Friday, June 28, 2013

A weekend in Sydney

With our daughter the opera singer visiting, we made sure our trip to Australia included Sydney at its famous opera house.  We took an overnight flight and arrived there early Saturday morning; June is Winter Down Under, but it was a mild one.  Here is our first view of the opera house, walking near the cruise ship terminal and "The Rocks" area:

And our first Aboriginal sighting (playing didgeridoo for the tourists like me to snap photos):

We then took the Hop-on-Hop-off Sydney Explorer bus and got a day-long tour of the city.

The Queen Victoria Building and the lady herself:

The QVB (Queen Victoria Building) was built to be like Harrods in London, but fell into disrepair until it was refurbished in 1986.  Now it houses designer shops and cafes, but retained its basic architecture and these amazing clocks:

 City Hall (I love how Australians disguise their scaffolding during a construction project...they decorate it with photos of what you should be seeing, instead of crummy metal bars):

And St. Andrews Cathedral:

In addition to pigeons, this cathedral has an Ibis pecking around the grounds:

                  Modeled after York Minster in England, this miniature version felt very British:

Next stop, St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, where we went to Mass that evening:

Waiting for the next bus:

Next stop:  Bondi Beach!!!!!

We watched the surfers on the famous beach, even though it was the First Day of Winter!

Some nice shots of the ocean and the rocks nearby:

And Broken China Mosaics!!!

There was a crowd gathered at the beach with lots of photographers, so we went for a better look.  We think it was a publicity shot for some famous Rugby players because there seemed to be star-struck fans milling about with cameras:

At the end of the tour we took a stroll through the amazing Botanic Gardens.  The trees and the birds are extraordinary in Australia - you have to imagine the varied bird calls that accompanies all of the photos:

That night our son John met us and we did a quick walking tour to find some pizza.  We found a monument to him and his dad:

And some musicians at an Italian outdoor cafe:

Next day:The Opera House Tour!! Only outside photos allowed, but believe me the inside is wonderful! 

Contemplating her first role on the opera house stage...

 The view from the water side terrace...our guide said it is the best spot for New Year's Fireworks.  Put that on my bucket list??
We took the ferry to Manly, a village across the bay.  Magnificent views all the way:

And as we hiked the National Park there at the headlands:

And on our return trip as the sun set over the Harbor Bridge:

Aa couple of fun signs I found on Sydney streets:

Next Post:  The Great Barrier Reef