On bus no 333 back to Bondi after a day out .

Behind me is a conversation in German, in front a group of young women conversing merrily in Spanish, hands moving and laughter.This bus is filled with a variety of languages, accents and looks: the girl in the beret sprinkled with chunky pearls, thick black plaits poking out from underneath, the man further down the aisle, tattooed and hooded, the very English older couple sitting opposite. All sorts of looks. Spanish/ Iranian //Chinese ? Australian ? It’s late afternoon so plenty of business suits and office wear as well .

Love the multiculturalism

Cosmopolitan, multicultural, call it what you will. A vibrant, young peopled city. At least in the areas we’ve been in these few days- Bondi, Paddington and, today, Manly. So, especially after a QE cruise it’s uplifting to be around younger people. Also to be able to just walk .

Bar and cafe staff are young and smiley, restaurants, hotel receptionists , shop people. Smiley.

Apart from youth and multiculturalism, I like the architecture. There is variety in style, different levels and shapes, colour and texture. Here in Bondi anyway the newer buildings are fronted by older ones, facing the sea with large windows and balconies. The streets are wide and the tall trees and green slopes create a surreal landscape.

Older buildings have been renovated or used as they are, especially to show art. And there is so much art here, accessible. All along the Bondi seafront are some of the Heads On photos. An international festival based in Sydney, there are more than 500 different photographers showing their work in outdoor exhibitions, major takeovers and large scale installations.

The photos stretched along the entire seafront . This is a photo from brochure though – chilly morning when we were here, and not so many people .

We went to see others in the Reservoir Paddington. There are thousands of photographic works from all over the world displayed in venues throughout Sydney. Themes of homelessness, refugees and war; also feminism, motherhood, culture and the environment.

So this morning we’re at Central train station about to depart from this bold, brash, clever city. On the way here early in the morning I did glimpse the other, not so bright, side of life here. A part of any city: people dressed in shabby black or worn work boots, women going home after a cleaning job, an old man plastic bag in hand carrying bottled water and his lunch,the humdrum movement of our days.

You might think as you read the earlier praise of Sydney paragraphs ‘ all very well for the wealthy and beautiful.’ ( I can hear you think that ) Maybe I am a romantic. Maybe.

But I don’t live here. Soon enough to be back in a different life.

Looking out of hotel window at Bondi beach this morning . Bye.