Sydney Australia

During the 15 hour flight to Sydney we managed to sleep quite well so arrived reasonably wide awake, 10:30 am two days after we had left (3:30 pm Vancouver time). The Sir Stamford Hotel is an oldy but goody near the Circular Quay, 10 minutes walk from the Opera House and the Rocks. Toy stuffed Wombats sit on a table in the lobby.

On the other side of Macquairie Street from the Hotel is a park that is just outside the beautiful and enormous Royal Botanic Gardens. Fig trees are amongst a variety that provide shade. Australian White Ibises are everywhere.

One of the first things we did was take a tour of the Opera House. The history behind the building of the Opera House, the architecture, as well its every day operation is all very interesting and our guide was a fund full of information.

Here’s a shot taken at 6:30 am in the morning.

During the day there are lot more people.

The Opera House of course does more than opera with two large theatres and several small ones. Here is the inside of one of the theatres.

My cousin Doug lives in Sydney with his partner Rong but they were away during our stay. However, they arranged for a special dinner at a restaurant called Tetsuya’s.

We’ve never experienced anything like it. Dinner started at 7:30 pm and ended at 11:00 pm. There is no menu to choose from – you just sit and they feed you. Beginning with Champagne, then the first course arrives – then wine, then another course, then more wine … until we had finished 7 glasses of wine (in addition to the champagne) and 9 food courses. The food was fabulous as well as the wine. Wines were from France, Germany, Serbia, Italy and Spain (a dessert wine).

Doug had also suggested some things to see while we were here. One suggestion was to take the ferry to Manly to get some views of the harbour – so we did that and walked along “The Curso” to Manly beach.

On Saturday we were supposed to do a 4-hour bicycle tour mid-day but with 32 C temperatures, common sense prevailed so we spent the day touring “The Rocks” and then went over to Darling Harbour for lunch. Below is a picture of the walkway that crosses Darling Harbour.

Sunday we took a tour into the Blue Mountains. On the way we stopped at a small wildlife park to see indigenous animals and birds.

We then headed off to the Blue Mountains, stopping at a variety of outlooks and ending at an old mining location that has been converted into a “Scenic World” with two Gondola rides and a furnicular.

Rather than drive all the way into town, it was faster to drop us off at a ferry terminal in the Olympic Village and we took the ferry back into Sydney.

Of course I have a lot more pictures but won’t likely get a chance to look at them until we get home.

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