Lands Down Under (Day 5)

January 15

[Our last day in Sydney.  We could board our cruise ship at noon but there were more places to see – besides it would be a mob scene then.  We checked out of our hotel at 10:00 and began exploring.  The first thought for some of us was to walk across Harbour Bridge (no, not on top!) and to get there we had to walk right past our ship and figure out where to board. Bill and the Super lead the approach.]

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[Our ship, the Maasdam. While we were gone local friends were taking a Holland America line through the Panama Canal.  When we all got back to Alex, Paul asked what “dam” Holland America ship we were on.]

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[Continuing our adventure, here Bill flanked by The Biddies approaches the stairwell to the bridge’s road surface.  I couldn’t count all the stairs because I can only count to 10 in Australian.]

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[After the long climb, we’re up . . . always remembering to walk on the left!]

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[The initial views from the bridge . . . ]

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[And there’s our boat.]

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[And there are the daredevils making the climb over the top.]

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[Hey, that’s dangerous!!]

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[A famous Sydney landmark, again.]

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[Our boat, again, looking back into Circular Quay.]

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[Tourists already swarming the waterfront on a Sunday morning.]

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[Can you find our Marriott?  Later we would schlep our luggage from there to the ship on foot.]

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[Well, I guess we were due for a cloudy day.]

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[We must be about to the center of the bridge now.]

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[Looking back at whence we came.]

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[Hooray for Hollywood!!  Hey, where’s the beard (under which I discovered extra jowls but no lips)?]

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[We separated from The Biddies on the far side of the bridge.  They were going to take public transportation back into the city, and Bill and I were going to walk back across the bridge to Government House where we would meet Anne and Shari . . . and maybe The Biddies later.  In the botanic gardens on the way to Government House, another giant . . . yup, fig tree.]

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[There’s Government House ahead.  From Wikipedia:  Government House is located in Sydney alongside the Royal Botanic Gardens, overlooking Sydney Harbour, just south of the Sydney Opera House. Constructed between 1837 and 1843, the property has been the official residence of the Governor of New South Wales since Sir George Gipps, except for two brief periods; the first between 1901 and 1914, when the property was leased to the Commonwealth of Australia as the residence of the Governor-General of Australia, and the second from 1996 to 2011. The property was returned as the Governor’s residence in October 2011 and was managed by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales from March 1996 to December 2013.]

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[Gum tree . . . ]

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[Fig tree]

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[We couldn’t take any photos inside.  These are the gardens from the porches on the waterside of the house.]

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[Shari and Anne enjoying the view.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves.]

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[Anne providing perspective for the fig tree.]

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[A Christmas tree at the end of each branch?]

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[A red flower]

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[From the Super, past the waterfront at Circular Quay early on.  Then after the bridge walk . . . ]

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[While we were exploring Government House, The Biddies were doing this! Boarding the train system on the far side of Harbour Bridge . . . ]

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[To go to Queen Victoria Building, originally built in 1898, the QVB has been described as the most beautiful shopping center in the world.  The Biddies love to shop!]

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[Then a goodbye to our hotel . . . ]

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[Finally, aboard the ship!  This was a cruise after all.  Arriving at about 3:00, we cruised right through all the check points as we were the only folks going through at the time.]

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[Our room was at the very back of the boat.  Here was our in port view.]

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[Where we would reside for the next two weeks.]

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[And where I would reside in the moment.]

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I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.  ~  Susan Sontag

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4 Responses to Lands Down Under (Day 5)

  1. JamiG4 says:

    Love the photos of the fig trees!

  2. Helen and John says:

    I like the Opera House The Best! Other pics Look like a genuine gum tree visit! Love the Christmas tree on every branch. 🎄You guys really know how to have fun!

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