Welcome to Sydney!

We landed in Sydney jet lagged, tired, filthy, and excited.  Kingsford/Smith airport seems nice – the multiple customs checks were weird but we didn’t have any problems there or with quarantine. The fine folks at Marriott were a life saver.  We arrived at 8AM and found a room all ready for us.  A quick shower and we were out on the town.  We’ll have specific posts soon about the Botanic Gardens (our first stop), the Zoo (day 2), and Darling Harbour (day 3) over the next couple of days.  Right now we want to talk about Sydney as a city.

We stayed at Circular Quay (pronounced key) which is a pleasant stroll from the Opera House.  It is as striking as you have been led to believe.  It sticks straight out into the harbor and dominates any view that isn’t of the bridge.  The roof looks like white sandstone until you get close and then it looks much more awesome. Sadly, our jet lag addled brains wouldn’t let us take in a show or tea.

We took a walk over the Harbour Bridge.  I like walking across bridges like this if for no other reason than it feels very cosmopolitan and slightly anachronistic.  Don’t expect us to climb it though – just being on the sidewalk was high enough (at least for Ashley)!  While crossing, we saw a cruise ship dock at the Quay.  Having spent a fair bit of time there, we were amazed to see a ship that size dock across from where we first had brunch.  Being up above the ship and looking down on it was a really cool sensation.  All pedestrian traffic on the bridge stopped to watch the boat.  I was surprised by the number of security guards posted on the bridge for the event.

We were unable to go into Luna park (only open at night), which is a good think since I’m not convinced the gate isn’t going to eat me.  Again, because jet lag had us in bed by 7 every night we were spared the glowing horrors that awaited beyond those teeth.

In all the time we’ve been here I haven’t seen one robin, blue jay, or tufted titmouse.  Instead, we’ve seen parrots and other cool birds. And lots of them.  Despite being brighter than Mardi Gras, I walked right past this fellow. Ashley had to direct my attention away from the lovely blue skies to watch him feeding.  The locals that walked by were unimpressed.

We didn’t get a chance to take the Sydney subway, but we did get to ride the ferries. Another favorite thing of mine is taking ferries around.  Don’t know why but I think they’re more fun than open air buses and a much more pleasant experience. These were as nice as the one I took in Seattle.

By about 530 each day had slipped past tired and into comatose.  Ordering dinner was challenging because you order at the bar (food and drink) and then it comes to the table. We couldn’t quite grasp this concept. Nonetheless, we had some good meals and some really good beer.

We’ll follow this up with some posts about the zoo and botanic gardens. Here’s the link for the rest of our pictures: Sydney – General Pictures

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