Danielle, Al and I broke our fast at Piccolo’s and perused more items at the outdoor market before heading back downtown. We boarded a ferry and headed out into Sydney Harbour. From the water, passengers are treated to a spectacular view of the city’s waterfront, a cruise ship, tour boats, yachts and sailboats plus a marvelous panorama of the famous Harbour Bridge. The ferry glided within yards of the incredible Sydney Opera House and I filled my camera with way too many photos.
Open your eyes and say AWE!
It’s a must when you are in a town or city on a lake or the ocean, that you get out on the water. The ferry that we took was a part of the city transit system so was very affordable. We docked on the island that houses The Taronga Zoo. We spent the day exploring the lush grounds, its exquisite foliage, quaint sculptures and engaging villages and settings for the animals. The aviary provided views of many Australian species walking, flying, perching and squawking. Their shapes and colours are so unique and it was a treat to see such variety of birds in a short span of time.
The gorillas and monkeys draw the crowds and entertain appropriately acting like humans,or are the humans acting like monkeys? I could watch them forever!
The Australian animals were plentiful and great to observe so closely. Kangaroo, Wombats, Alligators, Crocodiles, Koalas, Platypus, Emu, Wallabies and Echidna were a few that we saw.
Danielle had prepared some snacks for lunch and we found the ideal spot to sit in front of the elephant compound. It was lunch time for them too and the pacaderm keeper hung bags of grass for the gentle beasts. We watched the hierarchy dine with the large male choosing the best grass, the mumma had second pick and the baby was last at the “buffet’. For their size, they stepped lightly and silently together.
The reptile and insect displays were fascinating and the glass that separated them from us comforting!
The views of the Sydney Harbour are impressive from the Zoo. Observing the wildlife is only half the enjoyment of visiting this great island Zoo. As in any zoo, there are always sightings of humanimals!
We were most impressed seeing the giraffes at feeding time. The low sun of late afternoon created an enchanting light across their towering necks and rich patches of white and brown. They glided across their paddocks like royalty. Their mellow, friendly glances betrayed any air of indifference that their lofty forms implied.
Our trip back to downtown Sydney was pleasant as there were many more sailboats in the harbour and a golden light provided a different perspective on the bridge and opera house. We walked along the harbour front where entertainers performed: a violin, a didgeridoo, a human statue aka a guy painted silver holding a pose forever and a hugger!?! The walkways were filled with Sunday walkers, shoppers and tourists as we headed up to take in the Opera House at arm’s length. The angles and and shadows changed constantly across the tiled roofs and reflective glass. The interior, rich in wood and 1970’ flavour, was spectacular. What a treat to explore an icon that everyone around the world recognizes.
If you see any dark spots along the top edge of the bridge(below the flags), that would be hikers. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is not only a famous landmark but a destination on many folks “bucket list”.
Off we went to The Rocks, an urban hangout on the south shore of Sydney Harbour. Now a historic district, the great old structures have been restored from their decrepit state. The area was home to the the seedy side of society in the 1870’s and fell into disrepair. So many great cities have these gems that now shine with history and attract artists, trendy shops and unique bars and restaurants; a lovely destination for the tourist.
Lord Nelson, one of three hotels in The Rocks claiming to be the Oldest.
We sat outside the Lord Nelson Hotel and had a beer while the sun was disappearing. We walked over to Chinatown where we had a fabulous “last supper” together. ‘The Mamak’, a lovely Malaysian Restaurant, served up dishes that were a delight to the eye and the palette. We were exhausted after our busy day and needed to leave early the next morning for the airport. Al drove to the airport on Monday morning. We had breakfast together after I checked in my baggage. Dani and I had a bit of a sob-fest as we said goodbye. I took a couple of pics in the airport, the sheep shearing sculptures were really cool. The return trip was better as I knew what to expect and I actually got some sleep. Chris was waiting at the airport to pick up his weary wife and welcome me back to Canada!
Thank you Danielle, Al, Dot and Ian for a wonderful vacation and unforgettable family time. Love from Caron