Friday, August 27, 2010

Australia - Part 1, Sydney

The Rocket Scientist had a business conference to speak at in Brisbane, Australia a couple of weeks ago, so seeing it was our 25th wedding anniversary, I went along with him and we combined it with a business and pleasure trip.  And boy, am I SO glad I went!!  Such a beautiful place to go and so much to do!
Our hotel was right on Circular Quay on the Sydney Harbour.  Everything was within walking distance, and since they drive on the other side of the road over there, we were ok with that!  Most restaurants and pubs are in an area called The Rocks.  This area is wonderful, old and full of history.  It is where the settlers first landed with Captain Cook when the city was born.  The steps, buildings, roads...just wonderful!  We had a few meals in this area that were wonderful, like Lamb Shanks, Kangaroo Loin and Guiness Beef with Mash and Mushy Peas!
Our first day there, we walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There were so many beautiful views of this Opera House.  I never tired of seeing it.  Such a beautiful place!
Here is a beautiful view of the Harbour Bridge at sunset.  We walked across the lower walkway of the bridge, but you can climb up and over the top of the bridge as well.  We passed on that.  :-)
We then took a tour of the Sydney Opera House.  You can't take pictures inside the building, but we did get to sit in on a rehearsal.  Sometimes they can have up to 5 venues playing at the same time, not only operas.  The Opera House needs a 1 billion dollar makeover.  When it was first built, they thought it would cost 3 million to build it, but it ended up costing 15 million.  The money they used to pay off the loan was made from gambling, and it took just 18 months to pay it off.  That  is quick!
The next day we took a Harbour Coffee Cruise.  We looked at all of the many spots around the harbour, many expensive homes, and beautiful beaches.
The pillars you see in the water are where they put up a shark net so swimmers can safely swim.  I diver just two years ago lost his leg and part of his arm to a shark in this same area.  Yikes!

Halfway through the cruise, they served coffee, tea, filled scones, biscuits (cookies) and these lovelies!  Lamingtons - which were white cake squares dipped in chocolate, then rolled in finely shredded coconut!
We also took a bus trip out to Bondi Beach.
One of the highlights of the trip was going Whale Watching.  The boat went out to the pacific ocean just two miles off shore, and they found 3 humpback whales!  I have always wanted to see whales in the wild, in their natural habitat.  This was so thrilling to see!

Such a beautiful sight, and they were so close to our boat!

After the whale watching we walked around the Botanical Gardens that backs up to the Opera House.
Sitting on Mrs. MacQuarie's chair.
Happy 25th Anniversary!


paperbird said...

It all looks wonderful- what a blessed girl you are!

marzipan said...

Happy Anniversary! I love the shot of the whale's tail! Very cool!

Saucy said...

Looks great, Happy Anniversary!