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We sent travelogues home to our SPF (Swedish equivalent of AARP) group, which they published on their homepage. Here is a rather detailed description of our trip.

På svenska



We left Singapore on Saturday, arriving in Sydney on Sunday morning. Here you don't just go through "passport control", you go through "immigration" and a visa is mandatory. I did that online months earlier and forgot about it, forgetting my receipt at home. They evidently saw all that on their computers, as they never asked. However, we did of course get delayed as always because of our answer to the question "Have you been on a farm in the last month?" They let us continue however when Louie explained that he didn't have any boots with him with Swedish soil on them!

This sounds ridiculous, but Australia learned their lesson long ago what can happen if foreign plant material is allowed into the country. In the spring there is a pretty blue wildflower everywhere. The problem is that there are small spikes on the stems that irritate grazing animals. It is nearly impossible to get rid of it and makes the land unusable. Where did the pretty wildflower come from? A sea captain's wife had it with her on a voyage in the 1700's. When she tired of it, she threw it away . . .

A young Texas couple that lived in southern Sweden for three years before moving to Sydney were patiently waiting for us when we came out an hour later. It only took 20 minutes to drive to their apartment in downtown Sydney on Pitt Street (shopping street). We met them during the annual visits from "The American Women's Club" out in Louie's Pumpkin Patch.

27-0118HydePark.jpg (77581 byte)31-0119KatheysDiningRoom.jpg (53631 byte) They live on the 41st floor with a fantastic view over Hyde Park, not far from the bridge and opera house.

They use their balcony as a dining room.

We wandered through the city getting re-acquainted. We spent a week here in October 2000. A quick visit to "QVB - Queen Victoria Building", built in 1898 as a market hall. It has since been used as a post office and office building. It was to be demolished because of disrepair but was saved and renovated to its original magnificence and is today the address of the most exclusive shops in town. We continued on to Darling Harbour where we had a delightful lunch at an outdoor restaurant. From there we went to Paddy's Market - an indoor market open Thursday - Sunday where you can find everything from fish and vegetables to clothes and souvenirs. We also got in a quick stroll through Chinatown.

28-0118TexMex.jpg (53741 byte) In the evening our Texas friends knew where to find a Tex-Mex restaurant within walking distance. We of course enjoyed some margaritas too.

Back to their apartment we enjoyed the view from their balcony before going to bed in their guestroom.

29-0119Sydney.jpg (61470 byte) On Monday we were on our own while they slaved for their daily bread. We walked over to the Sydney Opera House and took a picture for our Christmas card. 

We enjoyed looking at the bridge and saw some daring tourist climbing up the Sydney Harbor Bridge to enjoy the view - we saw 4 groups up there at one time @ AUS $150 per/person (about $75 US). From there we went to the Botanic Gardens with their bats in the tree tops. We came out on the other side of Hyde Park, but not in London!

Both Sunday and Monday we enjoyed the indoor pool in the apartment house and thoroughly enjoyed our visit with our Texas friends and Sydney.

On Tuesday morning it was time to continue our journey to New Zealand.




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