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I’ve been away a few days for the holiday and am just now getting caught up. What a wonderful surprise it was to see Harry’s. We ate their food a few times on our second trip to Sydney but haven’t made it there (in fact, never thought about them) our last two visits. I can see we’ve missed out. 
 

Your photos of Sydney are, frankly, killing me...in the best possible way. I have told DH innumerable times that I don’t miss cruising one bit, but I miss being places, and Sydney tops the list. It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the world, and your photos are reminding me why. Thanks again for sharing your travel memories. 

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6 hours ago, PescadoAmarillo said:

I’ve been away a few days for the holiday and am just now getting caught up. What a wonderful surprise it was to see Harry’s. We ate their food a few times on our second trip to Sydney but haven’t made it there (in fact, never thought about them) our last two visits. I can see we’ve missed out. 
 

Your photos of Sydney are, frankly, killing me...in the best possible way. I have told DH innumerable times that I don’t miss cruising one bit, but I miss being places, and Sydney tops the list. It’s definitely one of my favorite cities in the world, and your photos are reminding me why. Thanks again for sharing your travel memories. 


Glad you are back from going ‘walkabout.’ I was getting a bit worried that you might have been lost in the Outback, and would miss our sailing, but I’m relieved to see you have returned.....🙀

 

I hope you will enjoy revisiting more of Sydney. Tomorrow we will be going to the beautiful Blue Mountains, so lots more photos.

 

Harry’s was just as good as last time and worth the very long walk.

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After the video we are escorted around this wonderful building and visit some of the auditoriums, and at times we are taken outside to see the amazing views of the busy harbour, and to get close to the extraordinary tiled ‘sails.‘

 

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The architecture inside is stunning. There is concrete and wood which blend seamlessly into extraordinary shapes.

 

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Outside, the little ferries are busy plying their trade, as they pass close by.

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There are walls of glass and purple carpeted steps, and views of the harbour from a completely different perspective.

 

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We creep into the huge main theatre as the orchestra is practising a modern piece. Apparently the acoustics are not great, and many attempts have been made over the years to improve them. It’s a vast cathedral-like space, and we stand and listen in awed silence. We are not allowed to take photos here, which is a shame as it’s an amazing venue, but obviously they don’t want to disturb the performers.

 

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I sometimes have to pinch myself that we really are here in this amazing and iconic building in Sydney. Both sets of our parents were born over 115 years ago - how surprised they would be to know we have travelled halfway across the world.

 

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Posted (edited)

A few more photos, taken on my Sony camera

 

The crowning glory of the main Concert Hall has to be the magnificent, and vast, pipe organ. Built by Sydney organ builder, Ronald Sharp, it cost an eye-watering $1.2 million in 1979.

 

It is  believed to be the largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ in the world, and is a stunning example. It is 15 metres high, 13 metres wide and 8 metres deep. It weighs a staggering 37.5 tonnes and has 10,244 pipes which vary in length from 9.7m to 5mm.

 

The organ has to be  tuned every two years or so, and that process can take up to 8 days. Its very complexity means that it has to be maintained in a stable environment to ensure that temperature and humidity do not alter. 

 

It is a pity we cannot hear this amazing instrument in action. It must be sensational to sit in this huge, vaulted auditorium and listen to it being played. 

 

There is so much to see, and the inside of the Opera House seems so much bigger when you are actually standing there. We are lucky to be experiencing it on a gloriously sunny morning, when the sun is reflected off each surface.

 

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I have to admit to not having been a lover of concrete, it has always seemed such a cold, unyielding material, with buildings so often described as a 'concrete jungle.'  But seeing it in this context reveals its beauty, textures and symmetry. It blends so well with the rich colour of the wood.

 

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Some close ups of the iconic tiles on the extraordinary 'sails' of the opera house.

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Edited by ellie1145
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What a wonderful day this has been! We loved Sydney when we were there and to return virtually at a time when international travel has been brought to an abrupt stop is awesome.

 

Ellie, your garden photos are absolutely beautiful, I especially love the animals scattered about the walkways. I think they must have been added after our first visit...

 

We did the Opera House tour way back then  and your description brought back so many facts  I had forgotten. As on this visit, we also got to hear a rehearsal in the main concert hall. One of the highlights of our  Australian trip was a performance of Madame Butterfly at the Opera House.

 

I can hardly wait to head off for the Blue Mountains!!

 

Gail

 

P.S. Thanks for the earplugs on the flight, it really helped😉

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7 minutes ago, cnd crsr said:

What a wonderful day this has been! We loved Sydney when we were there and to return virtually at a time when international travel has been brought to an abrupt stop is awesome.

 

Ellie, your garden photos are absolutely beautiful, I especially love the animals scattered about the walkways. I think they must have been added after our first visit...

 

We did the Opera House tour way back then  and your description brought back so many facts  I had forgotten. As on this visit, we also got to hear a rehearsal in the main concert hall. One of the highlights of our  Australian trip was a performance of Madame Butterfly at the Opera House.

 

I can hardly wait to head off for the Blue Mountains!!

 

Gail

 

P.S. Thanks for the earplugs on the flight, it really helped😉


Oh wow, Gail! I am green with envy! Madame Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House. It must have been magical. 
 

Glad you are enjoying the photos. It’s a great way to bring back memories, and as I don’t write anything down or take notes it’s actually a necessity.

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We visit the Joan Sutherland proscenium theatre, which has a capacity of 1.507 seats, far fewer than the Concert Hall which can accommodate 2.679 people. Joan Sutherland was a famous Australian soprano, born in Sydney in 1926. There is a wonderful portrait of her outside the theatre.

 

Apologies for the reflections on the glass.

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We see another smaller theatre where they are getting ready for a performance, sorting out where props are to go. 

 

Then we complete the tour in a huge vaulted area with a floor to ceiling window through which we can just see the tops of Sydney’s skyscrapers.

 

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Then all too soon it’s over and we are back where we started. We thank the informative guide and our group disperses.

 

It’s been a really exciting experience, and I have learned so much about this iconic building. We walk back to where there is a gift shop and then make our way outside. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I am loving your virtual journey! Thank you so much for taking us all along. I am enjoying every moment! 

 

I was fortunate enough to see my youngest son sing at the Sydney Opera House in a School Spectacular. Your photos of areas I haven't seen were great to see. Here is a photo of the finale of the Spectacular. 

 

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I look forward to seeing your Majestic cruise. I went on her for a cruise to New Zealand in 2018. Thanks again! 😊

 

Edited by PurpleTraveller
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21 hours ago, ellie1145 said:


Hope you have a great time and enjoy the fireworks! 

 

We can’t wait to return to the USA, it always feels like home.

If you ever find yourself in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area be sure to say "Howdy"!

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Posted (edited)

I would have been tempted to sing just so I could say I had "performed at the Sydney Oprah house" I could have sang Dude looks like a lady as I might sound a wee bit  like Mrs Doubtfire being Scottish!

Loving the pictures and the tour look amazing! Can't wait to see where "we" are going next! 

Edited by winifred
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5 hours ago, cnd crsr said:

 

P.S. Thanks for the earplugs on the flight, it really helped😉


 

Glad they helped, Gail. Hang onto them for the return flight, you will need them! 🥴

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4 hours ago, PurpleTraveller said:

I am loving your virtual journey! Thank you so much for taking us all along. I am enjoying every moment! 

 

I was fortunate enough to see my youngest son sing at the Sydney Opera House in a School Spectacular. Your photos of areas I haven't seen were great to see. Here is a photo of the finale of the Spectacular. 

 

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I look forward to seeing your Majestic cruise. I went on her for a cruise to New Zealand in 2018. Thanks again! 😊

 

 

Thank you so much for posting that wonderful photo. How proud you must have been to see your son performing in such an iconic theatre. It’s an amazing space, and it’s lovely to see the organ in the background. It’s a truly spectacular venue and I’m sure both you and your son will remember it forever. 

 

So glad you are enjoying the trip. We’ve lots more to see and do, and I promise we will, eventually, board the wonderful Majestic Princess. We loved her, and the ports were fantastic. 

 

Thank you for join us on this adventure.  

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1 hour ago, winifred said:

I would have been tempted to sing just so I could say I had "performed at the Sydney Oprah house" I could have sang Dude looks like a lady as I might sound a wee bit  like Mrs Doubtfire being Scottish!

Loving the pictures and the tour look amazing! Can't wait to see where "we" are going next! 

 

Winifred, I’m afraid that had I tried to sing I would have cleared the auditorium faster than a bomb scare..... but I have to admit that when I saw that gorgeous purple carpet my husband had to hold me back from getting out my mini, foldable, super powered, battery operated, vortex hoover (which I always carry with me) ......Dude, Looks Like A Lady....

 

Perhaps we could be a duo? You with your singing, (and your Scottish accent) me with my hoover.......

 

Glad you are enjoying the photos. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, rmf11699 said:

If you ever find yourself in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area be sure to say "Howdy"!

 

Thank you rmf11699, we certainly will!  👍

 

Unfortunately, we have only flown into the airport (Dallas Fort Worth) en route to Florida (and what a long flight that was!) so we have never been to Texas itself. But if this pandemic ever ends we will be off on our travels again, I hope, and we will give you a wave! 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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We walk down the steps and look back at the Opera House, gleaming in the sunshine.

 

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We can see the beautiful Solstice docked opposite.

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View back to the City719B505E-7E8B-4F44-8FED-22DB3995BA31.thumb.jpeg.758f73e1c322cdb4a14419472d97a4e6.jpeg

 

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We walk back in the sunshine to our hotel and move into our new room, which is actually one we stayed in last time. It has a little Juliet balcony from where I can see the prow of Solstice. In a couple of days time I will be able to see Majestic Princess, how exciting that will be! The room is huge and has an enormous bathroom. We will be very comfortable.

 

We get ready to go to the shops, as tomorrow we are doing a tour of the Blue Mountains, and we want to get a few things for our trip, so we head down to Circular Quay, where we will start our long walk.

 

We grab a quick lunch at MacDonalds, opposite the train station, (we see AF-1 sitting in the corner, wearing his hat, and wave to him) and then start our walk from one end of Sydney to the other.

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A Walk on the Wild (or not so wild) Side

 

One of the things I love most about Sydney is the architecture. Modern Skyscrapers sit cheek by jowl with the most incredible historic buildings. Some even sit underneath modern buildings!

 

So this afternoon we will explore this beautiful, city and see some of the lovely buildings en route. We will take a leisurely walk, but it’s a long way. But we will stop for a treat later.....

 

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Here we see a row of beautiful old houses, but all is not what it seems...

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Sitting right on top of the houses is a huge skyscraper. It surrounds the houses. How amazing is that?

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This building has cantilevered floors jutting out which appear to be sitting on air. 

 

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The New Metro

 

Sydney is extending its present Metro system, and by 2024 it will have reached into the central business district and beyond.

 

It will have 31 Metro stations and over 66 km of new rail.  Ultimately, there will be a metro train every two minutes in each direction.

 

It will nearly double capacity from around 24,000 people an hour, to about 40,000. It’s a massive project and one which we saw evidence of as we walked through the city.

 

There are viewing areas where you can watch the diggers as they gouge huge holes out of the ground. Buildings have literally disappeared to make way for this metro system. It is fascinating to watch. 

 

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Huge cranes dominate the skyline

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Where once a tall building stood, now all that remains is a huge hole.

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Diggers are constantly removing rubble, digging deeper and deeper

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But we can’t stand here all afternoon, there’s too much to see. 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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Posted (edited)

Another beautiful old building....which is surrounded on all sides by a tall building.69A7B10E-21AF-43A3-A1F1-65A57AA14FDC.thumb.jpeg.13d74e81c165c253d61176a0afccbd9f.jpeg

 

We see our first glimpse of the Sydney Tower Eye, or as it is often referred to, the Westgate Tower.

 

The Tower was opened in 1981 and is apparently capable of withstanding  extreme wind or earthquakes.

 

There is an observation deck which we visited last time, and the height from the bottom to the very tip of the spire is 309 metres. From the observation deck there are amazing views of the city. It is well worth a visit if you have time.

 

It dominates the skyline and can be seen all over the city.

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Not only is Sydney building a new Metro system, they are also about to introduce a new light rail system, called Sydney Light Rail.

 

Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries the city had an extensive network of trams, the second largest in the Commonwealth after London. However, the increasing use of cars led to its replacement with buses. Rails were ripped up and the network closed in 1961.

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On our last visit to Sydney there was massive construction going on to instal the new Light Rail system, but this time it is nearly ready to go. They are trialling the system, without any passengers, and we regularly see the sleek red vehicles passing us by.0516E9CE-313A-49C8-A1CD-A8CE8920E4D0.thumb.jpeg.eec83ca08b566afb6764736a63fe876b.jpeg

 

It operates a 12km route with 19 stops, starting at Circular Quay and onward to Kensington and Kingsford. 

 

We are sorry we won’t get the chance to ride it. 

Edited by ellie1145
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Posted (edited)

The old and the new....and a delicious treat...

 

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We’re nearly at the main shopping centre, and close by is Westfield, a name we are familiar with in the UK, as we have two such centres in London.

 

It is located on Pitt Street, and is the largest shopping centre in the central business centre. There are over 350 stores inside.

 

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Outside it is pedestrianised, and here we find buskers and street artists.

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But for now I think it’s time for a break and a nice cake or an ice cream, so let’s go!  

 

We decide to treat ourselves to a pastry in the Westfield Shopping Centre.

 

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What will you choose?

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 For us it has to be a mille-fueille...or as this patisserie calls it, a Millefoglie. Delicious, and oh so naughty! And of course, a cup of tea.

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But maybe you would prefer an ice cream???

 

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From here we walk to Woolworths, where we pick up some food and snacks. We will be leaving early in the morning tomorrow and we won’t have time for breakfast so we will need some things to eat on the journey.

 

It is a large store, in a multi storied building, with escalators leading down to the deli section and up to the household section. Our Woolworths stores closed many years ago so it’s interesting to see one still in operation.

 

We think food is really expensive in Sydney, but there are a few bargains here - especially in the chocolate aisle.......

 

Edited by ellie1145
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Thank you for taking me back to the Opera House. I use a wheelchair and took the accessible tour with only 4 or 5 other people. While we went into the various venues - and saw the rehearsal for a school recital in the largest one - what I truly enjoyed was going behind the scenes. We rode in elevators used to store props. That was magical as well. Both my able-bodied husband and I had a great time. 

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Posted (edited)

It’s time to make our way back to our hotel.

 

It’s quite a walk but there are buses if you are feeling tired.

They are powered by natural gas.

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We then wander back through Hyde Park, past the Cathedral and many interesting buildings en route. The first stage of the building of St Mary’s Cathedral was completed in 1900, but the spires on the southern end were only completed in 2000. It is the largest cathedral building in Australia.

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A statue of Queen Victoria, whilst her beloved husband,  Prince Albert’s statue is on the opposite corner.

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The Royal Australian Mint

This is the oldest public building, and it was originally part of the Rum Hospital. In 1855 it became the first branch of the Royal Mint outside England. It is now the headquarters of the Historic Houses Trust and you can visit it for free. There is a Bistro and a gift shop here,

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New South Wales Parliament House

Like the Mint, this building was originally part of the Rum Hospital. Free public tours are regularly offered. You can even sit in the Speaker’s Chair. 

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Part of the Sydney Hospital, which is the oldest hospital in Australia. It dates back to 1788. Today it specialises in ophthalmology and hand surgery, and has about 113 inpatient beds.

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I love the delicate ironwork on this building.95D879F3-87FA-49B2-A1FD-EA114CD96F7F.thumb.jpeg.7a7d6fe3d8e04e1e95d869079b17d224.jpeg

 

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By the time we get back we have completed over 17,000 steps.64F6D8B8-8F65-4CB9-9AEC-A42EE7E205AD.thumb.jpeg.78ee298938d24ee94e202621ef483f29.jpeg

 

We are not very hungry so make a sandwich and a cup of tea. Then I prepare some sandwiches to take on our tour tomorrow, and put them in the ‘fridge.

 

We have an early start so I pack everything we will need for the morning. It could be chilly so we make sure we have layers which we can remove if the weather warms up. We are excited at the prospect of tomorrow’s adventure, as this will be the furthest we have explored.

 

But for now it’s a relaxing bath and off to bed for us.

 

So off you go, and we will see you in the morning, bright and early!

 

We will meet at 6.45 am outside the InterContinental Hotel, just a few minutes up the road.

 

 

 

Edited by ellie1145
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10 minutes ago, katisdale said:

Thank you for taking me back to the Opera House. I use a wheelchair and took the accessible tour with only 4 or 5 other people. While we went into the various venues - and saw the rehearsal for a school recital in the largest one - what I truly enjoyed was going behind the scenes. We rode in elevators used to store props. That was magical as well. Both my able-bodied husband and I had a great time. 

 

How wonderful that you were able to do this tour. It is good to know that it is accessible and that you did not miss out on anything. By the sound of it you probably saw areas we didnt! 👍  Glad you had a great time. Hope my photos brought back some good memories. 

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I am so enjoying "our" virtual trip.  Your photos are great as is the writing; I absolutely feel like I'm right there.  Looking forward to savoring the rest of the adventure.

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