Return to Home
Australia in February 2002
AustFeb1.htm > A brief three (3) week trip 'home' to the country of my birth.
Since first leaving Australia in 1967, I have only be back visiting a small number of times, the last time around fifteen (15) years ago, so I expect 'some' change. And some change there was, but a simple overall assessment might be - not that much really.
When asked about mid-way through the trip what was the most surprising change I had noted, I replied simply - an abundant supply of good red wine. True, in the main, the reds are still a little on the 'heavy' side, at around 13.5% alcohol, but all, sans exception, 'tasted' fine, with no ensuing headache that used to arrive about an hour after the first sip. This, to me, was a real positive step forward, and I simply did not have the time to search out the really-good-stuff that lots of people raved about.
Australia, like its near cousin, America, still call the wine by its grape variety rather than by the region, grower, bottler and year as is the case in France. And you still frequently hear that shortening of the name, like - it's a Cab. Sav. - for Cabernet Sauvignon - that all Australian seem to participate in. When I occasionally asked if this form of wine labelling was at all moving towards say, like the French - it's a Bordeaux, St Julian, 1996 - the answer was a clear - No!
I stayed with my dear friend, Sue, in her lovely semi-detached house in Pott's Point, near the world famous King's Cross district. It is within walking distance to the middle of Sydney town - the big smoke - or it was a simple short bus or underground train ride to Circular Quay, with the Opera House on one side, and the Harbour bridge and The Rocks on the other.
In fact, around the second day there, I did a nice longish stroll from her place, down William Street into mid-town, down George Street to Circular Quay, a little around The Rocks area, then past the Opera House, through Centennial Park around the water front, and back to Pott's Point all in a few hours. One thing I noted going through town was a new Monorail, but was assured this was only for the tourists to see the city.
You can nearly trace my 'walk' on the above panorama ...
I also noted during that promenade that the QE2 - Queen Elizabeth 2 - was on a visit at that time, tied up next to Circular Key. At 70,327 tons and 963 feet long I believe she is still one of the largest passenger liners afloat. A few days later, when Sue and I did a ferry ride around the harbour, she had been replaced by another giant of the shipping lanes - MV Rotterdam, at a mere 62,000 tons and 780 feet long.
See: http://www.qe2.org.uk/ http://www.hollandamerica.com/fivestarfleet/rotterdam.htm
The weather throughout my stay was beautiful, as it should be in late summer on the eastern coast of a temperate zone. The daytime temperature hovered around 22-25 degrees C. I got two chances to go surfing while there. The first swim was at the famous Bondi beach in 22 degree C water, and the second was at the nearly as famous Coogie beach nearby.
See http://www.voyeurmagic.com.au (broken?) for some nice views of Bondi Beach, and perhaps http://www.digistuff.com/story_photos.asp?id2=Oz for some of Coogie Beach.
And some of my own. At least I think it is Coogie, or nearby, at least ...
1 Team getting the surf boat out
2. a view along the
And on, into Australia ...
My simple advise, is *** VISIT THERE SOON ***
Especially before the Winter sets in ... or wait until next season ...
I will try ... hopefully, next time with my wife, Annie.
Return to Home