Sydney Travel Blog› entry 21 of 33 › view all entries
Ok, so I arrived in Australia..... A long time goal of mine.....to be honest it was a lot different to what I expected. The overall impression I got was this place is very down to earth, easy going and very like England / Ireland. It's a strange country no doubt........Similar in area to the United States but with less than 10% of the population - It has vast areas of unexplored, inhospitable, unforgiving territory. Distances are deceiving - having a total of just 21 million people on such a large land mass, the population centers are all spread out. A strong Australian Dollar and weak US dollar meant my savings didn't carry me far. As a result I cut my visit short and spent only two weeks here.....a week in Sydney and a week in Melbourne.
I have to say, the view of Sydney harbor, Circular Quay and the Opera House is one of the most beautiful sites I've seen. Perfect weather contributed to the scene of course but this piece of architecture, with the backdrop of the Sydney harbor bridge is truly breathtaking. I toured the Opera House and actually got inside the large concert hall. This is not always possible due to rehearsals etc but we were lucky enough to get a peek. No amplification is used...all natural acoustics for an audience of approximately 2500 people. The history of the construction phase is quiet interesting, with a dynamic mix of budget, technical and political issues. The architect Jorn Utzon (Danish) was removed as chief architect before the project was finished - he left Australia and died in 2008 without ever returning to see his masterpiece. I visited some of the usual tourist hotspots - Bondi and Cogee beaches outside Sydney, Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Gardens near the city centre.