Let the Football Commence

Friday 14th July 2017

Although it can be dressed up as a holiday, our great football club have been my own personal excuse for the destination for a number of years now. And that has resulted in me being extremely lucky to have visited some incredible locations around the globe.

Those trips will always involve pre-season matches of course and after a highly entertaining couple of weeks or so I am writing these notes after the first on this particular adventure.

I left you last time during my highly relaxing train trip out of Cairns and down the North East coast to Airlie Beach, a town recovering from a hugely powerful and damaging cyclone that hit them just a couple of months back. Definitely a party town for backpackers, the young and the young at heart we made the very most of that aspect in addition to taking a boat out to the Whitsunday Islands and the quite stunningly beautiful Whitehaven Beach. Definitely a highlight in a trip of many.

Beautiful Whitehaven

Saturday morning’s short flight to Brisbane gave as the chance to enjoy another city at the weekend and like those before it, they certainly know how to party! The Fortitude Valley area was as entertaining as it was crazy before Sunday we scraped ourselves out of bed to take a look at some of this country’s resident animals at the Lone Pine Sanctuary. The chance to cuddle a Koala and spoon a kangaroo proved too much of an opportunity to turn down!!

Wrong on every level

The island of Tasmania played host next, the city of Hobart and nearby town of Richmond providing another totally different glimpse into life in this vast country.

And that brings us to Sydney, a city that couldn’t be any more different both to our lasr or any city we have visited.

Our attendance coincided with a showery first afternoon and a stroll around Darling Harbour, the CBD, the historical Rocks area and Circular Quay, our first chance to see the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House being as the sun set.  

Bridge

Two of those in our party have better heads for heights so spent yesterday morning walking over the very summit of the bridge whilst the rest of us took to the water for the quite spectacular views the gorgeously sunny day presented.

The number of Arsenal shirts around the city has been incredible. Genuinely. Every single street of every single area, all smiling and full of anticipation for the days ahead.

Finbar – Legend

And they were all part of the 80 thousand strong mass that headed to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium famous for Olympic feats and England’s ‎World Cup win in the egg chasing.

Atmosphere

Although there are never any nerves for these games, when you get there the sense of occasion is both massive and something to behold.

And as always, like everywhere else in the world we play, the stadium was a mass of red, white and eager anticipation.

The game was interesting and mildly entertaining with the BFG and Alex grabbing the 2 goals to claim victory but as always the levels of genuine excitement are secondary to the importance of preparation. 

80 thousand Gooners

So a good introduction to the busy city that is Sydney.

Today we have walked from Bondi Beach to Coogee, incredible views along one of the world’s most iconic coastlines.

Walk

And now we are on our way to the fans party and open training.

More to follow….

Frank
@stubbsy70

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