Thursday, January 12, 2017


Sydney (Nov 24-27, 2016)

Nov 24 (Thu) - Sydney
We then arrived in Sydney about 11:30 AM. We got through the immigrations and customs and then checked into our hotel, the Rydges Airport Hotel right across the street from the terminal. We freshened up then talked to Al McKay about things to see.
Rydges Airport Hotel
We took the train that goes from the Sydney airport to downtown. It was a half-hour ride.

Airport train
We walked through a mall in the Queen Victoria building and found a nice place to get something to eat, gluten-free.
Queen Victoria Building
Inside Queen Victoria building
We walked around downtown, which included Pitt Street, a pedestrian-only street. We found a grocery store and got some gluten-free treats.

Art on Pitt Street
We walked through Hyde Park, which was very beautiful. It included Saint Mary's Cathedral and many nice areas to walk.
Saint Mary's Cathedral
Fountain in Hyde Park
Statue in Hyde Park
We then went up the Sydney Tower and saw some spectacular views of Sydney. We picked up a couple of things in the souvenir shop. 
Sydney Tower
View from Sydney Tower
We then went back to the hotel to relax. We were able to get the finale of Dancing with the Stars on Paul's iPad so we were able to see who won.

Nov 25 (Fri) - Sydney
           This morning we took the train to Circular Quay (key) to take the Captain Cook Harbor Cruise, which was a cruise around the bay. It lasted almost 2 hours and gave some great view of 
Sydney and the surrounding area. It was sunny and windy on the boat. My face was touched with Australian sun when we finished.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney from the bay 
Sydney Bridge
Windy day
After the harbor cruise we found something to eat for lunch then walked past the Sydney Opera House to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The garden is a large area with a lot of interesting things to see. 
Opera house from Circular Quay
Beginning of the Royal Botanical Garden
Anyone for a swim?
My new pet lion
Garden fountain
 The Art Gallery of New South Wales is in the botanical garden. It has displays of Australian art, including aboriginal art. The art gallery was free, except for a special display of nude art that we decided not to see.
Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Aboriginal art
We then went to the Australian Museum, which is a natural history museum. It had many stuffed Australian animals (we prefer live ones). It also had Aboriginal art work. 

Australian echidna 
Aboriginal artifacts
We then walked to the Queen Victoria building that had a restaurant with a gluten-free menu. We had Malaysian Beef Rendang with rice and steamed vegetables. It was good. We then took the train back to the hotel.

Eating with the queen

Nov 26 (Sat) - Sydney
            This morning we caught a bus to the to the Central Stop in the city (since the train was down for maintenance) . We then took a different train to Darling Harbor. We first went to the Maritime Museum. We went through a submarine, a destroyer, a replica of Captain Cook's ship, and a cargo ship. We then went through the rest of the museum. It took us about 3 hours. 

Can't you steer this straight?
Captain Cooks boat (replica, of course)
Diane's new hotel room - on a sub
Up periscope 
This is easier to steer
We then walked around the harbor and found a place for lunch at the Waterfront Grill. 

Darling Harbor
We then went to the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. It was interesting. We saw many interesting fish and took a ride through the penguin exhibit. 

Australian reef fish
Aquarium pool
Penguin exhibit
When we finished with the aquarium we walked toward Chinatown, but came across some type of festival that was going on in Tubalong Park. It was a special celebration for Nepal. 

Nepali celebration in Tubalong Park
We then walked through Chinatown. It isn't very large - a couple of blocks is all.

Visiting Chinatown in Sydney
 We ended up at Paddy's Market, which has a lot of booths selling all types of items . We then took the train to the Central stop and then we took the bus back to the hotel.
Paddy's Market
Nov 27 (Sun) - Sydney
            This morning we met everyone in the lobby at 8:30 AM, checked out, loaded our luggage on the bus, then boarded the bus for a driving tour of Sydney. We saw some new areas that we had not previously seen, but we couldn't get out and walk around. 
Historical Sydney pub
We did stop at Mrs. MacQuary's Chair, which is a stone bench at one point of the Botanical Garden where the governor's wife would sit and watch the bay. It has some good views.
Mrs. MacQuary's Chair
View of the Sydney Opera House and Bridge from the point 
We then had a tour of the Sydney Opera House. Normally tours do not let people in to see the theaters, but we were able to see the concert hall. Diane always thought it was just a shell for outdoor seating, but it has several indoor theaters. It is very nice and beautiful. The biggest theater was especially beautiful.
Shell of the Sydney Opera House
Tile on the opera house
Inside the concert hall
Earphone to hear the guide, not the concert 
Entrance to one of the theaters
We passed a street close to the ship with a small fair. We saw that it might have some pictures of the city. We went to the fair and found a lady that painted some pictures of Sydney that we really liked. 
Local Sydney artist
We went back to the ship and found our room. It is nice. We explored the ship until it was time to go through the emergency procedures then went back to our room and put things away until it was time for dinner. We had a nice dinner. 
Cruise ship from the opera house

To be continued:

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