Today I traveled to downtown Sydney.  It’s about a 1.5 hour trip from where I am staying on the bus and ferry. You can take the bus all the way into Sydney and the time is about the same but the ferry drops you off right between the Opera House and The Rocks and the ride across the harbor (on a gorgeous day) is truly amazing.

My day began with a another bus “adventure” but this one was totally on me.  Let’s just say you don’t want to be reading a text as your bus passes the stop where you’ve been sitting and waiting for 15 minutes….D’OH!  Luckily at 9 AM on a weekday there’s another bus every 15 minutes or so… no harm no foul.  
So I catch the next bus and settle in for my 1 hour ride to Manly Wharf to catch the ferry.  Now, the bus was “supposed” to arrive at 11:05 and the ferry didn’t leave until 11:15….perfect right?  Well, perfect until the bus gets to the wharf 9 minutes late (11:14)!!!  So as soon as the doors open I jump from the bus and run full out do to and through the wharf.  I swipe my transit pass (thank you Rick) run up the gang plank and on to the ferry and they literally close the gates behind me.  Shew, that was close.  
So we leave the port and I walk out on the bow.  Heading out into that harbor in the beautiful sunny 80 degree weather was just amazing and the anticipation of knowing that the Opera House, Harbor Bridge and Sydney skyline was up ahead around the corner made it very exciting.  The ride across the harbor from Manly is beautiful….

Once I arrived at the harbor I had to walk about 10 blocks to the Sydney Tower (Sydney Tower) for a 1 PM “SkyWalk” reservation.  I know this is an extremely “touristy” thing to do but I wanted to see the views.  Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere.  There is an indoor observation deck and an outdoor observation deck.  The outdoor deck is 268m (879′) high and the indoor is a short distance below that. They call the outdoor deck the “SkyWalk”.  They make you put all of your positions into a locker (no phone or camera for pictures) and make you wear a blue “jump suit” (which is a really bad name for something you have to put on just before you go out to an 879′ high outdoor observation deck). 🙂 Once in your blue suit you have to go through a metal detector (you go through another before you come up) to make sure you’re not smuggling anything in.  They say this is to protect the people below from any falling debris, but I think it really to sale pictures…and it works!  🙂

Once we were outside, it was quite windy but very beautiful, The guide showed us around and described what we were seeing and then took us to a glass bottom sections and told us (among other things) to jump up and down.  Then he took a series of group and individual pictures….

Once we were back inside I took quite a few pictures of the harbor and buildings below.  Here are a couple.  Remember you can see all travel photos by clicking on the “View Photos” links on the right.

Once I finished at the top I descended to the 5th floor and ate lunch.  After lunch I walked through Hyde Park and passed St. Mary’s Cathedral on my way to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (Mrs Macquarie’s Chair) and the Royal Botanic Gardens (Royal Brotanic Gardens.  The views along the harbor shore were very beautiful and I stood and watched a cruise ship leave the port.

I began to walk toward the Opera House and noticed a man looking up in a tree and taking pictures. When I got closer I realized there was a wild Sulphur-crested cockatoo perched in one tree and a wild  King Parrot in another tree.

Sulphur-crested cockatoo
King Parrot lower center of photo

A few feet beyond the birds I found something under a shade tree….ME!  I love to lay under shade trees in the cool breeze (must be a left over from growing up on a farm) and this was just too inviting. So I took a little cat nap on the grass in the Botanic Gardens right in the middle of Sydney.  It was sooo relaxing.

After my nap and a nice stroll through the gardens I finally made it to the Opera House.  The Sydney Opera House is probably one of the most recognizable structures in the world.  Well I can tell you, it’s every bit as impressive close up.  It’s just really a beautiful set of buildings in an extremely beautiful location.  What more is there to say?

I spent quite a bit of time hangin’ out around the Opera House because it’s really a pretty cool area with lots of activity.  Once I left I walked over the The Rocks (The Rocks,Wiki) and found a place to have dinner.  It was an interesting place called Phillip’s Foote where you cook your own meet on one of two flame grills. My steak was excellent….my compliments to the chef!  🙂

There were actually many other small things that I did in Sydney today but I think this is enough.  I will definitely be going back at least once (probably more) because I really love it and I have passes to the zoo, the aquarium and a couple of other places that were included with my SkyWalk tickets.  Oh, that’s another GREAT thing about being in AU right now….the exchange rate is fantastic for the US dollar. $

Ok, so for today’s “Where Am I” I have two.  And if you actually read everything in the blog above these should both be simple…..

Where Am I

2 thoughts on “Day 8 – Sometimes you just have to take off your shoes

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