Lands Down Under (Day 3)

January 13

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[This is the Super’s photo (well, from her tablet by Reetz).  It should have been the lead on the Day 2 posting, about our arrival in the Lands Down Under and having to look at everything upside down.  Oooops.]

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[But, back to our story.  We began the morning with a guided walking tour of The Rocks, the historic area of Sydney center city and near Harbour Bridge.  And not far from our hotel.]

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[Whaaaa?  Captain Cook’s ship is a restaurant?]

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[We’ll be walking up there soon enough . . . ]

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[Looks like a place for fine dining?]

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[This area reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans.]

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[Where one finds the most interesting stuff down alleyways.]

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[All’s quiet early in the morning – except for the tourists.]

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[A wall that was important for geological or historical reasons – I can’t remember which.]

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[Where we were.]

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[Just in case we have any readers named “Eric.”]

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[Reetz was once Indiana School Nurse of the Year.  And here she found her “way.”]

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[I see people . . . walking inside a wall?]

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[Never went here  . . . or the one in Auckland either.  Go figure?]

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[Hyde Park is the oldest public parkland in Australia.  It’s a rectangular 40 acres in Sydney’s CBD (central business district, a term they use often in these environs).]

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[Unfortunately, we did not go in here.]

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[We have now bused to the other side of Farm Cove, looking back across to the city, Opera House, et al.]

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[Anne lines up her shot of the same thing.]

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[Hi!  Do you know me? It’s cloudy now but I burned the bejesus out of my head yesterday!]

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[Tourists . . . and proud.]

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[And the whole team.]

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[Kathy and Bert were looking down upon . . . ]

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[Mrs. Macquaries Chair, an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, on the northeastern tip of Farm Cove in Sydney Harbour.  It was hand carved by convicts from sandstone in 1810 for Governor Macquarie’s wife,  Elizabeth. The peninsula itself is named Mrs Macquarie’s Point, and is part of The Domain, near the Royal Botanix Gardens.]

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[The Biddies loved the chair.]

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[Another view from where I shot The Biddies.]

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[Another monster fig tree.]

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[The Super points to an, er . . . appendage?]

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[The city from Mrs. Macquaries Point . . . ]

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[We’re traveling again, through the city to . . . ]

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[Well, first, ’twas the season . . . ]

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[But to Bondi (bon-DIE) Beach, allegedly Sydney’s most famous beach.]

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[We had been advised by Alex folk who had been there and then by our local tour guide to be aware – the denizens of Bondi occasionally “forget” to wear swimming attire . . . ]

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[Naturally, no such luck while we were there.]

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[Another trending toward another 100-degree day.  Because I do not mix well with sun, sand, and sweat, I staked out a position at the top of the stairs while the rest of our party ambled across the beach to give their toes a dip.]

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[No naked people for as far as the eye could see.]

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[There’s our group down by the yellow sign, which read something to the effect it’s unlawful to feed vegemite sandwiches to waterfowl.]

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[The next 4 photos are from the Super at water’s edge.  Much to my delight they were splashed butt height by a wave.]

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[Back to my efforts from the water and sand-free concrete steps.]

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[We got wet!]

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[Back on the bus, the driver pointed out this house which recently sold somewhere between $1 – 2 million?  But it has a view you will soon see.]

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[And this one – the starship ‘Enterprise’ – went for between $4 – 5 million?]

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[But we parked across the street from these abodes, walked across a vacant lot (a park, I believe), to this view of the city . . . ]

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[Cropped out the powerlines . . .]

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[And there’s the ‘Enterprise’ at our backs.]

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[Back to the bus – the temperature is uncomfortably rising.]

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[Shot from the moving bus.]

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[Back down to sea level.]

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[After our bus tour, we’re taking a lunch cruise back into the city.  It’s more comfortable – and faster this way.]

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[The Biddies are never unhappy to be in a buffet line.  Well, except their preference would be ordering from a menu.]

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[Bill and Shari held the table . . . ]

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[And soon we were all enjoying fine dining . . . with adult beverages!]

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[The Opera House is in sight . . . ]

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[Passing by our Circular Quay . . . ]

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[To the classic waterside shots . . . ]

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[Tomorrow our ship will be there . . .]

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[Try as you might, you’ll keep taking pictures of the Opera House and bridge.]

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[And one from the Super.]

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[Here we’re back at Macquaries Point.]

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[Home to 4.6 million Aussies – a similar population to the entire state of Minnesota and actually a little larger than all of New Zealand.]

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[It is a port and they do have a navy.]

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[The city and its marvels.]

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[Trump Island . . . OK, I made that up, but it is the best island.]

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[Described as a defaced Blue Ensign.]

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[If you’re wondering why I took this picture, it’s because of the one following . . . ]

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[Sisters]

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[Alcatraz?]

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[Long may you wave.]

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[You remember Harbour Bridge?  It was in all the literature.]

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[You’re right – it was a pretty nice day as Shari can attest.]

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[Any ideas?]

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[My guess is the lighthouse is non-functional; the tall ship likely on occasion.]

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[Bill’s lookin’ good in the neighborhood.  He’s a native Pennsylvanian, and his Pirates cap served him well on the trip.]

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[Darling Harbour, one harbor to the west of our Circular Quay.]

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[An amusement park on the ‘far’ side of the bridge.]

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[It’s almost like a continuous parade of people o’er the top of the bridge.  Not for me, mate.]

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[I see five distinct groups making their way over the top.]

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[Some tourist mishandling the Aussie flag (from the Super).]

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[“Exit” is “way out,” “yield” is “give way.”  Gotta love it!]

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[A ferry named in honor of our insurance guy.]

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[After a hard day of sightseeing, fine dining on the waterfront.]

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[Objets d’art on the walk from the waterfront back to the hotel.]

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No matter where you go, there you are.   ~  Buckaroo Banzi

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