Out and About

Today was even more beautiful than yesterday and we decided to take a day trip to see the Blue Mountains. But the weather turned nasty, the skies opened up, and the fog rolled in and you couldn’t see a thing. It was pea soup up there, and it was cold. Instead we meandered through the shops in arty Leura, but even that wasn’t fun. So we declared the outing a bust and took the early train back. We did get to see some of the countryside, though, and it is covered in eucalyptus trees. Thousands of acres of tall, stately eucalyptus. Save for a few small towns, it is sparsely populated. Houses are small, and most are made of brick.

But yesterday was incredible. Let’s look at some pictures from yesterday. Sunday.

They have pretty money. And you’ll need a lot of it, because everything is outrageously expensive. Especially food and drink. There is no tipping, but you pay premium prices for everything. A 9” pizza was $17. A glass of local wine, $12.

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Sydney is a city of old and new. It is largely made up of glass and steel skyscrapers, but they have kept and restored some of the original buildings. Gems, they are. This is the Victoria Mall. (Shot taken from the top of an open double-decker tour bus.) IMG_7941

We went inside. Truly a beautiful place. It’s even carpeted. IMG_7980

We spent some hours at Darling Harbor and it was a beautiful day. Everything is clean and lovely. We figure most of this was probably built for the Olympics. But, given the economy, which is about as bad as ours, I’m not sure how long these pricy waterfront restaurants will stay open. The Aussies aren’t exactly wealthy. For the most part they’re working-class folks who pay high taxes and live modestly. IMG_7960

After we covered the entire waterfront on foot and had a round of bloody marys ($35), we went to Circular Quay to explore the Opera House.IMG_7999

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We stopped at the Opera House bar for happy hour, which the $35 bloody mary bartender recommended, and it was incredible. They had a live band and there must have been a thousand people there, drinking and enjoying the beautiful afternoon. The Aussies are a happy lot. We shared a bottle of wine and had a front-row seat for some of the best people-watching on the planet.IMG_7997

Another thing we did was go to the Botanic Garden. These are everywhere. I think they’re called Ibis, but don’t quote me.IMG_7993

PS: Thanks to my sister Mike for breakfast today. Two capuccinos and two berry muffins at Starbucks.

Comments

Debra Spincic said…
I love the old buildings mixed with the new ones. A city of contrasts is always interesting.

Yikes on the prices, though.
Libby Fife said…
Beautiful photos as usual. $12 for a glass of wine? Cripes, that is as bad as around the Bay Area. But beautiful there no doubt. Those stained glass windows are something as well as the roof line of the opera house.
Barbara C said…
I also think those stained glass windows are super. Enjoy your trip!
Sue said…
Thx for the pics. I feel so ignorant about Australia except for the obvious sites. The bird is some type of Ibis, we have many that enjoy roosting on the roof tops.
I don't think there's much about being a tourist that can be done on the cheap .... so drink up and enjoy !! Color me very green !!!