Opera house harbour cruise and darling harbor

Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
Trip End Sep 21, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beautiful Sydney!
Did I say it's Beautiful here? Well it Beautiful here!
We have been so incredibly lucky with the weather, today was supposed to rain but it was only overcast for part of the day. In the morning (well it was the first morning we all slept in and woke up at 9.15 Awesome!) we walked down to the harbor and to the Opera House, we got our tickets for the insiders tour ( we had just missed one so the next one was at noon) so we headed over to the Royal Botanical Garden. There we took the scenic train through the gardens. It was great and so informative. We saw more of the beautiful Australian trees and their incredible root systems. The scent of the gardens were amazing and we saw trees throughout to have been extinct for years and re discovered called Dinosaur trees, as well as 350 year old trees with giant trunks. There was an abundance of bird life and lots and lots of white cockatoo's they are majestic. We were also introduced to two giant spiders who's web is a strong as steel. There were several pieces of large art work in the gardens, one built with thousands of white rocks and it was hollow with a small slit on the side, it was functional art build to house a rare species of endangered bat's and then there was what looked like a large piece of rock which apparently cost 5 million dollars, hmmm, I suppose it is true what they saw about art, it is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
We enjoyed a light lunch at the Opera house kitchen sitting outside nestled between the opera house and the coat hanger it doesn't get much better than that.
We met our tour guide and our insiders tour of the opera house was so interesting. THe architecture is phenomenal and the story of how it came to be fascinating. It took over 10 years and 105 million dollars, ( the original estimates were 5 million and 3 years) The design came from a Danish architect who had entered the design competition, his drawings had already been discarded, however a finish/american judge who was late retrieved his disqualified drawing and declared it the winning design. There are a lot of stairs inside the building (this element was brought on by a visit to the inka ruins in Mexico where the stairs was to enhance the anticipation of something wonderful to come) and I think it worked. The concert halls are breath taking with the views of the incredible ceiling and the seating has been specially designs by a doctor and when I sat in them it was perfect lumbar support. Amazing!. We throughly enjoyed the stories and insides views of this wonderful place and Maija loved seeing the signed point ballerina shoes draped every where. This tour is a must if visiting Sydney!.
THe tiles that cover the opera house are from Sweden. They are actually yellow and beige , but look white with the reflection of the sky and the clouds. White would have made it to bright to look at on a sunny day.
after the tour we took a harbor cruise. We cruised by million dollar homes (multi million dollar homes I should say--one was offered 20 million in rent to be used for a major motion picture and they declined.) The homes were so beautiful with all glass sides over looking the ocean. There was also a little island (I cant recall the name right now as my notes are in my room and I am currently in the business centre) but it is a small island just outside the peak of the botanical gardens, people think it was an old prison but it has never actually been a prison, however they did send (at times) criminals out there for a day or two in solitude to consider what they had done. Once however a murderer was sent out there to solitary confinement, he starved to death, and they hung his body upside down to show others what would happened to a murderer...ugh! they removed the body years later when it was just bones dangling from a tree...hmm the things we have learned on this trip!
After the cruise we headed to the hotel so the kids could have a quick swim and we looked for a place to stay our last 9 days in south africa as that is Still not booked...starting to stress a bit about this but I am sure we will find something great. it is the only thing that was not booked before we left canada. (as it was changed last minute from Egypt) Cape town is silly expensive and I am not paying $2700/night that is for sure (that was the last quote that came back but oh it had continental breakfast included. lol.
Anyhow , we found a few places and sent inquiries and we will see what comes back. Then we took a taxi to Darling Harbour! it is Beautiful there. Lots of restaurants and cafe's (including a hard rock) we found an awesome spanish tapas restaurant where we could sit outside by thte heat lamps and enjoy our sangria and really amazing food. The kids (ok me too) had fresh made churros for dessert with rich melted dark chocolate. So so good.
We enjoyed the fireworks over the harbor in the evening before heading back to our hotel. It was a beautiful day.
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