Sydney Day 1

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Sydney Harbour Bridge aka the 'Coat Hanger'

I have always known that Sydneysiders pinched the design of their bridge from Newcastle's Tyne Bridge in the North East of England.   But thanks to the BBC, I now know I was misinformed,  it's the other way round.   They actually took their design inspiration from Hells Gate Bridge in Astoria, Queens, New York.    All are magnificent but at 1149 meters, Sydney has the longest steel arch bridge in the world and you can't ignore it's stunning location

 

Day or Night an Amazing Sight

 

We couldn't bring ourselves to take the bridge climb we had the budget but not the nerve.   We timed our walk across the pedestrian level to see the harbour light up at dusk

Evening on the 'other' side

The entrance to Luna Park was originally constructed in 1935 and was based on the design of Luna Park in St. Kilda.  It has been altered many times and completely rebuilt in 1995 with high towers in the original 1935 Art Deco design with a facial expression from 1960.  The park has been closed down and reopened several times the latest in 2004.   As of 2018 it is again under threat following complaints from neighbours

Sydney Opera House

On Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour the Opera House is really two concert halls side by side.  In 1957 Jorn Utzon a young Danish architect submitted a design to a competition for a new concert hall.  His prize was $250.   It was stunning on paper but a devil to build.   Sixteen years later it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.  In 2007 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site, calling it "a masterpiece of 20th century architecture".  It was also a finalist in the campaign to name the New 7 Wonders of the World

 

 

Covered with white ceramic tile, who knew?  Not us, it came as a delightful surprise

                               A perfectly magical performance

 

Giselle opened at the Opera House the day we arrived so next morning our first visit was to the box office, we only had that one night free and they had two good seats available.  I was in heaven and swiping my credit card while Tony was still asking the price

We went to Manly on the ferry walked the harbour bridge at dusk and had dinner at The Rocks, once the haunt of convicts and prostitutes, now much gentrified. We sat at a sidewalk table listening to the accents of the Italian waiters, all very 'Lady And The Tramp' and to cap it all we were off to the ballet at the Sydney Opera House

We were hardly dressed for such a splendid venue but hoped the Aussie penchant for informality would ensure we didn't look like the poor relations.  All was well, with every style from red carpet to our tired old backpacker look, we fitted right in.  It was lovely to see Grandma's with young granddaughters decked out in all their finery

I could hardly believe little old me was really here and more surprisingly so was little old Tony.  He had never been to the ballet before ( I don't count a matinee of Nutcracker) so he studied the programmetwice and was none the wiser but when the lights went down and the orchestra struck up he was sold

Botanical Gardens

We stayed on the Southern Shore in Balmain with Dianne and Murray, great travelers whom we 'met' through the Travelzine.  It's a wonderful location, from our bedroom window we overlooked the Anzac Bridge and the arch of the Harbour Bridge from the balcony.   It's a pretty area with houses from around the 1880's to the very modern,  we got around easily via ferry boat.  After booking our ballet tickets and before getting the ferry to Manly we had a look at the view from the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens and Domain are on the edge of the CBD

Mrs Macquarie's Point is a great  place from which to photograph the harbour

Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool  &  Royal Australian Navy Base and Dockyard

Charlton was an Olympic swimmer, winning a gold medal in his first Olympics in Paris in 1924

 Docked at the base were FFG04 HMAS Darwin  and FFG06 HMAS Newcastle, the last Adelaide-class guided missile frigate to be built, it was decommissioned in 2019.  It has battle honours in East Timor, Persian Gulf and Middle East.  Both the pool and the base are in the Sydney Domain, steps from the Botanical Gardens
Nice to see Captain Cook is still exploring, what would he make of it now?

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