Roger and Craig had to go to Sydney for a meeting, and I got to tag along. Business and pleasure - what better place than to spend 3 days in Australia's most cosmopolitan city? We stayed in Darling Harbour where there is a wonderful mix of fashion, business, and boats. Men in Armani suits were as plentiful as backpackers sporting dreads, and the boats...the yachts....and the sparkling harbour were all there waiting for us. We had come to the right place.
|Our first night out at the wharf that is packed with restaurants, bars and shops|
|Two giant prawns -- memories of finding apples in a shop in Ethiopia and considering it a major coup seem very far away|
|Darling Harbour at night -- picture perfect|
|The Queen Victoria Building, built in 1898, is stunning and is home to exclusive boutiques (and an excellent chocolate shop!)|
Built almost 200 years ago, it initially housed convicts and men sent from Britain. Over ensuing years, it became temporary housing for orphans sent during the Irish potato famine, and for women who were needed to be servants and wives to a country that had too many men. Britain sent over 166,000 people between 1788 to 1868 with other countries sending their criminals as well. Sydney was not a safe place in those days.
|The barracks is now a World Heritage Site|
|Items from the girls' dorm including a rat-chewed Bible|
|One of the dorms|
|Love this sign by the Botanical Gardens where you are encouraged to walk on the grass and to hug the trees!|
|Two older gentlemen playing chess in the park|
|Fountain in Hyde Park|
|St. Mary's Cathedral|
|The submarine and destroyer we were able to tour|
|A replica of The Endeavour - one of Captain Cook's famous ships|
|It is hard to imagine how sailors on submarine coped with claustrophobia, the noise and ever present danger|
|The gallery had beautiful displays of other maritime exhibits|
|A huge Sikorsky helicopter used for rescue missions hangs from the rafters|
|Can't imagine being on the water and going 317 mph|
|A moving statue with artist standing on the shoulder outside the Museum of Contemporary Art|
|The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge|
|Circular Quay reminded us of the Granville Street Market in Vancouver|
|The iconic Sydney Opera House -- until we got up close, we didn't realize it was made of tiles|
|One of the beautiful beaches along the coast -- there is shark netting (held by the pilings) to protect the swimmers.|
|A view of Sydney with the Tower from the water|
|The famous Doyle's Cafe has been serving fabulous seafood since 1885|
|As good as it looks|
|The tenders for all the anchored boats in Watson's Bay line the boardwalk|
|Watson's Bay with Sydney in the background|
|On the other side of the bay -- the Tasman Sea|
|There were literally hundreds of boats and sailboats on the water on our way back to Darling Harbour. However, one sailboat in the midst of a race, had a very close call with our ferry.|
|You can see the Harbour Bridge to your left, and the Opera House peaking out between the tall buildings|
|The venerable Queen Victoria building|
|Fort Denison in the middle of the harbour|
|In the shadows, the Hyde Park Barracks and to the right, St. Mary's Cathedral|
|St. Mary's Cathedral|
However, we were shocked that Craig was charged $65 for parking his rental car for less than 2 hours, and I had to take a picture of our room service menu where a "gourmet hot dog" cost $27 (we didn't order from room service!).
We headed back to The Alice with great memories of a new city that did not disappoint.
|Such a beautiful, seaside city --- and all those white dots are boats of every size!|
|Tasman Sea glimmers below|
|Getting closer to Alice Springs the earth gets very red|
|I was looking for kangaroos, but sadly haven't seen one yet.|
On the schedule this week --- a didgeridoo concert! We've been in Australia about two weeks and are loving everything about it. Except Vegemite. Not sure if we will ever get on that bandwagon!
"If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."