Kangaroo Island
Ayers Rock

Highlights of Sydney

March 2, 2000. We take off from SFO airport for three weeks in Australia and three weeks in China.  A few comments on our planning. Jon and I each carried a camera, his was a digital Kodak with plenty of memory chips and mine was a Canon SLR with loads of slide film.  We each packed one softsided   roller bag and a daypack.  We had more books and paperwork then clothes.  We did not drive a car or cook our own meals for six weeks.  

The morning of March 4th,  we touched down in Sydney, home of the 2000 Summer Olympics.  Well, a few things need to be completed prior to the start of the games ie.  mass transit from the airport since we stood in line for an hour waiting to catch a cab into the city. 

Opera House

We parked our luggage at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Sydney and took off exploring the city on foot.  Our location was several blocks from the Sydney Opera House, designed by the Danish designer Utzon, and took 14 years to build once started in 1959.  Hard to believe that the sail-shaped roof forms are covered with Swedish ceramic tiles. 

My first picture in SydneyOpera House Plaza






Opera House Pavillion areaOpera House DetailOpera House Detail








Adjoining the Opera House are the Royal Botanic Gardens which follow the harbor and allowed us to take pictures looking back at the Sydney Harbor Bridge as well as the Opera House.  In the Gardens we checked out the wire sculptures and the infamous flying squirrels that look like bats in the trees;  then we returned to the Circular Quay area where ferries transport commuters and tourists all over the harbor.

Jon & Care at the Opera HouseOpera House & Harbor Bridge from Botanical Gardens

Wire Sculpture in Botanical GardensFlying Squirrels






Sydney SkylineCare at Circular Quay






Our hotel overlooked the Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Sydney. After a good night's rest, we started our day with a double latte at the Museum's Cafe. As we headed to Darling Harbor, site of the Sydney World's Fair, we visited some architectural sites along the way including the Bank of Australia.

Detail of Sydney MuseumMuseum of Sydney








Bank of AustraliaBullish Market in Sydney







In the heart of the Sydney is the Queen Victoria Building. Completed in 1898 the Romanesque sandstone exterior is capped by the glass dome. The 7 level interior   arcade complemented by stained glass windows and patterned tile floors houses over 180 retail/food/souvenir shops.

Queen Victoria Building ExteriorClock in Shopping ArcadeShopping Arcade in Queen Victoria Building









The Sydney World's Fair was sponsor of  a delightful Chinese Graden which we visited on the way to Darling Harbor.  The tea garden was a serene quiet place amidst the hustle and bustle of the major metropolis of Sydney. 

Entrance to Sydney's China GardenChina Garden in Sydney






Chinese Tea Garden Jon in Sydney China Garden







Jon Resting on the RocksPond in Sydney China Garden








We stopped to visit the National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbor. We climbed through a coldwar Russian submarine and the last Royal Australian Navy gunship.  Besides hotels and restaurants, the Harbor is home to an IMAX cinema, giant McDonalds and fire works display every week.

Darling Harbor ViewDarling Harbor






Mainland Side of Darling HarborView toward IMAX






Jon at Sydney's Maritime MuseumCare at Darling Harbor Restaurant






Lunch at Darling Harbor






March 6 - A day in the Blue Mountains. We took an EcoTour to the northwest of Sydney to catch a glimpse of the major mountain range that hindered early explorors of Australia/ Sydney from navigating westward.  Our bus journey took us past the Olympic Park which would be the scene of much activity several months later in the fall.  The climate and ecosystems changed dramatically as we descended into the canyon.

Blue Mountains (Grand Canyon of Australia)Jon Holding Up the Bottom of Blue Mountains






Deep in Blue MountainsWet Hiker








Our next day we saw the IMAX movie about the history of Sydney then took a trip out to the famous Bondi Beach. No babes in bikinis this day - just liquid sunshine.

Care at BondiBondi Beach Coastline










Opposite shore at BondiBondi in the Rain




We spent a lot of time in airports during our trip. Below Care is escaping Sydney's rain while waiting to board our plane to Adelaide and then on to Kangaroo Island

Care at the Sydney Airport






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