We just happened, by chance, to be in Sydney on Australia Day.
This is a National holiday, celebrated similarly to our 4th of July, with music and fireworks and food booths and picnics in the park.
It commemorates the arrival of the first fleet of (11) ships @ Sydney Cove back in 1788, and it used to be known as Anniversary Day or Foundation Day.
Australia Day definitely has a better ring to it.
We are staying at the Quay Suites (it's right there, on the right).
It's the perfect vantage point for all the Australia Day action! There's a music festival in the park at the base of the Sydney Bridge. There are bands playing (they had 6 different stages set up)
And there are boat races (just look at all this activity! And look how this many boats has churned up the normally still water! And look, up on top, there are bridge climbers!)
Even the fireboats are getting in on the action.
The crowds swell as the day wears on;
And a helicopter proudly trails a banner of the Australian flag.
And we stop for a beer at the Tavern @ the Lord Nelson Hotel, which later we find out is the "Oldest continuing licensed hotel in Sydney", having obtained it's original liquor license in 1831. It has added it's own microbrewery in recent years, and still has overnight accommodations, just up a flight or two or three of rickety stairs.
We will come back on Monday for
"$7 Pie Night"
Traditional beef pie, smashed or "mushy" peas, with mashed potatoes and a wonderful to-die-for gravy.
One of the best meals I had the entire 5 week trip!
For Australia Day, we definitely enjoyed the bands and the crowds, and all the celebratory activities.
This is the first of several times we have been in the right place at the right time. It happened again in Barcelona for Catalonia Days; and in Tuscany for the Mille Miglia Vintage Sports Car Race in Italy, (The Thousand Mile Race); and again in Vienna for some kind of celebration of the remote villages of Austria.
Of course, it's not always to our advantage, we were also booked into Rome during "Holy Week" with an extra 300,000 of our newest Catholic friends.......which we immediately re-booked into Venice instead!
At the end of a great day we are at Aria Restaurant for an amazing dinner with a view of the Opera House on one side, and a view of the Sydney Bridge on the other.
Gotta' love Sydney............. and Mr. C.