We arrived in Sydney and went directly to our hotel - The Four Seasons. We had selected this hotel because we wanted a view of the Opera House and of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. We got what we asked for! We had a Junior Suite which was fabulous. Here you see the view from our room.
It was my 70th birthday and we had made reservations at the "BEST" restraurant in the city - Tetsuya. The cuisine is described as Japanese Fusion. There is no menu. Dinner consists of about 12 courses. Each course is small but by the time we got to the 7th or 8th we were already full. And we had more to go!
I wish I had done what the person at the next table did, i.e. take a picture of each course. I didn't so the only picture I have is of the special desert they brought for my birthday.
Our first full day we decided to take a bus tour of the city. The tours are continuous and you can get off the bus at any stop along the way and then reboard another bus later. At times we couldn't hear the driver/guide and when we did hear him the explanations were superficial.
We got off at the stop nearest the Great Synagogue which we wanted to visit. Unfortunately it was a Wednesday and tours are given on Tuesday and Thursday. We did walk around the Synagogue museum.
We wandered around the streets and looked for a place for some lunch. During our wanderings, we spotted this sign and couldn't pass it by without a picture.
For our second day, we had scheduled a trip to the Blue Mountains. After having seen spectacular mountain sites in Europe and the U.S., we were not overly impressed with the Blue Mountains. They were nice but not spectacular.
However, on the trip back we stopped at a park where we got our first look at some of the wildlife. We saw a lot of red kangaroos and a number of interesting birds.
Our first day wasn't over. We had scheduled to do the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb at dusk. This was supposed to be the best time to do the climb as you would see the city while it was light and also when it was dark.
We checked in at the Bridge Climb headquarters at 5:30.
First order of business is to get properly attired. All jewelry, watches or ANY loose objects had to be removed and stored in a locker. Then we were each given a jumpsuit that had NO pockets, zipped up the back and had a strapped-on handkerchief on one sleeve. Next there was a belt that had a harness hook, a fleece poncho, a rain poncho, a clip for a 2-way radio and I don't remember what else. We also got a headband with a light (sort of like a miner's light). Everything was attached to the jumpsuit so nothing could accidently fall off.
Once we were all suited-up, we had a short training session. We were shown how to snap the harness hook onto the guy wire, how to climb up and down the ladders and how to use the radio.
Finally we were ready to go and off we went to the bridge. It's a short walk to the bridge itself. As soon as we reach the bridge, we connect our harness to the guy wire and then up the ladders to the pathway on top of the bridge.
Click the picture to see notations of our climb.
We stopped a few times on the way up so we could look over the city and also to make the climb easier. It wasn't difficult but Granny found it very scary. The scariest part was walking out to the bridge because you had to traverse a section of open grating. When you looked down, you could see the cars going on the road below. Once we were on the bridge itself, the path is solid and it's like walking an inclined ramp.
The picture shows the path we took up and over the bridge. As we were going up the sun was going down. At first it was daylight but by the time we got to the top it was dark. It also got quite cool and so I had to break out my fleece poncho. We saw lightning on the way up but it looked off in a distance. Then when we got to the top and crossed over for the return trip, it started to rain. Out came the rain poncho.
We were lucky because we got to finish our climb. However, a few groups behind us had to turn around because of the weather.
Some things are the same the world over.
The kangaroos weren't really tame but they also weren't too afraid of the tourists. They run free and are probably in the park to pick up scraps of food. Look closely at the picture on the right and you'll see the joey sticking his head out of mama's pouch.
Our last day in Sydney was a special treat. We sailed around the Sydney Harbor with Colin Maidden. There were 4 of us and Colin on the trip. We sailed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge we had climbed 2 days before. We passed by the Opera House and were able to get a magnificent view from the water. We sailed around a fair portion of the harbor looking at the homes of the rich and famous and just enjoying ourselves. We stopped in a bay and Colin set out a spectacular lunch.
We're about to go under the bridge on our way out.
Zoom in on this picture and you can see three groups of people climbing the bridge.
One group is at the flag at the peak, another is a short way back and the third is back a little further.
It was a bit cloudy at the beginning of the trip, but the Opera House is still a thing of beauty.
Just to prove we were there
The downtown Sydney skyline.
Colin is fixing the lunch. It was exceptional.
After lunch, on our return trip, Granny took a little snooze. We also got a last, sunlit view of the Opera House.
Our last night in Sydney, we had tickets for a play at one of the theaters in the Opera House complex. Before the play we met Bonnye and Allan Fine for dinner at a highly recommended restaurant - Aria. The play was very good, the meal was uninspired.
Early the next morning we were off to Melbourne
The picture below is a view across the Sydney Harbour from inside the Opera House.
Beginning of the walk.
After the sun went down.