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We Interrupt Our Bali Blog…

January 31, 2019

With over 1500 photos of Bali to edit, it will take me a bit of time to resume my blog; but I promise I will.  In the meantime, I have arrived in Sydney for a few days of exploration. I’ve got a cute little flat in Darlinghurst, which I guess is considered a suburb, though it’s close-in: theoretically a 20-minute walk to the Opera House and Royal Botanic Garden, today’s destinations. Arriving after an overnight flight yesterday, I took a rest and walked the neighborhood to scope out places to eat, always a priority.

Confession: I really like hop-on, hop-off buses as a way to orient myself to a new city, so today I jumped on the Big Bus to start the day at the Opera House. This has to be one of the most-photographed buildings in the world.

Opera House.jpg

The tour is de rigueur, but well worth it. The vision for an opera house emerged in 1954, and the design, by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, won the competition in 1957 from hundreds of proposals. There were issues from the outset, however, as his drawings gave no clue as to how it would be built or if it would actually stand. It took another two years for engineers to modify the plan and begin construction. Initially supported by the visionary premier of New South Wales, the political will that fueled the vision dried up with leadership changes in the mid-sixties, and the project foundered mid-construction. Eventually, it was fourteen years before it was completed and dedicated by Queen Elizabeth in 1973; the cost, originally projected at Au$7 million, ballooned to over Au$100 million. Sadly, the architect resigned amidst conflict with the new administration, returned to Denmark and never saw his masterwork completed. The drama surrounding construction of the Sydney Opera House is fascinating.

Up close, the sails provide endless photo opportunities.

Rounded Sails.jpg

sunlight on sails

 

 

Sail Detail.jpg

Sunlight on Sails-4.jpg

One of the concrete beams supporting the sails…

supporting beam

There are seven theaters with performances for every taste, from opera to symphony to something decidedly unstuffy.

nothing stuffy

A short walk took me to the serenity of the Royal Botanic Garden, about 75 acres of pure tranquillity, with huge eucalyptus, fig trees, Chinese weeping cypress, wildflowers, and a host of trees and flowers I’d never seen in my life.

 

 

Hill's WeepFiging_.jpg

 

flower meadow path

Not a clue what these are…

mystery plant

 

upside down flower tree

This Imperial Bromeliad made a dramatic photo.

imperial bromeliad-2

At the pond and its restaurant (where I had awesome fish and chips for lunch), these stunning ibis (ibises?) swooped around trying to steal food.

ibis at lily pond

On the bus back to my starting point, I caught some interesting architecture, including the Harbor Bridge and 1 Central Park, Sydney’s most unique “living” building.

harbor bridge b&w

 

Park Place.jpg

park place closeup

 

More tomorrow…

2 Comments
  1. When I saw your blog notification this morning, I found myself settling in to read in the same way I do when I have a new book by an author I love. You did not disappoint and my anticipation was well rewarded. Love the photos and the brief history lesson.

    Like

  2. lovely photos. the sails caught my attention mostly. the opportunities being endless and all. the clarity of your images is so impressive, travel well friend.

    Like

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