Ok, so I didn’t manage a drink with Prince Wales, but he was in town all weekend to celebrate the International Naval Fleet Review, and must have raised his glass just across the water from us on Saturday. This past week, the Sydney Harbour (that’s Australian for harbor) has been filled with 40 warships–two of them American–and several tall ships (pirate ships according to my daughter) to honor 100 years since the Royal Australian Fleet first sailed into Sydney Harbour. From our beach, we saw amazing ships pass by on the distant horizon as they made their way toward the harbour. The city also filled with music from 10 navy bands as well as the overhead roar of 60 military aircraft and several helicopters.
Saturday night was the peak of the celebration, as 1.7 million spectators gathered in hundreds of different vantage points to watch a light show projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons and Opera House, followed by an impressive 30 minute fireworks display. Thanks to my obsessively advanced planning (we even had to receive passes in the mail to get within a mile of the restaurant), we scored seats to dinner and fireworks at the waterfront Sydney Cove Oyster Bar. Since I’m deathly allergic to shellfish, clearly I was there for the wine, dessert, and fireworks! Despite a partially obstructed view (is this Fenway?) caused by heat umbrellas, it was, as promised, spectacular. Here are a few of my snaps, and some more impressive unobstructed views! And Harry’s view from the rooftop of the Shangri-La Hotel must have been out of this world! Cheers!