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Pictures:  Opera House  |  Harbour Bridge  |  Queen Victoria Building  |  The Rocks  |  Observatory Point   |  Sydney Harbour  |   Darling Harbour   |  Royal Botanical Gardens   |  Sydney   |  St. Mary's Cathedral   |  Buildings   |  Houses   |  Welcome Dinner   |   Fire Brigade   |   Street Performers   |  Watsons Bay   |  Bondi Beach   |  Harbour Cruise   |   Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park  |  Sydney at Dusk    

History:  Australia  |  Sydney

The drive to our hotel was only about 30 minutes.  On the way we passed the central train station and the Funeral Train Station where remains were shipped from a local penal cemetery so the city could build on the site.  Interesting history.

We stayed 4 nights at the Medina Grand Habourside Hotel which was at Darling Harbour and next to the Sydney Aquarium.   By 8 a.m. we went on a walking tour of  the neighborhood.  Important things were pointed out such as places to exchange money, convenience stores, and safe pedestrian habits.  On return to the hotel our tour director or "fearless leader" gave a briefing about the trip itinerary.  After the briefing we were able to check into our room.

Our room was actually an apartment with kitchen - microwave, oven, refrigerator, pots, pans, dishes and utensils - bedroom and lounge area with TV, stereo and CD player.  Most apartments had washers and dryers, ours did not.  When we asked at the reception desk about using a washer and dryer we were allowed to use the one in the next apartment before we left.  What a deal.

By lunchtime we were off on our own to explore, exchange money and eat lunch.  We first stopped at the century old Queen Victoria Building.  It was converted into a four-story shopping mall.  It still has original tile, stain-glass windows and some wonderful clocks.

Walking towards the harbour down Pitt Street, which had numerous stores and enclosed malls, we ate at the International Food Court in one of the larger buildings.  When we arrived at the Circular Quay the first thing we noticed was the Opera House.  Over the next few days I took pictures from every angle.  The Harbour Bridge was also a favorite target for my camera.

The Rocks - first landing of the convict ships - was a short walk away.  It's actually at the southern end of the harbour bridge.  The area has the oldest buildings in Sydney.  We walked all the area and up to Observatory Hill.  By this time it was after 4 p.m. and we were getting tired (after the long flight and walking for hours).  We decided to take the water ferry back to Darling Harbour and our hotel.  Since the Sydney Aquarium was at the Darling Harbour dockside, we decided to see one of the prominent aquariums of the world.  In comparison, we liked the London Aquarium a little better.  

John just had to use the exercise room and the swimming pool, which then made sleeping a lot easier.  What a full and long day!

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