Mendip Hills 2018
zScapes Ramble On

Australia 2019

Australia Coast to Coast
As we spun the wheel for our next extended vacation and 25th anniversary, a wedding in Perth beckoned to us and off we went. A leisurely itinerary was set from Home to Honolulu for 4 days, Honolulu to Sydney for 5 days, Sydney to Perth for 3 days and the wedding, return to Sydney for a day and half, then Honolulu bound for 2 days and finally back at Half Moon Bay. A total of 19,012 air miles.
Sydney
Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia's largest cities, is best known for its harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.

We arrived in Sydney after winding down in Honolulu with friends, lots of beach time and a delightful flight on Hawaiian Airlines. Checked into the Grand Sheraton at Hyde Park, a perfect spot away from the downtown/financial center bustle, yet close enough to all that Sydney has to offer. Hyde Park, Royal Botanical Gardens, Circular Quay, Daring Harbor are just a short walk away with a quick ferry ride to Taronga Zoo.
Blue Mountains
Fortunate for us, I have family in Australia from both my mom and dad's side. Magda and John from the Zborowski clan live in Sydney and were kind enough to take a day out of their schedule to show us the Blue Mountains, about 90 minutes outside of Sydney. What a great day and our thanks to the hospitality they showed us. Unfortunately, the Australia fires that we have heard of so much of were in their infancy as we ran into a few along the way. Magda and John have a mountain cabin in Blackheath that was in the path of fire after we had returned, however, the local volunteer fire force was able to save the day and the fire passed by. Good news!
Perth Wedding
The initial draw to Australia was to attend Tomek's wedding, my cousin who accompanied us on the 2006 Pacific Crest trip with his brother Robert. We arrived a day early to tool around and decided to go on a river wine cruise to catch local sights and sip some local wine. The wedding was about 90 miles south of Perth, fortunately it was straight shot and Betsey kept me on track driving on the other side of the road. A nice time meeting up with the family from my mothers side that we usually see 9000 miles away in London.
Taronga Park
As I am not a fan of zoos, I was a resultant visitor but understand they play a role in education and conservation. This park has a good reputation and I found the facilities, beside the elephant quarters, to be well thought out creating an acceptable environment . Would rather have the critters out living a free life, but they appeared to be well taken care of. Well worth a day to explore this park and the special activities they have during the day. Do not miss the 'Free Flight' show, a wondrous showcase of Australian birds doing what birds do in the wild blue yonder.
Stay tuned for 2020!!!
May our paths & errands meet

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