Thursday, 8 September 2011

Remembering a visit to Sydney

Harbour bridge from Circular Quay
While talking to a colleague who is going to SYDNEY next week, the memories of my last visit to Sydney came to mind.

The first time we visited Sydney was on our first trip to Australia in 2006 - the recognisance mission or reccie as the British immigrants call it. At that time we were in Sydney for a mere 3 days, just enough to get an idea what it was like. Mainly we had come to Perth to find out if this was the place where we would be happy living and if it was worthwhile make the big move from Portugal to Australia, when we were after all settled in Portugal.

So in January this year, while my husband was in Sydney helping out in a project for a whole month, I took 10 days off work and went to visit him and the beautiful city on the East Coast, about 4,30 hours flight from Perth.

We were lucky to be in a small hotel close to the city centre, 10 minute walk to Darling Harbour, 20 minute walk to the Botanic Gardens, Opera House and Circular Quay. Although there was a free city bus I only boarded it once when I was already far too tired to walk back. I walked, and walked, and walked some more, every single day from morning to early evening, but I think I managed to see just about everything I had planned to see with a lot of sore feet in between!
On those 10 days I managed to take around 700 photos, so there must have been plenty of beautiful sights, don't you reckon?

At the Tourist Bureau I found a pamphlet advertising a "Free walking tour" and I joined them one morning.
The tour was led by a young University student, who together with his girlfriend had set up this small business. They knew the city well, had studied its history and all the bits and pieces to make their commentary interesting, and in the end the tour guide gets paid with tips.
The tour lasted 3 hours departing from the Town Hall in George Street (across the road from the Queen Victoria Building) and ending in the suburb of "The Rocks" where the Sydney Harbour Bridge starts.

Another great place was the Botanic Gardens - you could very well spend a few days there to explore the various areas - there is even an open air cinema. Watch out for the bats!! And of course right at the end of the garden is the famous Sydney Opera House.

There would be plenty more to talk about Sydney, but I will leave you with just a few photos of the places I mentioned above. So start planning your trip!!

Queen Victoria Building in George St (now a beautiful shopping centre)

Inside Queen Victoria building (note the tiles on floor, the clock)
Beautiful stained glass window in Queen Victoria building

Opera House
Me sitting on the steps of the Opera House
Walk on the grass in the Botanic gardens...
Mrs Macquaries Chair, also in the Botanic gardens
Herb garden at the Botanic gardens
View of a lake in the Botanic gardens
Architecture - Old and new and Sydney tower
Customs House (across from Circular Quay) where you can see a giant Sydney model under the glass floor and read foreign newspapers and connect to free internet.
Customs House (can you spot the Opera House and Circular Quay in the model?)
Ibis picking some branches for the nest - these birds are everywhere

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