Si got up early and hit the gym before popping down to the little cafe just off the hotel for some breakfast. The day was overcast but still warm. We were meeting Ray and Jo in Circular Quay at 1130hours, so we opted to use the light rail, as it is just minutes from the Hotel. There wasn't a direct route to Circular Quay, so we had to go to Capitol Centre, get off, and walk a few yards to Chinatown and get on the light train to the Quay. We obviously knew far better than the rail assistant, who advised which route to take and opted to take the tram to Central Station, where it terminated and pick up another one there. We got off, and tapped the credit card on the tot up box ( I don't think its actually callled that but its a little machine you tap when you exit the tram. When you get on the tram, you tap your credit card on a notifying thing and it tots up the cost of your journey). We followed the directions on the door way to central station, and kept following the signs. we exited through a large archway and couldn't see hide nor hair of the tramway. An incredibly helpful man working for the transport people asked if we were looking for a lift, when we told him what we were looking for he directed us left. and left again, over the road and there's your stop. His directions were superb, and they took us right back to where we had just got off the tramway!! we quickly crossed over the road and rolled on to the tram, which pulled in just as we got to the stop. I love how efficient the public transport system is in Australia, and also how they've incorporated the stops into the surroundings so they just blend in seamlessly. There is always something new to see out of the windows and we passed by some beautiful and very old buildings, my favorite being The QVB (Queen Victoria building). The tram terminated at the Quay and everyone piled off. We spotted Jo straight away and Ray just moments later as we rounded the corner, itwas great to see them, and we headed off towards the rocks for a drink. I was thinking coffee and maybe a cake, but no. Where did we stop? German Oktoberfest bar that has Oktoberfest 365 days a year. The waitress was dressed in the traditional german style costume and looked really cute. Ray and Si had a two litre glass of beer each while Jo and I had a fanta. We are so rock and Roll right? I also had a Salted pretzel, which had the biggest chunks of rock salt on it and a little dome of butter in the middle of the plate. It was really good, you know how sometimes you just neeeeeed a savory nibble? Well it met my needs which is all i was worried about! Although it did get a bit tough to get my gnashers into once it had cooled down.
After the drinks, we continued through the rocks once more, it was a shade quieter without the markets going on but not by much! There is so much to see, that you could go several times and still find something new to look at. You could certainly find a different eating establishment to eat at for a month at least. I'm very impressed with my self in not purchasing anything in The Rocks, despite the great temptation that were in front of my eyes. The main reason for this is we have no room for goodies in our little Sturdy backpack! However I now have a cunning plan, I am going to purchase goodies and then send them home ahead of us. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, I'm clearly loosing the plot!!
We meandered through the streets laughing and chatting the time away, and took Ray and Jo on a tour of what we'd discovered the day before. I felt so sorry for the pair of them, they'd landed from Dubai just the night before, and there we were, dragging them around Sydney! They didn't seem to mind though, and enjoyed the sights.
Unfortunately the wind had picked up significantly and the temperature dropped somewhat. The wind was coming in huge gusts and whipping down the harbour, at one point there was a massive blast of sand or grit that smarted somewhat when it made contact with our faces and legs! It was pretty savage, and I nearly lost my bandana. In some respects it's such a shame the weather was so murky and dull. Pretty as Darling Harbour is in any weather, I feel it's much prettier with the sun bouncing off the water and a warm GENTLE breeze to cool you down, Opposed to literally getting blown down the Harbour and almost into it! We showed them around and as time was ticking on decided lunch was in order. Walking makes you hungry apparently (how would I know? I'm just trundling along like royalty giving the odd queenie wave when I see fit) as I've said, there is such a massive selection of eateries it's hard to choose when you're spoilt for choice. Si and I were easy and left it for Ray and Jo to decide. We ended up in the same restaurant we were in yesterday. Two reasons, the main one being it was out of the gusting wind and significantly warmer, and secondly, it was tried and tested so we knew it was good. Thankfully once again it didn't disappoint. The Ribs were new on the menu and we'd seen them come out yesterday, so they both had that while We had a steak sarnie each washed down with a beer. Outstanding result. Whilst sitting there laughing and chatting, one of the umbrellas from outside, decided it was going to take off. It was like Mary Poppins had made an appearance with a giant brolly! Not sure why they had it open, every other one was down unless someone had been sat beneath it prior to us getting there. It took two of the staff quite a while to retrieve it and once they'd wrangled it out from where it had jammed, they moved it a table back .... and put it back up! There were 4 face palms from our table! Whilst I don't think I'd hire them for the job of brolly wrangling any time soon, as waiting staff they were excellent. Despite the huge portions of excellent food we managed to find room for an ice cream each from the gelato bar. Ice cream is one of the most perfect foods, it melts down in your belly and just floods into the gaps that may be remaining around your main course. Best of all every bit of belly space is then utilised to its full potential. Quite simply it's genius. We parted ways after scoffing our ice creams, and settled on a time to meet them at the fish market tomorrow. We made our way back to the Hotel and Ray and Jo went back towards the city centre to do a bit more sightseeing before catching a train back to their hotel. We had such a great day, it's good to meet new people but it's even better catching up with ones you know.
By the time we'd got back to the hotel I was a little chilled. Neither Si nor myself had signed up for any weather conditions other than blazing sunshine. Despite having had to purchase a hoody previously, wearing it grieves me greatly. I must admit it was one of those rare occasions when I confess to my stubbornness kicking in over common sense. Not that I have much of that in the first place!
A nice hot cuppa warmed us up as did turning off the air on in the room, a first for us, but entirely necessary. We had a nice chilled out evening, read for a while, rehydrated and watched the twinkling lights of the city from the lounge.