Australia, We Have Landed

Sydney Travel Blog

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The ferry docks.

Tuesday, August 11

We made it! Oy vey.

It was raining when we landed. Not an auspicious beginning but what the hell, we're here! Got through Customs (with only a little fibbing), got our Oz cell phones, got a cab (no, we're not taking the train with 8 bags, jet lag, and rain).

We're at the Marriott Central Quay, or something like that. Thanks to Jeff's travel points, we're staying the whole week on points on the executive level!  Ohh la la! Boy, did the front desk visibly perk up when he realized we were here for 5 days on points. And they upgraded us to a room with a harbor and Opera House view! 

New phrase for the vacation t-shirts? Platinum Matters

I may bitch, moan, and complain on occasion about Jeff's travel schedule but it does have its side benefits.

The Opera House, as seen from our hotel room window!

We showered, reconnoitered with our friend Rich (same hotel, different <snif> level) and sauntered out (the rain had stopped).

We walked over to The Rocks, an old tarted up neighborhood underneath the Harbor Bridge. Had a lovely lunch (though we did forego the desserts) and continued our stroll.  The skies were steadily clearing.

Stopped to look at the ferries and the crazed (utterly crazed) seagulls. Enjoyed a gelato. Rested our aching bones. We're doing OK with the jet lag but we are a bit achy. And slow.

We walked, slowly, along the water's edge to the Opera House. It's both smaller and more awe-inspiring in person. You've seen the pics 1000 times (and we took 1000 more, just in case you haven't). The sun had come fully out by the time we got there, which was a joy.

From within The Rocks.

(If you want to see our artsy-fartsy pics of the Opera House, scroll to the bottom.)

I kept thinking "my dad was here, my dad was here!". My dad came to Sydney on R&R from Vietnam in 1969. It was too far to come home to Newport News VA so he came to Sydney. There was a program where local families would host American soldiers on R&R and Dad stayed with one of those families. I would LOVE to know their names but I don't. He always raved about Sydney and how much he enjoyed himself here.

In fact, I still have the stuffed Koala he brought back for each of us.  :)  I wish he were still living so I could share my adventures with him.

The Opera House is just fascinating visually.

Jeff, his harem, and the Opera House.
So many cool angles. What you can't see from the "panorama" pictures is the pattern of tiles on the roof. Kitty and I played around with "artsy" pics of those. Susan -- our unofficial photography teacher -- will be proud of us!

We are looking into getting tickets to an opera (hopefuly Aida) while we're here. That would be cool!

The Opera House sits at the base of the botanical gardens, so we wandered up into them as an more picturesque route back to our hotel. It is late winter/early spring here, so there is not as much blooming as you might hope but it's not grey or desolate because it doesn't get all that cold here (I think 40s are the usual low for winter). We saw some interesting trees, bushes, and plants. Plus some odd birds.  Strolled past the Government House and the Music Conservatorium (styled like a fake mideaval castle or a failed chain restaurant, one or the other), and cruised back to the hotel.

We had visions of going out for dinner but the executive level (Platinum Matters) has a buffet, so we snuck Rich in and noshed.

Which is when we discovered we were all too tired to go out for dinner. By 7:30, we were all sound asleep in our comfy beds.

Day 1, complete.

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The ferry docks.
The ferry docks.
The Opera House, as seen from our …
The Opera House, as seen from our…
From within The Rocks.
From within The Rocks.
Jeff, his harem, and the Opera Hou…
Jeff, his harem, and the Opera Ho…
Oz flag
Oz flag
Checking out the harbor from the o…
Checking out the harbor from the …
Cool tree trunk.
Cool tree trunk.
Cool flowers.
Cool flowers.
Cool bird.
Cool bird.
Some of the lovely tiles on the Op…
Some of the lovely tiles on the O…
More tiles.
More tiles.
Tiles like tire tread
Tiles like tire tread
Jeff in a curve of the Opera House.
Jeff in a curve of the Opera House.
Kitty doing her photographic best.
Kitty doing her photographic best.
Merging roof lines.
Merging roof lines.
Climbing the steps to the Opera Ho…
Climbing the steps to the Opera H…
Sydney
photo by: Sunflower300