Presidents Report – 23rd to 29th April

Collette and I took our previous exchange student Jan-Uwe Schmidt and his twin brother Sven Schmidt to see the sights of Sydney.  This was Sven’s first time in Australia and to Sydney.  We stayed near the Rocks for 2 nights and took full advantage of this great location.

Jan told me that he and his brother wanted to do the bridge climb, tour the Opera House and visit botanical gardens. Easy enough as all three are close by.  The bridge climb was undertaken on a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, no clouds and no smog.

Jan and Sven were equipped with all the outdoor gear they needed for their climb based on that day’s weather conditions.  The only disappointment for Jan was that he could not take his camera for safety reasons.  Part of the Bridge Climb is watching a short video of the bridge construction.

They reached the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134m above sea level, right in the heart of Sydney Harbour for an uninterrupted panorama of the city and surrounds.  Whilst at the top, they soaked up the world around them.

Later we walked around to the Opera House via Circular Quay.  The Opera House is an ageless piece of architecture.  We did the basic tour which lasted a little over an hour.  We visited the Joan Sutherland theatre and the three smaller theatres.

After the tour we walked back to Circular Quay and took the ferry to Darling Harbour.  We enjoyed a well earned beer after our busy day.  Afterwards we walked and took in the sights and enjoyed dinner together, which capped a great day.

On Tuesday we went to the dawn service at Martin Place watched wreath laying, marches and commemorative services.  Jan and Sven enjoyed watching as it was the first time they had witnessed such an occasion.  They both loved the Scottish Pipe Bands as Jan and Sven are talented musicians.
Wednesday we took the ferry to Manly and enjoyed a walk to Manly beach.  From there we walked to Shelly Beach or Cabbage Tree Bay and on to North Head and back.  The bugger was the rain which started as we began to eat our lunch, oh well, as good Rotarians we adapted.
It was enjoyable to have Jan and his brother with us at home.  Both are great company.  Jan was pleased to join with us for our club breakfast.  I think we will see Jan back in the next few years.  Safe travels to Jan and Sven Schmidt.

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