“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Monday, August 31, 2009
SYDNEY , Australia
Sydney from one of the Harbour Bridge support columns, 2006. To the right of the Opera House is the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens and to the right is Circular Quay [the harbour's main ferry terminal] and the business district.
Sydney, New South Wales, is one of the world's great cities, well-organised and well-developed but still very relaxed with several fine green spaces - most notably the cockatoo-frenzied Royal Botanic Gardens.
An aerial view of the harbour and Sydney's best surfburb, Manly.
Australia's main cities are all designed in the same vein: spacious, attractive waterfronts, plenty of greenery and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks but Sydney hit the biggest seam with the world's largest natural harbour - and absolutely gorgeous it is too. Trivia: the world's second largest harbour? Poole, south England. And by the way, Botany Bay, Captain Cook's first landing point, is an industrial zone about 10kms south of Sydney.
The iconic Harbour Bridge with grey-suited climbers visible mid-left and low right.
There are many who have climbed the Harbour Bridge who claim that the cost is extortionate and out of proportion to the experience, but others would disagree, especially if they managed top peak out on a good day around sunset time. Whatever, this picture was taken from the top of one of the bridge's support towers and provided quite enough height thank you...
A capital city: Some deluded folk think Sydney is Australia's capital, or possibly Melbourne. Not at all, it's a city in Australia's south-east that few tourists visit [Bugcrew included], Canberra, purpose built because politicians could not afford to give the title to either of the two serious contenders - Sydney and Melbourne - for fear of dreadful sanctions from the great and good of the losing city. Still, Sydney - aka 'Sin City' by locals though we can't imagine why, the sinny side must be well hidden - is unquestionably the city that tourists have to see, along with Uluru and Cairns for a minimum Australia experience. Melbourne, it's true, is very pleasant, but it lacks the harbour and being further south the climate is cooler - some even liken it to Britain's dire weather.
The Rocks weekend market.
Old Victorian buildings visible in many places around Australia face off the Rocks market tents, a tourist souvenir hotspot, while the Harbour Bridge crosses in the background.
Surfing Manly; not big waves but regular, well-monitored by lifeguards and pretty, lively environment.
Sydney Cuisine:This is a fairly Asia-oriented city with an extensive area in the center where Anglo-Saxon features are rare and sushi is menu du jour though in other areas rat coffins [meat pies] are an Australian quick-eat tradition. Generally seafood is big and white wine with oysters scoffed beside Circular Quay are a must, though Darling Harbour, a rebuilt-for-tourists dock area is where many travelers end up spending their dollars.
Outside the city and away from the surf-smashed beaches lie a good few National Parks though the #1 tourist target is the cool Blue Mountains with its canyons, cliffs, dense forests, waterfalls, good bushwalks and mad activities. A train from Central Station takes a couple of hours to travel the 109kms to the Blue Mountains' staging point, chilly and attractive Katoomba. But don't expect to see any 'roos leaping around!