Monday, March 31, 2014

Inland Sydney

Sydney's Central Business District or CBD has some lovely architecture, open spaces and blue skies. We are going to start at the Royal Botanical Garden. We spent a good bit of one afternoon there, but we didn't do justice to it. There is just so much loveliness there. We were there in the middle of summer so things were in bloom, green and shady.

I won't remember all the names of the places I'm going to show you, but that is the herb garden above.

And yes, that is a lily pond.

With lots of birds around. The water, shady trees, and handouts from people attract them. There are lots of benches to sit and enjoy the vistas.

This is a relic from somewhere else that is in the garden. I think it came from Greece, given the names.

Did I say water? There were lakes with islands in them.

From the garden, you can walk out to Macquarie Point which looks out over the harbor. You can actually sit in the Botanical Garden and look at the harbor as the garden is adjacent to it. Macquarie Point has a rock chair that was built for Mrs. Macquarie by her husband, who was the Governor at the time. She liked to sit there and look at the water so after she died, he commissioned the rock chair. But what intrigued me were these overhanging rocks with fantastical shapes on the way to the chair.

Across Circular Quay from the Opera House and the Botanical Garden are these row houses which used to house stores and storerooms in the old days. This is a historical part of Sydney that has been well-preserved. I really enjoyed this all across Australia and New Zealand. Of course, their buildings are not that old, but they are intact and in good shape. China is very modern in most places. You don't see the mix of the old and new side-by-side except in a few places.

The Overseas Passenger Terminal is also there in Circular Quay. One day there was a cruise ship that blocked our view. We saw lots of passengers coming to board the ship, dragging their suitcases behind them. Cars cannot come onto the quay itself as it is pedestrian only. So they have to get dropped off, or get off the train and then walk to the terminal to board the ship.

This is a view of Circular Quay and the CBD (see the cruise ship for reference) from the bridge.

You can see the row houses down there slightly right of center.

We also walked by this memorial on our way to the museum. In China, there are monuments to the people's heroes. In other countries they are memorials to people who laid down their lives for their country. Different words, same thought.

This is the street we came out on after walking past the memorial in its park. We were headed to the museum to see the history of Australia. The museum turned out to be a little small but had a lot of interesting galleries on aboriginal art and history. From outside the museum you can see the tower. It actually is pretty close by.

One of the buildings we walked by a lot was the Victoria building. It used to be a market. We caught our bus down to the CBD from just outside. It is a lovely building from the outside so we decided to walk through it one day instead of walking by it. Wow! It was decorated in red and gold for Chinese New Year. Bu tlook at the architecture.

There are a couple of long galleries like this lined with shops. But the interior is just gorgeous and so well preserved.

Our hotel was near another section of the harbor called Darling Harbor and this is looking out over one side of Darling Harbor. We found a lovely pizza place here. I wish I could have carried the pizza place around with me because it was so wonderful to eat a good pizza. I miss pizza a lot. Pizza here is too sweet and not salty enough. It just doesn't hit the spot. The tomato sauce just isn't right. So I relished the pizza I got from that pizza place. I would have eaten it every night had I been allowed to.

This is looking out over the other side of Darling Harbor. Darling Harbor is an area of hotels, restaurants and shops. But there are places to hang out and sit and look at boats, people and the water. You get street musicians and acrobats and other performers there also. It reminds me a lot of the plazzas in Italy and the plazas in Europe and Latin America where people hang out and relax.

I leave you with one last shot of the tower. We didn't go up the tower because it was very similar to the Skytree in Tokyo and the N. Seoul Tower in Seoul - and we went up both of them. There was a lot to see in Sydney at ground level and we just didn't feel the need to go up. But we enjoyed looking at it from all angles. It helped anchor us as we walked around.

Next stop will be Manly before we head inland to Uluru or Ayers Rock.

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