Sydney Aquarium

Yesterday was my Australian nephew’s first birthday and we had planned to take him to the beach for a beach day. Now you see, we have had ridiculous rain¬†in New South Wales for the past few days and looks to continue for another good few days. They say that the weather is good here in Aus, but I have yet to see it…every time I come here it seems to be ‘the worst rain we’ve had since 1956’ or something silly like that. I think I’ve been lied to! My bikini still waits…

Seeing that the weather has turned into hell, we decided to venture into Sydney city in the rain to go see the Sydney Aquarium.as Cian’s first birthday outing.¬†Being school holidays here, I was not looking forward to thousands of sugar-crazed kids and fighting to see fish tanks, but I was definitely nicely surprised! The Sydney Aquarium is really amazing and I was blown away by the beauty of the experience.

There are two circular tunnels where you actually walk through the tank, with fish swimming over and around you Рlike diving without getting wet! The shark tunnel was really unnerving, as the sharks circle you in the tank and you can see every jagged tooth as they swim right up to you. Creepy! The kids loved it though, and little Cian was mesmerised by all the movements and colours swimming around him Рit was a really special birthday for the little guy.

If you ever find yourself on this end of the world, go have a look – it really is worth the $35 .

Pula, Croatia

Pula is a very cute city. Right at the Southern tip of Istria, it is Istria’s largest city and bosts some pretty decent Roman Ruins and a Roman amphitheatre that dominates the town centre and is often used for concerts and events.

It has a very Italian feel and was a fabulous place to start our Istrian adventure. I had my first taste of real Italian ice cream (oh my holy soul, it was delicious) and the pizza perfectly made by an Italian mama in the kitchen I’m sure (Jupiter Restaurant).

It is a busy commercial city and there are no beaches in the city, but a good visit nonetheless.

We hired a car from here to drive around Istria, so were only there for a day.

We stayed at the Hotel Riviera, a very grand-looking hotel just outside the city centre. The white net curtains were a faded shade of grey, and Victorian-style red carpets were well used, to say the least. When we saw the long, cold corridors and padded room doors, it was a bit uncertain if this was a hotel or a mental institution, and very much reminded me of The Shining , so really was quite a thrill!

When we asked the car hire salesman if the roads are safe, he said “Of course” and shrugged, saying “Much like Turkey”. Four sets of big scared eyes left that office on a suicide mission through the narrow roads of Istria, in the hopes of staying alive long enough to taste some truffles and have a glass of Istrian wine.