Wednesday, October 23, 2013

G’Day Mates from Down Under!

After an 18 day journey that covered more than 6,400 nautical miles we glided through Sydney Harbor Wednesday morning past the Opera House and docked at the International Terminal near the Harbor Bridge. The shadowy outlines of those two icons were  rather welcoming sights I have to admit!

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We arrived sunburned, wind-blown (probably weighing more than when we left) and about as relaxed as one could get before entering a coma state.  The waters of the Pacific and its winds kept us rocking and rolling at times – unlike the Atlantic crossings we’ve made, so we didn't get quite as much 'lazing in the sun' as we'd hoped, but still got plenty.

This was our longest voyage. All but six had been ‘at sea’ aboard the Celebrity Solstice – a floating home-away-from-home.  However some of our fellow passengers had boarded the ship back in Seattle and had been aboard for seven weeks!

One of the best parts of such long periods at sea are those travelers you meet and friendships that are forged along the way.  We have a wonderful new group of friendships that span the globe from Australia to the U.S. and on to Greece.  (Many of these folks make our travels sound like we are ‘stay at homes’ in comparison to their adventures.)

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Our appreciation of the size and vastness of the Pacific Ocean has grown. It is amazing to go for days without seeing another ship, bird or plane.  I heard a siren today in Sydney’s early morning and realized it was the first I had heard for weeks. Although the ship was as modern as one could be, in the midst of that ocean there were times we had no television or internet signals . . .

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We were off the ship and settled into our room at the Marriott Harbourside Circular Quay before 9 a.m. – a record for smooth disembarkation and check-in (20 minutes from start to finish).  We hit the deck running and covered nearly 10 miles of the city yesterday and a similar amount today.  Tonight (for those of you who didn’t see my Facebook post) we are attending a performance of the musical, South Pacific at the Sydney Opera House pictured above.  So our journey continues. . .

It was sad seeing our ship set sail last night as it begins its South Pacific season. I’ve taken loads of photos and have Tales of the South Pacific to tell you after we get home and settled back into the Northwest – until then we wish you safe travels and hope this post finds you well. That’s it for Travel Photo Thursday!

16 comments:

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    1. Thanks for stopping by - I will return the visit next week!

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  2. Hi Jackie, glad to know that you finally made it to Sydney! Your journey although long sounds incredible, made more special by people you had met. I look forward to hear more about your South Pacific journey and your Australian adventure.

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    1. Thanks for coming along; sorry I didn't have the internet connection to stay in touch with all, but I am back and will be following you again soon.

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  3. It sounds to me like you've had so many incredible weeks of travel this year that it's hard to imagine there are others even more well traveled. How long do you have to stay in Australia? Are you visiting New Zealand on this trip too?

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    1. We spent five nights in Sydney and would now love to return some day and do more exploration of this vast wonderful place. Our ship made two stops in New Zealand so that was a tantalizing taste of that place as well.

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  4. Welcome to Sydney - hope you have a fabulous time. xx

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  5. G'day mate! I'm dying to visit Australia and actually say that! I had a tour of the Solstice when it was at port in San Francisco -- amazing ship. Really made me feel that I could be quite comfortable on a cruise (haven't been on one yet). 7 weeks (like some of those folks are doing) would be way too much for me, however. Sounds like you're having an awesome time. Happy travels!

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    1. This was our second time on the Solstice and it really did feel like home by the time we departed. I love those sea days, but agree 7 weeks would have been a bit too much.

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  6. Hi Jackie! What a fabulous trip you are having. I was in Australia in 1980, and I am sure things have changed a lot since then. Love your shot of the Opera House. I can imagine "South Pacific" performance was simply wonderful.

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    1. South Pacific in the South Pacific was magic. Simply magic.

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  7. Welcome to Australia! Hope you are enjoying Sydney - such a beautiful city. And have fun on the East Coast. One day perhaps you'll get over to the remote and breathtaking Western Australia :)

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    1. We certainly hope to get back to that wonderful country and explore all over the place!

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  8. That ship looks HUGE against the Harbour Bridge. It's rather appropriate that you saw South Pacific at the end of your journey. I can't believe the cruise is over. It seems like you just began.

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    1. I can't believe the trip is over . . .wasn't I just writing about planning it?

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  9. So exciting!!! I'm so glad you arrived to my adopted homeland safe and sound. :-) Wishing you continued safe travels. :-)

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