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ellie1145

Come sail with me on a virtual cruise on Majestic Princess to Fiji!

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55 minutes ago, winifred said:

Great pictures, although scary close ups of the reptiles! Eek! I love this virtual trip so looking forward to the cruise ( always my favourite). 

 

Won’t be long Winifred, one more day, and a busy day it’s going to be, so rest up!

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48 minutes ago, Roger88 said:

Thank you for the pictures my friend. I honestly felt like being in a zoo. My son saw me looking through your pic and called my wife to see them altogether. We like gathered at the monitor. Very nice pics indeed. My wife and family as whole say a very big thanks to you! Keep posting such wonderful photos in the future! 

 

Thank you so much Roger 88. That makes it all worthwhile, so glad your family enjoyed the photos. 

 

Hope you will enjoy the Fiji ones as much. Can’t wait to revisit them and post them. 

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We finish our snack and retrace our steps,

passing a few of the animals on the way.DBCE510B-718D-4BBE-AD85-49795164E88A.thumb.jpeg.c6b67628d68b7f5240c1521fd0d39353.jpeg

 

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There is a gift shop but unfortunately we don’t have time to explore it. The coach is waiting, and so is our Duracell bunny, Kat.

 

Back on the coach and we start our journey back towards Sydney.

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Posted (edited)

River Cruise

 

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Our time at the wildlife park is over, but we still have one more treat in store, a river cruise back to Sydney.

 

Kat takes a bit of a detour and shows us the Olympic Park, an area which was developed for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. After the Olympics it underwent a large amount of redevelopment, so that it could offer sporting facilities, and musical and cultural events. There are now commercial developments alongside a 5 star hotel and a 2 star hotel, as well as an urban park along the Parramatta River.

 

It is near here that we will pick up the final part of today's tour, a river cruise down the Parramatta River to Circular Quay in Sydney.

 

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We arrive at the dock and say our goodbyes to Kat. She's been a great tour guide and has made this trip so special. 

 

She waves us goodbye and gives us each a little koala, and a voucher for a discount off another tour. She's been simply amazing and has enabled us to see so much of this beautiful area of Sydney.

 

Edited by ellie1145

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Posted (edited)

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We stand in line and wait for our boat to arrive. A ferry arrives but it's not ours. 

 

But then we see a boat approaching, it's a catamaran, and we manage to find seats out the back with a great view.

 

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Edited by ellie1145

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Great pictures (well except for the snakes) and another great trip down memory lane!  We stopped at Featherdale on the way back from the Blue Mountains when we were there in 2006.  Wow has it changed.  It was a smaller place and I don't recall getting charged for a picture with a koala.  Plus we remembered walking among kangaroo and Kookaburra.  The latter landed next to my husband while he was sitting on a bench and started laughing.  We laughed too.

 

We also saw the fairy penguins at Phillip Island near Melbourne on that same trip.  I don't know if it's the same now but you would walk out to a platform at night and watch as they all come back to shore after feeding in the ocean all day.  Very entertaining but sadly no pictures were allowed there.

 

Can't wait for your next adventure.

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1 minute ago, azbirdmom said:

Great pictures (well except for the snakes) and another great trip down memory lane!  We stopped at Featherdale on the way back from the Blue Mountains when we were there in 2006.  Wow has it changed.  It was a smaller place and I don't recall getting charged for a picture with a koala.  Plus we remembered walking among kangaroo and Kookaburra.  The latter landed next to my husband while he was sitting on a bench and started laughing.  We laughed too.

 

We also saw the fairy penguins at Phillip Island near Melbourne on that same trip.  I don't know if it's the same now but you would walk out to a platform at night and watch as they all come back to shore after feeding in the ocean all day.  Very entertaining but sadly no pictures were allowed there.

 

Can't wait for your next adventure.

 

'Our' adventure, azbirdmom! 😉

 

Am  so pleased you enjoyed your trip down memory lane. It really is a lovely place, and one I'd love to revisit, maybe with a little more time there. 

 

I loved the little penguins, fancy seeing them in their natural habitat. What a memory.

 

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You are an excellent storyteller. I can’t wait to read your posts everyday.

 

in this time when there is so much bad news, it is a real escape to read about your travels.

 

Thanks for all of the effort you put into it.

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7 hours ago, PaulS said:

You are an excellent storyteller. I can’t wait to read your posts everyday.

 

in this time when there is so much bad news, it is a real escape to read about your travels.

 

Thanks for all of the effort you put into it.


Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I’m a bit shocked, to be honest, that so many people have actually read it....
 

In actual fact it’s been a bit of a lifesaver for me as it’s given me a purpose, something to get up for.

 

We have been so lucky to have experienced this journey, but as to the future, who knows, and at the moment I cannot even guess how cruising is going to be. It’s going to be a rough ride for the cruise industry. I just hope they will survive, and that one day we will be able to sit on our balcony and watch the sea again. 

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Posted (edited)

Sit back and relax, and enjoy a lovely sunset cruise..

 

We have managed to secure seats on the open deck at the back of the catamaran, and our lunchtime companions come and sit with us. In between taking photos we chat.

 

We have a fantastic view, and I am able to get up and take photos of our journey. 

 

We are excited to approach Sydney from a different angle, and to actually sail right under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

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Edited by ellie1145

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We pass some beautiful houses and apartment blocks on the banks of the Parramatta River. I guess you would need to win the lottery to be able to afford one.

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Our first glimpse of Sydney Harbour Bridge, way off in the distance.

 

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We can see the skyline of Sydney ahead, with the tower in view.

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The sun is setting, but the harbour is still very busy, with many ferries.

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An ever changing sky as the sun dips lower.

How amazing it must be to live in one of these properties, right on the banks of the river.

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The skies are busy too, as 'planes make their way to Sydney airport.

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I guess that's one way to get up the river! These ladies are rowing fast and pass us at speed.

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The tower at Westfield

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Wow, look at those houses, which one would I choose?

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Posted (edited)

Sydney Harbour Bridge 

 

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We see the Luna Park funfair in the distance.

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Luna Park first opened in 1935, and featured ‘fantasy architecture’ in the Art Deco style.  The first Luna Park actually opened on Coney Island, New York in 1903. The park closed in 1979 after a fatal fire on its Ghost Train, which, tragically, killed six children and one adult.

 

Since then, the Amusement Park has had a chequered history, opening and then closing several times.

 

In 1994 many of the historic buildings were restored, and new rides and a roller coaster were built, as well as a boardwalk. Local residents complained about the noise from the Big Dipper ride and its opening hours were reduced. Once again it closed in 1996, and the roller coaster was sold to Dreamworld in Queensland.

 

In 1999 the NSW Government grant a 40 year lease to operate the park. 

 

After a total refurbishment of the buildings and more construction the park opened, once again in 2004. It now has a new 2000 seat Big Top Auditorium.

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You cannot fail to notice the giant iconic face at the entrance to the funfair. The face is located between two towers, and guests enter through its gaping mouth. The face has changed and evolved over the years, but it remains the iconic symbol of the park.

 

In 2010 this historic park was listed on the NSW Heritage Register.

 

Unfortunately we don’t have time to visit this iconic park, but maybe one day......

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Edited by ellie1145

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The catamaran docks and we all get off. It’s been a fantastic day, but we are exhausted.

 

We walk though the dock and take the easy option for food - McDonalds - and sit outside to eat.

 

Of course, AF-1 has already saved us a seat......

 

We walk back to the hotel, a short distance away, and after a refreshing cup of tea it’s time for a bath and bed.

 

We must be up early in the morning, for our trip to Parramatta, so we look forward to seeing you all, bright eyed and bushy tailed for our next adventure! 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thursday, October 17th

🎶   ’Tomorrow we’ll discover

        What our God in Heaven has in store

        One more dawn

        One more day

        One day more!’  🎶

 

(Prize awaits the person who can identify that song...)

 

Good morning, all you Cruising Adventurers. Well, as the song says, we have just one more day until we all board the beautiful Majestic Princess, and I’m sure, like me, you are getting excited!

 

But first, we are going on a trip to Parramatta, to see a wonderful historic house, and then back to explore Sydney a bit more.

 

So hold off on the packing, we’ve a lot to do today.

 

 

We’re awake nice and early and get ready for our next adventure. It’s a beautiful sunny day and we can’t wait to get started so we skip breakfast.

 

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Before we leave I step onto our balcony and look across at the cruise terminal. It’s empty, but tomorrow I should be able to see the prow of Majestic Princess, as this is where she will dock.

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In the UK, we belong to the National Trust, a wonderful organisation which maintains many historic properties and areas of beautiful countryside. It is Europe’s largest conservation charity, and it does extraordinary work ensuring that these magnificent houses and parks are saved for future generations to enjoy.

 

One of the bonuses of belonging to this organisation is that it offers free entry to other historic houses across the world. Before we left the UK I was able to do some research and discovered that there was a historic house we could visit in nearby Parramatta, the Old Government House.

 

 

We take the short walk from our hotel down to the station at Circular Quay, and en route we stop at a pastie stall and buy pasties for our breakfast, which are hot and quite delicious. We nibble on them as we wait for the train.

 

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We have already investigated the train service to Parramatta, on our way back from the boat trip last night, so we know which platform we need, so we climb the stairs and make our way onto the platform, having swiped our debit cards at the barrier. The train arrives quickly and we board it.

 

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The train is a double decker, something unknown in the UK. It’s really quite exciting to be using public transport, and it feels quite safe. We climb up to the upper level and find seats with a great view out. We have to change trains in order to pick up the faster service, but the second train comes quickly.

 

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The trains are very clean, and comfortable with good views out of the window.

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The journey is fascinating as we see the rest of Sydney and its suburbs. The journey takes about an hour and is very comfortable.

 

Edited by ellie1145

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The Kind Ladies of Parramatta

 

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The steps leading out of the station.

 

We reach Parramatta and try to get Mr Google to tell us the way to the Old Government House, but he just won’t cooperate, and we stand outside the station looking puzzled, and like lost souls. 

 

DH’s phone just won’t load directions, so we are obviously looking lost when we see two young ladies with a pram and a baby in it, and ask if they know the way to the Old Government House.

 

These two ladies prove to be our guardian angels as they immediately offer to take us there. We are astonished at such kindness, but they insist and so we follow them down the road.

 

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On the way we chat to the two ladies who are so friendly, and typical of the lovely Australians we have met previously.

 

It’s quite a long walk, and eventually we arrive at the gates of a beautiful park where our lovely companions take their leave of us. We can’t thank them enough. What great kindness to show to perfect strangers. Makes you realise there is still good in this world.

 

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It’s a gloriously sunny morning and we are feeling a little hungry after all that walking.

 

At the entrance to the park we see the Gatehouse tea room that I’d previously investigated on Trip Advisor, so we make our way over to it, and find a seat outside in the sunshine.

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It’s a gorgeous building, built in 1887, and since 2007, World Heritage Listed by UNESCO. It has a large outdoor area, surrounded by eucalyptus trees, and it is a lovely sunny spot to enjoy our afternoon tea.

 

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We order scones, cream and jam, and a pot of tea and it arrives on beautiful bone china. It’s delicious, and we sit and enjoy the sunshine and can’t believe how lucky we are to be in this wonderful country.

 

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The scones taste home made, and the cream is thick. Delicious!

 

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Hi Ellie,

That sunset cruise yesterday was a delightful way to return to home base. Now I can say I have sailed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as walked on it!  Which house did you choose along the riverfront?

I was a little nervous this morning about skipping breakfast but once we stopped on the way to the train for the warm pastries I felt much better, and of course the tea and scones at the Gatehouse Tea Room hit the spot after the long walk.

Now I can hardly wait to tour  the Old Government House!

The sing is ONE MORE DAY from Les Miz (one of my favourite shows),

 

Gail

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2 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

Hi Ellie,

That sunset cruise yesterday was a delightful way to return to home base. Now I can say I have sailed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as walked on it!  Which house did you choose along the riverfront?

I was a little nervous this morning about skipping breakfast but once we stopped on the way to the train for the warm pastries I felt much better, and of course the tea and scones at the Gatehouse Tea Room hit the spot after the long walk.

Now I can hardly wait to tour  the Old Government House!

The sing is ONE MORE DAY from Les Miz (one of my favourite shows),

 

Gail


Oh Gail! You’ve walked across the bridge! I SO want to do that. Did you take any photos?

 

The pasties were delicious weren’t they... I did notice you eating them on the platform..

 

As for the scones, well I think we are both raring to go now. Nothing like a cuppa and a scone to set you up for the day.

 

Well done, you are the winner! It IS from Les Mis, which happens to be my favourite musical, too, apart from Mama Mia. And your prize?

 

Well, it has to be a super powered, Mini, collapsible, Votex vacuum cleaner, small enough to fit in your handbag, which is winging its way to you via Amazon [the river, of course).

 

Now you, too, Dude, can look like a lady!

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so yes McDonalds it was for you;  yea!.   Next time you travel you can download maps on your phone so you can view your directions offline;  that way when you visit a city you already have the directions downloaded on your phone. Cheers

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9 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

so yes McDonalds it was for you;  yea!.   Next time you travel you can download maps on your phone so you can view your directions offline;  that way when you visit a city you already have the directions downloaded on your phone. Cheers


If only we’d known! We had to ask a policeman where that one was in Sydney....luckily they didn’t throw us to the ground and handcuff us!

 

Thanks for the info!👍🏻

 

 

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Posted (edited)

THE OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE, PARRAMATTA

 

439855A6-AEF8-44A7-BF31-8B60D9690A41.thumb.jpeg.0530a3442f118d722e1c925bef6901d2.jpeg

After our snack it’s time to make our way over to the Old Government House, which we can see in the distance. It’s a beautiful building which dates back to the first governor of Australia and is the oldest surviving public building in Australia.

 

5FA25C49-0B3A-4923-98F6-E50BC84C054D.thumb.jpeg.b322f5d7561103f677969f168eda9521.jpeg

 

It’s an elegant Georgian house which stands in 200 acres of the Parramatta Park, bordered by the Parramatta River. It was built by convicts, and the first ten Governors of Australia used it as their country residence. Conditions in the city were unsanitary and crime was rife at the end of the 18th century, so it seemed a good solution to move further out.

 

164E791E-87C0-466E-9A9F-41B513DE38B4.thumb.jpeg.73e7d753165d481061cbb9bd7ed94ad6.jpeg

 

9C0ECD2F-BE86-486D-A980-5D84462C8BAC.thumb.jpeg.732b96c1f2fb3bfcfc5a96f85edebd55.jpeg
 

We walk past the elegant porticoed entrance and pass through a small gate into a courtyard where we see the National Trust shop.

 

Inside we are warmly greeted by a lady who checks our NT cards and informs us that we will be taken around the house by a lady called Hannah. There is nobody else there, so when the lady arrives we follow her back out into the courtyard where she shows us a set of lockers where we are able to leave our bags.

40EA7BE3-B8B7-4ADF-A548-BE63287C426C.thumb.jpeg.3d73856ee356bac4343a9d20d98196ed.jpeg
 

2469D5E1-30ED-441B-A732-540AD6088D2C.thumb.jpeg.ece09d0b666455161896c42002536fe8.jpeg

 

Hannah walks with us round the back of the house, past a courtyard area where there is a restaurant.

 

3805599B-91C6-412B-A1F5-AFA257A3212F.thumb.jpeg.8ac0d35ce26f73cc33ac7ee6ae994d24.jpeg

 

1504112A-BCA6-41E2-8B8C-6861F4BD7A90.thumb.jpeg.2b23524b963592be2649b3711059a3e8.jpeg

 

374D154D-16C1-48AD-AC7F-A1972A35BD6C.thumb.jpeg.8eba36f1103782a16e064af29c9dbe6b.jpeg

 

020B8B97-5D0E-42A4-8CE0-D21F10E5B31F.thumb.jpeg.2fb09fad682102dc9f9410d721e74ba1.jpeg

 

 

2DB392F5-CE63-4977-B9B4-AA4DDF9DDA90.thumb.jpeg.75d6b2254a9c29f8796c8a2de51cdd52.jpeg

 

 

Edited by ellie1145

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So if this is the Gov't house; when did the govt move to Canberra from Sydney? 

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