It’s been a pretty hectic few days over here, desperately trying to fit in all the tourist sights before having to resume watching England’s capitulation in the cricket. We used the day off from the cricket in Melbourne to guess what…? What more cricket! The Big Bash game between the Renegades and the Brisbane Heat was genuinely a good game and it was interesting to see Kieswetter and Buttler in action and also see James Pattinson make his comeback – although the taxi driver couldn’t seem to find the massive, neon clad 50,000 seater stadium.
New Year ’s Eve morning we set off for the airport for the short 50 minute flight up the coast to Sydney and due to Mum being early as usual we managed to get on the earlier 11am flight. There were obviously a lot of cricket fans on the flight, but one unexpected surprise was to see the majority of the Aussie cricket team round the corner and start boarding our flight. I managed to catch Chris Rogers for a quick photo and a chat and he seemed like genuinely nice guy and seemed to appreciate my interest – maybe I won’t begrudge him all his runs then. Harris, Lyon, Siddle and Faulkner were also on the flight but there was only one person people were interested in talking to – Mitchell Johnson. His bristling handlebar moustache all the more hideous in the flesh, with wife and kid in tow to avoid talking to any fans. When we got on the flight it was pretty comfortable and seemed to go in a flash after the long haul stretch to get here. Obviously going 4-0 up in the Ashes had taken its toll on Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann because after he sat down next to me he slept for the entire flight, much to his kids amusement who poked and cajoled him constantly.
Once we got to Sydney it was all about New Year’s Eve and the Harbour fireworks. We had a BBQ meal booked on the rocks for 9pm and managed to spend the majority of the evening in there enjoying the food and drink before pouring onto the street just before midnight. The fireworks themselves were spectacular and the crowds were monumental, it was a truly great experience and I would urge anybody who can do it, to do so at some point.
New Year’s day was spent doing all things Tourist. We jumped on one of the open top buses and took in all the sights. The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are obviously the most iconic landmarks in Sydney and it was exciting to see them again, but for me the best place in central Sydney is Darling Harbour. Just around the corner from the main harbour at Circular Quay, Darling Harbour is bustling with shops, restaurants and bars. It’s by far the easiest place to get a good lunch or couple of drinks and the views are great.
After deciding we wanted to go into the Blue Mountains on the Thursday we spent the afternoon trying to find a trip with space still available and after much ringing around from our concierge we got on one… but it left at 7am! Our day in the Blue Mountains was great and the scenery is by far the most vast and breath-taking I have ever seen. Although, an interesting moment came at lunch when we were waiting for the coach alongside the worst band I have ever heard. Looking like a Christian folk band, the group proceeded to murder both ‘Amazing Grace’ and Ronan Keating. It was a long old day and meant that we were very tired for the cricket the following day, which in hindsight was probably a good thing. I’m going to pretend that the last 3 days haven’t happened and I would appreciate it if you could do the same. The only thing I will say is that I resigned myself to 5-0 before I came out so it really hasn’t ruined my holiday at all.