The Thick of It


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Australian holidays

I'm now back in the UK after a few weeks visiting the family in Australia.I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and completely understand why so many people rave about the place.

I went to see England lose a One Day International at the SCG, watched Sydney FC play Wellington Phoenix at the Sydney Football Stadium and greyhounds race at Wentworth Park. The A-League is well set up though domestic league soccer still has some way to go in Australia before it becomes officially popular. The 45,000 capacity stadium was about 10% full for a match that I reckon compares to a slower paced English League One.

When I wasn't watching sport inevitably I spent time on Sydney's numerous beaches. Bondi was full of Japanese and English tourists, likewise Coogee. Balmoral was my favourite with its 1920s charm. After leaving Sydney's Taronga Zoo, worth visiting for the breathtaking views of the city alone, I walked along the coastal path and found a completely deserted beach, Whiting, which I then spent the afternoon on, completely to myself. It has views of the harbour, Opera House and when I swam out a little, the Harbour Bridge too. Unbeatable.

I also followed the impending New South Wales state elections with some interest. Labor has held the state since 1995 and is under considerable pressure to retain power. To me looking at it from afar I read both Labor and the Liberal party promising to build new rail new lines in Sydney and arguing over who would build the most. Labor seem to be apologising through their TV advertising for not having done enough with power too. When you get to that stage it looks like you are onto a loser. We shall see.

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