“So, what exactly has happened since Christmas? How did you celebrate New Year? What did you do ever since?”
Well, that’s what I’m about to tell you. However, I’ve decided to split it up in different chapters to ease the reading. Nice of me, isn’t it?
New Year is a really big thing in Australia. It is prohibited in Sydney to ignite your own fireworks. So in return, the government sets up two firework shows – one at 9pm and one at midnight – for the people to watch. The highlight of the second show is, obviously, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The days before New Year, we spent hours online looking for the best spot to watch the fireworks from. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair was one of the results that kept getting mentioned on different website as the best place to be at around midnight. The question we then faced was: how long in advance do we have to be there to get a proper spot? Would 3 hours be enough or maybe 5? Some websites claimed that people would get there 12 hours in advance already. Shocked by this statement we decided to dedicate our whole day to the firework show by starting a picnic around 10am and amuse ourselves with a colouring book, music and some games on our phones. We prepared sandwiches in the early mornings, made sure we had some smaller snacks and, most importantly, water with us. Little that we know that by the time we arrived at the entrance of the botanic gardens, there was a huge queue already. By huge I mean hundreds, maybe a thousand of people already. We waited for approximately 4 hours in the almost unbearable sun until we were finally able to enter. Once we’d arrived, we found ourselves about 2 square metre to fit on with our backpacks and food. I can definitely say that it was not comfortable but once the fireworks started, I was relieved that all of it was so worth it. We could see the bridge almost clearly and we were surrounded by fireworks everywhere.
The next day our host invited us to join him to the horse races in Sydney, since one of his own horses was racing that day. These races are very popular in Australia, since many people bet on them. I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced such an awesome event. All men wear suits, while the women show off their best dresses including heels and hats with feathers on them. Even children wear their best outfits. Our hosts horse – the one we bet our money on – ended third, resulting in us winning a couple more dollars than our stake.
The next couple of days we spent visiting the Chinese garden of friendship, going to a cricket game – unfortunately, most of it got cancelled due to bad weather -, seeing the legends play at a soccer game, visiting the ‘old’ part of Sydney, doing the Bondi to Coogee walk and actually finished it this time, baking, reading, drawing and chilling in a bubblebath.
The 8th of January was the day we had to leave this wonderful country to start a new adventure: New Zealand. Which brings us to my next chapter…
p.s. to those who wondered what part of Australia we visited: