It's the Manly ferry, staple ride of every visit to Sydney by every tourist and public transport for the locals. Half hour to the city centre next to the harbour bridge and opera house, on a gloriously sunny day. Sal is making her way over there by bus while we four sit on deck enjoying the view. Someone may or may not stick their tongue out when posing for photos.
This boat ride is always great. I add to my collection of identical pictures taken with slightly better phone cameras, which started in 2006. We're actually only about 2 months away from the 10th anniversary of my first ever visit to Sydney. Back then I thought zooming around the world in business class was a once in a lifetime holiday, yet here I am pretty much once a year. I do feel pretty damn lucky y'know.
Talk of -age words is totally behind us, and replaced by a thorough piss-take of my accent. This starts when I say "photo" and Alex asks why I didn't bother with the letter 't'. I tell her it's because I'm from London and that's how we speak; this is hilarious to her and Harry, and for the rest of the day every dropped T is pointed out. "Uncle Darren, can you take a photo of forty bottles of water?" I might be hamming it up like Danny Dyer but actually maybe I just do sound that uncouth.
Our reason for heading into the city is to experience winter, Australia style. Regular readers of my blog may recall that the 2015 edition of my trip down under involved a proper 2 day excursion up country to where there's real snow and everything. Well, this year we've headed to the Sydney Winter Festival, behind the cathedral and near the museum. It's meant to be like Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland, with a pop up Munich beer hall and ice skating and a toboggan run and other fun stuff.
After a little while spent in a Japanese book store looking at hipster stationery and books in the kids' section that really bloody shouldn't be - like, swastikas on the cover and stuff - we walk to the festival venue. It's fucking awful. Like, hilariously so. OK so the first thing we see isn't really a wintery thing at all, it's a big rubber tube in which kids are meant to run like hamsters to propel it along a long stretch of water. It looks like it might be fun. But beyond that... the ice skating rink is about the size of a postage stamp and crowded as hell. No-one has the room to get up any speed, and anyway the ice is more like crushed snow. The pop-up beer hall looks like a greenhouse in a down at heel gardening centre and the toboggan run is about 8 foot tall and your are plunged into grey slush at the bottom.
Holy frijoles! You what? So there's a waiting list, permanently, for good seats in this bar; we arrived with only one table by the window left and were given it immediately.
Some gig venue over on the right.
Much playing with cameras while drinking as the sun sets over Sydney Harbour bridge. Finally got a decent long exposure light trails pic, plus a fairly cool (but portrait, sorry) time lapse video.
Didn't really like the beer though. Once it was actually dark - which doesn't take long in the winter - we headed downstairs and out into the adjacent pub, named Harts. It's a craft beer place neither of us had ever known about, making a mockery of our claims of area knowledge. They have guest beers for 4th July weekend as well as loads of their own, and aren't afraid to play up to the whole "we're criminals!" thing.