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Lucky lucky convicts…
January 10th, 2010 by Kate
The Sydney Opera house is way cooler than we ever imagined!  A MUST see!

The Sydney Opera house is way cooler than we ever imagined! A MUST see!

Sydney is a really really beautiful city in a really beautiful country.  From what I’ve read, it was pretty harsh for the convicts that were sent over here in the 1700’s, but the hardships of the settlers really set up thieir decedents for the good life!

One of many great historic rooftops in Sydney

One of many great historic rooftops in Sydney

Sydney is a water city.  The harbour has a zillion waterways, and the land surrounding the harbour is very hilly, so you can barely turn a corner without a beautiful view.  There is a serious amount of really primo waterfront real estate, and there is a great mix of old 1850’s-1920’s architecture with a healthy dose of really excellent modern architecture thrown in for good measure.  There are hip old neighborhoods with great shopping districts everywhere, and lots of parks.

The Royal Botanical Garden roses, and the American roses

The Royal Botanical Garden roses, and the American roses

The Botanical Garden is smack dab in the best part of town – and its FREE!  We wondered around there for hours enjoying the native plants and formal gardens, but the highlight of the garden was definitely the BATS!  There were thousand upon thousands of them.  The are called “flying foxes” and are quite giant but have faces like cute little fox puppies. 

Yes, all those black dots in the tree are bats with a 2-3 foot wingspan!

Yes, all those black dots in the tree are bats with a 2-3 foot wingspan!

flying bat

The backside of the garden runs along the harbour and has the most wonderful view of the Sydney Opera House.  It is magnificent.  I definitely think it is one of the most amazing buildings in the world.  The sailboats on the harbour and the roof of the opera house against the blue blue sky and the blue blue water made for one of the prettiest sites I have ever seen.  I took pictures, but they don’t even do them a bit if justice.

We splurged and took the behind-the-scenes tour of the Opera House that afternoon.  It was originally expected to take 3 years to build and cost $7 million.  It took 13 years and cost $112 million – and was totally worth it.  There are precious few things in the man-made world that can compete with the wonders of nature as far as beauty goes – but a building like this gives nature a good run for its money.

Tessa on the purple stairs in the opera house

Tessa on the purple stairs in the opera house

In Sydney we stayed with a great family that we met while in China – Jenny, Jerome, Georgia, and Maddie.  Jenny and the girls had befriended our friends the Terrell’s in Yangshou before we arrived to meet up with them, and Julie Terrell introduced us.  Jenny and I only chatted for a few minutes while in China, but she is a vagabond soul sister and invited us to stay with them while in Sydney.  As it turned out, they were on a family holiday when we were planning on being in Sydney – but they very generously let us stay in their house while they weren’t even there.  We did have a really fun 24 hours with them on New Years Eve though!  A shout out to the Briggs Fink family – we’ll see you in Sydney again soon!

Sydney is my new favorite big city – its like a really good mix of San Fran, Seattle, and Vancouver.  I’m going back.

A street perfomer in Sydney blew these giant bubbles, Phoebe entertained the crowd by blowing the huge bubbles around

A street perfomer in Sydney blew these giant bubbles, Phoebe entertained the crowd by blowing the huge bubbles around


3 Responses  
Duffy writes:
January 11th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I sure hope you guys are planning on writing a book about all of this….
I’m sorry I haven’t written for awhile, but Pat, Bijou and I went away over the holidays and I didn’t take the computer. Had a great time and thought about where all of you were spending Christmas and New Years. I can’t tell you how proud I am of the girls and their adventureousness with everything. Give a big hug to everyone… I look forward to reading more about your adventures and seeing you in another 6 months. I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.

Miss you, love you and wish you a Happy New Years.

Pat & Duffy

Tiffany Scharn writes:
January 22nd, 2010 at 11:50 am

Holy toledo…look at the size of those bats!!! So much for the cave/night theory huh?

Love the stats on the opera house! It’s definitely on my bucket list!

Phil writes:
February 20th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Sydney is awesome! Glad to see you made it there. I climbed the opera house with a friend of mine when I was there in 1992! I just remember the sound of all the birds in Sydney. I stayed up in Lugarno for a couple of weeks.

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