Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Day in Sydney, NSW, AU... Afternoon and Evening Adventures...

Sydney is a beautiful city... and the people are friendly too! I was especially fortunate to have a local stop me as I was taking photos in Hyde Park and give me some tips for where to capture the best photos of the downtown area and special sightseeing destinations. His best tip caused me to change my plans for the afternoon... had planned to wander through the Botanic Garden and eventually wind up at the Opera House to go on the one hour tour that would tell me about the construction of the Opera House and so forth. BUT, my friendly local told me about options for walking across (or partway across) the Harbour Bridge and told me I'd be able to get some fantastic photos from the Bridge's pedestrian walkway.

As I was gradually wending my way down toward the harbor after having a bite to eat at a hotel along the way, I spotted a sign for the Cahill Expressway Pedestrian walkway route to the Harbour Bridge walkway. Without giving it too much thought, I punted my plan to go to the Opera House in favor of exploring the walkways above the city streets below me. I figured if I finished my tour early enough I might still get to the Opera House before the last tour of the day began... but that didn't happen!

It seemed that my vantage point above the city streets gave me wonderful photo opportunities at every step along the way... so of course I had to take LOTS of pictures. And when I reached the Harbour Bridge, I discovered another fantastic spot to visit... the Pylon Lookout. This is a museum inside the South Pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge... 200 steps up from the main bridge walkway to the top gives the viewer unobstructed vistas on all sides of the bridge. Along the way, there are exhibits and a short film telling the story of the Harbour Bridge from conception to completion.

All in all, my last day in Sydney (August 4) was marvelous and it was capped off by dinner with friends Ruth and Guy at the Park Hyatt Restaurant where we were treated to a lovely view of the harbor by night... and also had a fabulous meal! Oh, and dare I mention that I discovered an art gallery (before dinner) where Aboriginal Art is sold and was able to find a couple of paintings that I was SURE would look good at our house... a very long, productive and enjoyable day for my last day of vacation (home on August 5)... and now... for a few photos...
Aboriginal musicians
Aboriginal musicians playing on the streets below Cahill Expressway... in the Sydney Harbour area... This was the first group I saw... usually there was only one musician playing the didgeridoo which has an amazingly distinctive sound.
Russell Hotel and Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Russell Hotel (where I stayed my last two nights in Australia) is in the lower left foreground... photo taken from the Cahill Expressway pedestrian walkway looking towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge... obviously!
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, NSW, AU
I just LOVE this photo of the Sydney Opera House taken from the Sydney Harbour Bridge... the tiny little yellow boat is a water taxi and it is completely dwarfed by the massive Opera House structure.
top of Sydney Harbour Bridge with bridge walkers
Those tiny figures (may need to view the large size of this photo to see them) on the left atop the Harbour Bridge are people who have paid a hefty sum to do the Bridge Climb... an event that takes about 3 hours (or more) and requires one to leave their camera (among other things) behind... so I did not do this!
moonrise over Sydney Opera House
Shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge reach the Sydney Opera House as the moon rises over Sydney...
fuzzy photo of diners in restaurant
With apologies for the fuzzy photo... taken by our waiter... SIGH... myself, Ruth and Guy with the view of the Opera House and harbor behind us.

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