Sydney page 2

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Picture pages:  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  

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Day 2 in Sydney started with the local Fire Brigade being called to our hotel because an alarm went off.  We were told that happens often probably because someone is using the stove and smoke sets off the alarm.

We then went on a city tour starting in the Rocks area.  I'm glad we walked around the area yesterday since we did not have a chance to get off the bus today.  We passed the old wharf warehouses which now are expensive condos (over $3M).  They do have the advantage of your yacht right at the front door.  Old buildings cannot be demolished and rebuilt.  Only recently the old buildings are being restored and auctioned which is now inflating the real estate values.

Next stop was the Opera House which took 15 years to design and build.  Initial estimate was $7M, the final cost $100M.  The Opera House consists of 7 different theaters, the largest is the concert hall with 2700 seats.  We were taken on a tour of a few of the theaters including one where the orchestra is actually under the stage and only 3 feet of space on either end of the stage.  The opera theater seats 1547.  We then had time to wander around the unique structure.

Next to the opera house is the Royal Botanical Gardens and Domain.  Stopped at Mrs. Macquaries' Point for photos.  Heading east towards the ocean we passed Woolloomooloo Bay and the Finger Wharf where Russell Crowe has a $30M condo.  We passed Potts Point and the Garden Island Naval Dockyard, through Kings Cross and Rushcutter Bay, Darling Point, Watsons Bay, and finally to South Head at the mouth of Sydney Harbour.  One stop was to watch lawn bowling and our guide tried to explain the rules.

Now we headed south to Bondi Beach with lots of surfers and a few topless women.  On the way back we passed through Paddington section with some homes only 6 feet wide but go back 80 feet from the street.  Most of the homes have iron work across the front and on balconies which was made from the iron ballast in arriving sailing ships.

On the way back to the hotel we had the option of being dropped off by the Art Gallery and then walked around the Domain, Hyde Park and MacQuaire Street to see some impressive buildings including St. Mary's Cathedral.

That evening we had a welcome dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant across the quay from the Opera House.  Also got some nice pictures of Sydney at dusk.

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