Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sydney, Australia - October, 2023

We left Hawaii on Wednesday, October 18th at 9:30 am and arrived at our hotel in Sydney at 9 pm on Thursday, October 19th. We lost a day crossing the International Date Line. The jet lag wasn't that bad because even though we lost an entire day, we were only actually about four hours ahead of Hawaii time. So confusing!!

We stayed four nights before our cruise at a very nice hotel called View Sydney in North Sydney, just north of the Harbor Bridge. The view from our room was spectacular during the day and also at night. The train station was only half a block from our hotel. It's super easy to ride the train and very inexpensive. We road the train several times to get across the bridge to Circular Quay, which is the main tourist area and where the cruise ship docked.

 The first day we actually walked across the Harbor Bridge from our hotel. We got a bit lost on the way back, and ended up walking over seven miles. After that, we took the train!! 

There is an adventure you can book to walk over the top of the bridge. We saw lots of people up there. Not good for my fear of heights, plus it was about $200 each to do it. No thanks!

We bought a two day ticket on the Big Bus Sydney hop on-hop off bus tour. This also included a harbor boat tour. That kept us busy for two days.

Its pretty hard to get good pictures from the top of a moving bus, but I did get a few. Here's the Sydney Tower.

Cockatoos are all over the city. There were several of them sitting in this tree right above the bus. We saw many other birds including the Australian Magpie and the white ibis which were scavenging all around the busy tourist area.

Australian Magpie

White Ibis

The address of this building is One Central Park. The walls are vertical gardens The two residential apartment towers have been recognized as a unique structure at an international level. Key elements are its vertical hanging gardens, cantilevered heliostat, low carbon tri-generation power plant and internal water recycling plant. It is the world's tallest vertical garden. In 2014, the average price for an apartment was $770,000 Australian Dollars. That's over $500,000 US Dollars. A very unique place to see!

We were fortunate to be visiting Australia in October (which is spring in the southern hemisphere) to enjoy the blooming Blue Jacaranda trees. They actually are more purple, and are so beautiful. Interestingly, two years ago we visited San Diego in May and saw the same type of trees blooming there.

This is the iconic Bondi beach which is renowned for surfing and the trendy neighborhood around it. There is a clifftop coastal walk which overlooks this beautiful and dramatic scenery.

Views of Sydney from across the harbor.

We thoroughly enjoyed our bus and boat tours of Sydney, learning much along the way.

Of course, Sydney is known for its beautiful Opera House right on the harbor. The weekend we were there was its 50th anniversary. The crowds were huge, and the lines were long. We admired it from a distance.

This Aboriginal group was performing on the steps.

Behind the opera house is the botanical gardens which are free of charge. We noticed most every city we visited in Australia and New Zealand had free botanical gardens. As it was spring, there were not that many flowers blooming. We did enjoy a walk through the gardens. This is a New Caledonian Pine tree with very long needles. 

There were many beautifully unique varieties in the rose garden.

This plant whale sculpture was huge and amazing to see.

Located next to the gardens is the Sydney Government House which looks like a castle, and was completed in 1843. It is the official residence of the governor of the state of New South Wales, Australia. 

Another impressive building next to the gardens is the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, which also looks like a castle. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious music schools in Australia. This building was originally built around 1820 as stables for the governor's house, and was also used to house servants. It received much criticism as being too extravagant for stables, and in 1910 was turned into the Conservatorium of Music.

Our cruise began on October 23rd. There is a Royal Princess Facebook page. Someone who was staying in a hotel on the harbor took these pictures of the ship coming into and leaving the harbor and posted it to that page.

Our ship arriving in the harbor at 6 am

Docked waiting for passengers

Leaving the harbor at 5 pm

Sail away party on board!

Sunset from our balcony

The Love Boat show that aired in the 1970s was a Princess Cruise ship. The first night at dinner I had the Love Boat dessert. Too bad, it looked a lot better than it tasted.

So, that's the end of our stay in Sydney. Our first day on the ship was a sea day. Next stop, Brisbane!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

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