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Sydney Rocks

December 7, 2012

After experiencing the daylight robbery of hotels in Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, I have found a hotel that does not rip you off for internet services in Australia. Stand up the excellent Shangri La in Sydney.  Situated in the Rocks area and spectacularly overlooking the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I reckon I can do all my sightseeing from my room or from the 36th floor bar and restaurant.

Arriving last evening from Ayers Rock, we just had time for a recce with old pal Larry Smith who took us to several Australian bars as a kind of initiation ceremony, but exhausted after getting up at 3.30 am for the tour up the “dull rock” as Rachael “Lady In Waiting” Surtees describes Uluru, or Ayers Rock, we retired to bed reasonably early. 11.30 is reasonable, right? When I told Larry I had been to Adelaide he said it was full of churches and child molesters, which seems a little harsh. I think the Australians resent the fact that Adelaide was settled rather than having the reputation of a former penal colony like much of the country.

Opera House Sydney

Sydney opera House

You have to do the sightseeing favourites when in Sydney, so, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (pictured today) have to be visited, and were, and the Manly Ferry has to be experienced, as does the pretty seaside town of Manly with its surfing beach. Lunch was taken at The Pantry on the edge of the sea and was quite lovely, unlike the weather which is a trifle cloudy and not very warm, a recipe to induce less than happy-bunny behaviour from that Nice Lady Decorator. To be fair, I had promised her warm sunshine and so far, we have not had as much as I had hoped, and of course, it is all my fault. As I write I am conjuring up the sun gods for tomorrow.

Last evening we took to The Australian Pub in the Rocks area, close to our hotel for a warm up before meeting up with a number of South Of France renegades in the form of Joe, and child bride Debs, Chadwick and the aforementioned Mr Smith and the lovely Marika at a Thai restaurant, much vaunted in Sydney; The Sailor. The Reverend Jeff will no doubt be expecting me to make jokes about sailors being Thaied to masts and the like, but nothing could be further from the truth. Both couples once resided close to Valbonne and so the opportunity to meet up with them in their home town was too much to miss. Joe was born in Yorkshire before moving to australai when he was young, but he retains those Yoorkshire characteristics so there was no chance of his paying, but that did not stop me suggesting that if he were ever to visit me in England then I would be happy to buy dinner for him. I do like a bit of pressure, but that Yorkshire skin is thick. I knew they would be long-term friends when we first met them at a Mougins School barbecue up in the hills above Chateauneuf de Grasse. Debs was carrying an open bottle of champagne and offering a glass to anyone she met. She is my kind of girl.

Despite a hectic schedule in Sydney over the next few days, we will endeavour to make room for some beach time, before the prospect of returning to cold and wet Britain hoves into view in a few days time. having said that, that, we have been witnessing bizarre sights of Christmas parties taking place over here, with reindeer hats, tinsel and Christmas trees, which is all very bizarre with the temperature in the 20’s centigrade. Perhaps it will be good to be in England for Christmas.

Chris France


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    December 7, 2012 1:43 pm

    Just seen yesterday’s blog and have two comments to make. The bird in the photograph did indeed look extremely exotic and if you will eat temporary shelters instead of proper food before climbing Ayers Rock you’ll get no sympathy from me !!


  2. Susan Purple permalink
    December 7, 2012 3:29 pm

    Sounds like u r having a ball…albeit expensive..loved the photo of izzy…she must be mad ..I once had a cucktoo try to bite my nose off….anyway just wanted to say looking forward to buying yr book ….spelling mistakes and all…must be that mougins school education or too much rose…I know the feeling.. Keep up the writing u r hilarious

    Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 06:01:25 +0000 To:


  3. December 11, 2012 2:58 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about >Sydney Rocks Chris France’s Blog <Loved it!


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