The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, Sydney, Australia

The Boathouse Menu

The Boathouse Menu

First ever e-book I bought to my Kindle is Top 10 Sydney, of Eyewitness Travel series and the first ever thing I looked was where to eat in Sydney, and first ever thing I highlighted at my Kindle was the restaurant: The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay. After a day out in Blue Mountains, with lots of walking, we thought that we deserved an “out of diet borders” dinner for the evening, with some wine and fine dining. So we made our reservation from this restaurant, took a taxi from our hotel and after about 10 minutes drive, there we were, in a romantic (would be without our son), dark and elegant fish restaurant, with a nice view of city lights and the Anzac Bridge.

Char Grilled Fremantle Octopus

Char Grilled Fremantle Octopus

Citrus Cured Marlborough King Salmon

Citrus Cured Marlborough King Salmon

When we travel with a child, the first thing we look in the menu is something to eat for our son (I admit that sometimes I look at it after checking what to eat for dessert). Nothing seemed suitable for him, but our lovely waiter offered him some fish and chips which he loved.

We on the other hand started our meal with some starters of Octopus and Salmon with the wine of the day, once more Pinot Noir, this time from Adelaide.

Nygeringa wineyard, Grower serries

Nygeringa wineyard, Grower serries

Wine of the evening

Wine of the evening

Our main course were Poached Local Ocean Jacket and a Roast New Zealand Hapuka, all very tasty.

New Zealand Hapuka

New Zealand Hapuka

Local Ocean Jacket

Local Ocean Jacket

And finally our desserts were Honeycomb Parfait, Buttermilk Pannacotta and Pistachio Cannoli. Yes, I do not know what they are either, but they tasted lovely and looked like these:

Dessert

Buttermilk Pannacotta

Dessert

Pistachio Cannoli

Parfait

Parfait

After finishing our meals, I asked the waiter to take a photograph of the menu and write down the things we have eaten, to note for my blog. Guess what? The waiter said that we may take the menu with us, as the menu is printed daily. How nice, now the menu is just by my lap top and making me remember this fine dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Mountains Bush Walk day in Australia

On our second day in Sydney Australia, we woke up on a nice Sunday morning, to have a lovely breakfast at our hotel Quay West Sydney. Today our plan was to visit Blue Mountains, a world heritage and a lovely natural area, sure to be visited in a trip to Sydney. Once more, we were picked up by a car and a driver, this time from Mount ‘n Beach Safaris company of Sydney.

Our first stop was Featherdale WildlifePark, to be introduced to the famous wildlife animals of Australia. First impression was very good for all of us. As you may have guessed, we have never seen any kangaroos, koalas or any other Australian animal before. So it was nice to feed them, touch them and get so close to them. However, the park we went a day after was much more interesting, clean and enjoyable to visit. So, wait for my next posts, before deciding to go!

Before wind

Before wind

After wind

After wind

Before reaching to Blue Mountains Scenic World, we did a short break to enjoy some view of the valley on the way. Lovely view, with infinite forest and a very dangerous wind.

Lovely nature

Lovely nature

Our final stop of the day, where we were gonna spent a half day was the Blue Mountains Scenic World, which includes skyways, railways, cableways, and a comfortable walkway in the forests of Blue Mountains, together with some shopping opportunities to do and some picnic tables, to enjoy our sandviches.

Skyway with glass floor

Skyway with a glass floor

Among these, Skyway was by far the best view and the best experience to offer, with a glass floor to step on.

View from Skyway

View from Skyway

View of the mountains

View of the mountains

Me

Me

What is Switzerland doing here?

What is Switzerland doing here?

Have you been to Swiss Alps? We did a lovely holiday about 5 years ago to Luzern and visited Pilatus with the vehicles very similar to here. I may write about it too sometime later. So here is the reason. All rides were made by Swiss and this bell was a present to the park.

Children sure will enjoy this trip

Children sure will enjoy this trip

Our son loved the day

Our son loved the day

 

Jonah’s Whale Beach, Sydney

Jonah's restaurant

Jonah’s restaurant

Remember our seaplane adventure with Sydney Seaplanes from my previous post. Well, Jonah’s was the restaurant we arrived in 20 minutes, not on an island, but on an island-like part of Sydney, which takes about an hour, by car.

Jonah’s was more than we expected with a good variety in menu and a nice wine list. Moreover, every plate looked like a piece of art.

A taste to start

A taste to start

Wine of the day

Wine of the day

Australia has really good wines. I will be writing another post soon about Hunter Valley, a wine paradise. Today we chose a Pinot Noir of Tasmania.

Scallops, gooood

Scallops, gooood

Piece of art

Piece of art

In many day trips in Europe, if lunch is included, you come across with ordinary local dishes, sometimes really good and tasty ones but never so elegant.

The deserts...

The deserts…

...and another desert...

…and another desert…

...and another. Yummyyy

…and another. Yummyyy

So, finished with our three course meal in 3 hours, enjoyed the view of the whale beach and watched a local wedding next room, we were taken back to the beach to return with our seaplane back to Sydney.

Sure I can live here

Sure I can live here

 

A Seaplane Adventure Around Sydney, Australia

Before take off

Before take off

While getting ready for our Australia trip and working on the schedule, one dear Australian friend advised me to take a helicopter trip on Sydney harbor. So I searched for it with the help of Saint Google and my travel agent, and I came across with a good alternative of seaplane trips with Sydney Seaplanes. I’ve experienced a helicopter trip twice. One in Samara, Russia, a business trip, so beyond the limits of this blog and second at Grand Canyon, a few years ago with our son. So I thought a seaplane would be a more interesting experience for all of us.

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

The trip we booked was the “Fly & Dine” trip, which very well suited with our travel values. A 20 minutes fly to Whale Beach area, 3 hours-3 course fine dining for lunch and a 20 minutes fly back to Sydney, with a route over Sydney harbor. Well, let the photographs talk:

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

Walking to the beach

Walking to the beach

We were about 12 people on the plane, 5 our group, 3 more couples and our pilot. We started the tour with a little safety training, and took our seats, buckled up and took off. Riding on the sea and the first take off was a bit exciting, but than we enjoyed the view and the calm nature of the environment.

The beach

The beach

We got off the plane on a little pier on a very nice beach of an island. The sea we landed was not an open water but an inside area, where people were enjoying many water sports like canoeing, sailing, diving or enjoying the sun on the beach.

A walk on the beach

A walk on the beach

We were welcomed by a lady from Jonah’s restaurant, who drove us to the restaurant with a van and after lunch (which I will write in my next post) we returned to the same beach to find out that our seaplane was gone. So we spent about half an hour more to enjoy the beach and take photograph around.

Resting on a bench

Resting on a bench

Finally our seaplane arrived to the beach and we took off to return where we started.

Waiting our seaplane to arrive

Waiting our seaplane to arrive

Over Sydney Harbor

Over Sydney Harbor

Sydney Seaplanes

Sydney Seaplanes

Lovely area

Lovely area

 

Sydney Royal Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

The first day of our 10-days-trip to Australia, started on a nice Saturday morning with our driver and a car provided by Angelo Riccio Tourist Services in Sydney. After a short drive around the main areas of the city and a short stop at Sydney Opera House, to buy tickets for the evening, we headed to Bondi beach area but my mother-as a nature lover- insisted on to visit Botanic Garden first. So we spend about an hour in the park with a fast walking.

Lovely flowers and natural life

Lovely flowers and natural life

My facebook friends will recognize this photo from my facebook page. Sydney botanic garden is a very well kept garden with lovely flowers, birds, large trees, fresh air, people doing sports and some art installations.

A piece of art of sight and sound

A piece of art of sight and sound

An interesting piece of art is the one above, all sticks have different sounds, forming a nice music with the wind.

Short walk in the garden

Short walk in the garden

Interesting plants

Interesting plants

 

Australia story starts with Sydney Opera House

Australia story starts with Sydney Opera House

Australia story starts and ends with Sydney Opera House

My dear followers probably already know that, we had a 10-days-trip to Australia last October, with our son. I think it is time now to start the story of our Australia adventures, right?

My dear followers who already read about us part of my blog also know that, we are a conformist family. We do not like hassles, we do not like, early wake up day trips, we like wine and dine, we like to have our car, we like modern countries and modern people, we like good weather. Well, there is only two simple weakness of a trip to Australia. First, they drive from the wrong side, and second, it is a bloody long way… Every other thing we like exist in Sydney.

View from our room

View from our room

We woke up, on a nice Saturday morning, overlooking the Sydney Harbour area of the town from our hotel, Quay West Suites Sydney. Unable to rent a car and drive by ourselves, I organised a car and a driver for our group to go around the city and explore. As you may have already guessed a day in Sydney starts and ends in Sydney Opera House, which was celebrating its 40th birthday, in the very same month with me.

Celebrating to be 40

Celebrating to be 40

In one of the travel magazines I’ve read recently, there was a result of a recent survey, about your dream of once in a lifetime experience you would like to have. One of the most wanted experience was to watch a performance in Sydney Opera House. I wish I could contact those people and say that, it is not anything you would dream of. The outside of the building is fantastic, different, contribute to the city view soo much and you know, people think that there is so much more inside. Unfortunately there is not. The inside of the opera house is a normal gray walled ordinary 70s building, dark, cold and no frill at all. Nothing like Moscow or Vienna or London.

Watching South Pacific Musical

Watching The South Pacific Musical

The South Pacific Musical performance was a really good one to watch, if only we were at home, not jet lag, and not with our son. By the end of the first half of the performance, our son was so bored and tired that we had to leave the opera house and walk back to our hotel. On the way back, we saw lots of people enjoying their drinks at the nice bars and restaurants, outside of the opera house, overlooking the harbour view on a Saturday evening.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Next: Sydney botanic garden.

A Business Class flight with our son

While travelling for holidays, we almost always fly at Economy class. Of course we very rarely appreciate a free upgrade or use our frequent flyer points for a Business Class. But once in a lifetime (or maybe more than once in a life time) we like to pamper ourselves with a business class flight especially if it is a long haul flight. Thinking that Australia is a longest haul flight that might ever be, that’s what we did and flew with Ethiad Airways Business Class to Sydney. That’s a journey that you wish it never ends. Almost unlimited space, almost unlimited in flight entertainment, almost unlimited fine wine and dine.

Our Business flight included a 4-hour-flight and than another 14-hour-flight, with a good 2 hours waiting in between in Abu Dhabi. Another excitement of the travel was, it was our first time ever flight with Ethiad Airways. Another excitement of the travel was, my shortest ever birthday.

Sooo, after a nice waiting in the lounge (with our son eating lots of sushi) we got on the plane with a nice surprise seeing how each of us had a tiny room for ourselves.

Almost unlimited legroom

Almost unlimited legroom

Need time to find out all

Need time to find out all

 

Nice cushions to relax and magazines to read

Nice cushions to relax and magazines to read

And a side table with my famous orange juice

And a side table with my famous orange juice

Here I answer the ever wondered question: Yes, this orange juice tastes much more richer than a Tropiacana in our local market and yes you are not allowed to sit in Business unless you drink the orange juice.

After a 4-hour flight with a very nice dinner included, we arrived to Abu Dhabi, late in the evening, and our planned 2 hour waiting, increased to a 4 hour waiting with a few hours of delay of Sydney flight. Thanks God we were travelling in Business, and thanks God that meant to wait in the Business Lounge of Abu Dhabi airport. So we had another dinner at the lounge with Arab mezes and varieties of Baklava deserts.

Afterwards, our longest ever flight and my shortest ever birthday started. We got on the plane almost at midnight, flew 14 hours, included a good nights sleep, a birthday cake with birthday celebration and a fine breakfast, which was meant to be in the morning, but was actually in the afternoon of Sydney. When we finally got off the plane, finished with the passport controls and a security control (just as shown in the “Border Security” documentary series) it was already late in the evening and my birthday was already over.

Fine wine and dine

Fine wine and dine

Celebrating to be 40

Celebrating to be 40