids etc. There are many such beaches in the huge scattered geography of Sydney Harbour. It isn’t all about surfing. Some lovely boats moored up I have to say. I wonder where these people get their money?

Up a gum tree with his new mate Mateo

Mateo was born in Sydney so although both parents are Spanish, he is a genuine Aussie kid.

Quick tour in the area

On our way home – much to Dani’s annoyance – we drove around the immediate area. There are some great properties. My immediate thought was that this North Shore side looks a little more spaced out (not in the druggy kind of way) than the Eastern Suburbs area we live in.

We somehow managed to get Dani to have a walk around a piece of National Park called Dobroyd Head. This is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park area so would (probably) hardly have changed since the ‘first fleet’ arrived in 1788.

Dani looking out to the mouth of Sydney Harbour towards the Pacific Ocean.

Over the Bridge by Car

I had taken the train and walked across the Harbour Bridge. Now we drove across it. No T-shirt to collect on the other side though. No, just a wrong turn. Or rather, we missed our lane. We managed to get back easily enough though even if it was right through the CBD centre. Good old Google Maps eh. That said I am now getting my bearings around these parts…

Tired, hungry and in need of a shower. Enough for one weekend.

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