Daily Archives:May 28th, 2007

Good things coming this summer

For some time I’ve been looking forward to the 1st July, which is when public places in England will become smoke-free. Only just over a month to go…

Now I hear more good news. Apparently the EU is clamping down on the outrageous prices that mobile phone companies charge for roaming calls – they should drop to below EUR 0.50/min this summer.

I wonder if this will have any effect, good or bad, on the costs of roaming outside Europe, though…

I come from a land down under

Like many people, I imagine, the only mental image I had of Sydney was of the Opera House, and even that was flawed: it’s not white, you know, as I had always assumed. It’s actually a subtle beige colour. Here’s the obligatory photo – a night shot, just to avoid being too clichéd!

Sydney Opera House

So I had no idea what to expect of the rest of the city, but I subconciously assumed that modern architecture would be the norm. And while it has a central business district much like many modern cities…

Sydney CBD

…I was really struck by the older buildings, from the grand to the humble, from early Victorian to late Art Deco.

Sydney MacDonalds


Manly Wharf

I stayed at a delightful B&B dating from the 1870s:

Ardmore House

And I was impressed with the public transport system, where a ‘day tripper’ ticket gave me access to an excellent rail network which whisked me to and from the centre, and a couple of long ferry trips, around the bay and up the river, all for about 6 quid. (A stark contrast to the tattered remains of a once-great railway system which greeted me when I got back to London. But that’s another story…)

I don’t want to post too many photos at a time, so I’ll spare you the leafy residential neighbourhoods, the amazing sandstone cliffs around Bondi Beach, the lighthouses and bridges…. All in all, I liked Sydney very much, and hope I get a chance to return before too long.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser