Sydney, AU Part 1

Sydney Harbor Bridge
As the cruise ship pulled into the dock at Sydney, we were thrilled to see Sydney Harbor Bridge and the iconic Opera House.  Once we were established in our apartment, we rushed back to the area to explore.  Staying in the Redfern neighborhood, we were about 2 blocks from a train station which gave us access to most parts of the city.  The remaining areas of the city can be reached by the many ferries leaving from the harbor, or buses around town.  Public transportation is timely and allows visitors (and locals, of course) to get just about any place in the city and surrounding area.  A single pass can be valid on all forms of travel, if desired. 

Hopping on a train back to the Harbor, we ventured first to the Opera House.  Celebrating the
40th Anniversary of its opening, special events were planned throughout the week,  including a visit   
from Princess Mary and Prince Fredrik of Denmark to honor the building designed by Danish architect, Jorn Utzon.

After taking a few dozen pictures, we moved on to The Rocks.  This neighborhood, established in the 1700’s, is located just south of the harbor and is now a popular tourist destination.  With countless restaurants and shops there is plenty to check out.  On the weekend 200 stalls, offering an eclectic blend of jewelry, food items and crafts draws countless visitors.  Historic sandstone buildings and cobblestone lanes add to the unique feel of the area.  Restaurant prices around the harbor can cause heart palpitations.  Places overlooking the water, typically have luncheon prices in the $30-40 range.  We found a small hole in the wall, a few blocks away from the harbor and enjoyed a nice lunch for two for $20.  Trying to eat out reasonably can definitely be a challenge.

Having arrived in Sydney while 95 bush fires were burning west of the city, we had been lucky that air quality had not been severely impacted.    But the next morning, we woke to a heavy smoky haze
Manly Beach
covering the city.  We decided to get out of the city for the day.  Taking the train to the Harbor, we departed in a ferry at Circular Quay out to Manly Beach.  A pedestrian walk passes through shops and restaurants, and a lovely promenade overlooks the beach.  Known for surfing, swimming, biking, walking and kayaking, this is a popular beach spot within 30 minutes of the city by ferry.  Returning to Sydney, we hopped on the Darling Harbor ferry to explore another section city.  Here we found the Australian Maritime Museum, featuring a number of great old ships in the harbor, including a full sized replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavor, and the Sydney Aquarium.  By taking the ferry, we got a waterway tour of the city.  Thankfully, afternoon winds had cleared the city air.

We are loving this vibrant city!
Jacaranda Tree at The Rocks
At Circular Quay at the Harbor
Walking over the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge 
Hyde Park

Captain Cook "discovered" Australia between 40,000-
60,000 years after the Aboriginal settlers.

Replica of the Endeavour

Aborigone entertaining at the harbor

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