Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sydney & Rotary International Convention – Sunday – Wednesday - June 1 – 4, 2014

Sunday – Sunday is the first day of the Rotary International Convention. The first event is the opening ceremonies, which because of the number of attendees, 18,000 – 20,000, had 2 sessions of the same ceremonies.  We had tickets for the first performance – it was very nice.  The Australian Prime Minister gave an official welcome, our Rotary President gave a short welcome speech, all of which was followed by a concert performance by “Human Nature”.  The group is composed of 4 Aussies who have performed together for 25 years (since they were in high school).  They currently have been performing in Las Vegas for the past 5 years. The concert was very enjoyable – they were entertainers as you would have to be in Vegas.  As we left the Opening Ceremonies it was on the verge of raining, but it held off until we had eaten our Aussie BBQ – a Brat on a bun.  We spent a little time in the House of Friendship, and it was amazing how many Aussie’s we saw that we learned to know in the past several weeks. Finally we saw some Iowans - our current District Governor and the District Governor-Elect along with their spouses.  We went back into the city with the DGE and spent the evening together, later we met some other Iowans for wine & cheese.  It was great to catch up with everyone and to hear about their experiences. 
The Olympic Torch - Lit for our Convention
Opening Ceremony Location
Rotary International President Ron Burton
Rotary BBQ after the Ceremonies
BBQ - Olympic Stadium in Back Ground

Entering the House of Friendship with all of the Displays

D6000 Friends in ther House of Friendship
 Monday -   We spent a lot of the day sightseeing.  We rode the ferry out to Manly Beach again – this time it was quiet in comparison to last Saturday.  We grabbed a ‘take away’ bite to eat, went out to the beach, sat there, ate, and enjoyed the view – beautiful surfs.  We also walked through Hyde Park and the Botanical Gardens, which included walking the whole way around the harbor and past the Opera House.  Since we had toured the Opera House in 1996, we decided to spend our time doing other things.   Later in the afternoon we took another ferry to Waton’s Bay, stopping at several places along the way.  We were able to enjoy another sunset from Watson’s Bay and on the ferry back to Circular Quay.
Hyde Park

ANZAC Memorial Monument

Water Fountain in Hyde Park

Unusual Australian Plant in Hyde Park

St Mary's Cathedral

Botanical Gardens in Sydney

View from the Gardens

Sydney Opera House

Circular Quay Ferry Dock

Light House at the opening to the Ocean near Manley Beach

Manley Beach

Manley Beach

Surfing on Manley Beach

Sydney Skyline

Opera House, Again

We had booked a dinner cruise for tonight so that we could see all the lights from in the harbour.  We have so many nighttime photos of the beautiful Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the city lights! 
Watson's Bay

Watson's Bay

Doyles Fish & Chips at Watson's Bay

Boy on the Beach - Watson's Bay

Another Beautiful Sunset at Watson's Bay


Darling Harbour at night

Our Dinner Cruise Ship

Dinner on our Cruise ship
Tuesday – We have used all kinds of modes of transportation to get to Olympic Park except the ferry, so today we took the bus to Darling Harbour ferry stop and went up river on the ferry to Olympic Park.  It was a beautiful ride – this is how we were planning to transport when we booked our accommodations, but the ferry stop is under renovation. 
We stayed at Olympic Park until we met our Home Hospitality group at 5:00.  We were transported by bus to a community approximate ½ hour north of the city.  There were 9 Rotarians in the home that hosted us (4 local Rotarians and 5 guests).  We had a wonderful meal of roasted lamb, plus all the trimmings, and lots of wonderful fellowship.  The evening came to an end way too soon, but we had to meet the bus for the return trip to the city.  It was another late night!

Wednesday – We are up, packed and ready for a taxi by 7:15 to take us to the airport.  We flew to Cairns, a city in the State of Queensland, arriving there at 12:30.  It is warm!! We shed our jackets, put on sandals and will enjoy this temperature! We picked up our rental car and off we go again driving on the ‘other’ side of the road.  We are being hosted by the sister of a gal we stayed with in Adelaide.  We have had a wonderful relaxing afternoon and evening - we needed this after Sydney where it was go-go at a fast pace.  Our hostess has a beach front property, with coconut palms swaying in the ocean breezes.  Late this afternoon a guy stopped by to cut down coconuts that he will sell at the market this weekend.  He cut a green one open for us to drink the coconut water – we have experience this in India.

After we left the airport we had a very short distance to our hostess, least than a 10 minute drive, but in reality it is less than 3 minutes from the airport (the way a crow flies) – however we have heard NO airport noise.  I asked the hostess why – it is due to this beach area being parallel to the air traffic pattern, and you do not hear any air traffic whatsoever.  In that short drive from the airport we saw large fields of sugarcane.    
View out our Host's Back Door

The view from the deck is beautiful.  We also walked on the beach at dusk.  It is very shallow for a long way out into the sea.  At this point the water is part of the Great Barrier Reef. Due to the shallow water near the beach the water is sandy looking – out farther it looks blue.  The Pelican’s, who were a long way out in the water, were simply standing on the sand.

Man picking Coconuts from the trees

Cutting the tip off the Coconut Nut

Drinking Coconut Juice

Another Beautiful Sunset

1 comment:

  1. This post was very nice. You really can’t imagine how much I love watching such photos. Keep sharing such details and photos here. I am also going to attend the comic convention in next month with my teen kids. It will be held at the local convention center. Hoping to have good time over there.