As I’ve finished writing my blog about our adventures in our Elddis motorhome in the last 2 years, I started thinking about the first time we enjoyed the comforts and advantages of travelling in a recreational vehicle. That was in Australia, 8 years ago now, from 12th July to 26 August 2003.
I remember leaving the house about 3 am and getting a taxi to the Heathrow airport, as we had an early morning flight. Our carrier was Lauda Airlines and, being Austrian, it made a stop at Vienna airport, where we were delayed for about 3 hours because the computerised boarding system had broken down and everything had to be done manually. None of us had ever been on such a long trip before and were more than anxious to get to our destination, especially knowing we had another stop to come at Kuala Lumpur at some ungodly hour of the following morning too. The flights weren’t too uncomfortable and we enjoyed the in-flight entertainment of various films, music and, more amazingly, our trajectory shown on the individual screen in front of our seats. I found it quite a thrill to see exactly where we were at every second of our journey and all the countries we were flying over, like the Middle East.
We finally arrived in Sydney in the early evening and took a taxi to our apartment within walking distance of Bondi beach and views of the suspension bridge. We were very pleasantly surprised with the high quality of this accommodation and how well organized everything was, including the tennis courts, swimming pool and Jacuzzi in the basement: our home for the next 7 days before taking another plane to Cairns in Queensland, where we would take possession of our first motorhome for the following 4 weeks.
But first I’d like to talk about our memories of Sydney, a beautiful young city with lots to offer and a very mild winter which allows you to swim in the sea! We, of course, made good use of this most famous of Australian beaches and enjoyed watching the various groups of people learning to surf, as one must do in Australia, and this is the place where I promised myself to learn this exhilarating and adrenaline-inducing sport.
But one of the most memorable outings has to be the walk in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens, and not so much for the plants, exotic and fascinating as they are, but the totally unexpected and delightful surprise of giant fruit bats taking flight only a couple of meters above our heads. It was both, scary and awe-inspiring and one of the most amazing phenomena I have ever seen and, to this day – 8 years later- still lives vividly in our minds.
We also followed the walk from the gardens to the world-famous Opera House on a most beautiful warm and sunny morning and visited and climbed the unmissable Suspension Bridge, from which the whole of Sydney can be enjoyed and admired, perfect for immortalising the moment in pictures.
Another highlight of our stay in Sydney was taking a water taxi to Manly Beach and enjoying a whole day and a picnic on this quiet winter’s day and the lovely little town. However, the best part was coming back on the water taxi as the sun was setting and admiring the tears-of-joy-inducing spectacle of Sydney at night from the sea: another awesome sight that lingers in my mind like no other. It was just so beautiful that I still remember the knot in my throat and my efforts to hold back the tears: truly amazing and totally unforgettable.