Archive for January 2006


Was there ever any doubt as to what the opening shot would be?


We’ve all seen it hundreds of times in photos and video, but I still found myself grinning with excitement as the Sydney Opera House came into view for the first time


With the Australian Open Tennis going on, the city set up an amazing giant screen television for people to gather and watch the matches live on the steps of the Opera House


Just turn around during commercials for a little scenery


Circular Quay is a u-shaped basin with cafes all around and the ferry terminal at the bottom


A hard way to make a buck outside the ferry terminal


And a lot better way in my book. Nice office


Apparently the people of Sydney are equally as proud of the Harbour Bridge as they are of the Opera House. It is a damn good looking bridge


Just off to the east is The Rocks district, where I felt obliged to have at least one drink. There are supposedly quite a few pubs in Sydney that claim to be the oldest, but this just cracked me up


Somebody needs to add a NOT to one of these SYDNEY’S OLDEST PUB signs. A few miles west of downtown is King’s Cross, Sydney’s own morally diminished district. Stopped by a pub there a few nights ago and ended up chatting away for hours with an Aussie, an American, three Swedes and a Mexican. In a seemingly short time, the light of dawn had arrived and I learned some startling news, many bars in Sydney don’t close.

6 a.m. to bed completely threw off my sleep pattern, which turned out to be a good thing. About 24 hours later I was wide awake and catching the 6:50 a.m. Jet Cat from Circular Quay across the harbor to Manly. Just me and a couple of Aussies on the boat, and some stunning scenery



The cliffs of the Manly Peninsula form the northern entrance to the Sydney Harbour


All the way on the inside just a sleepy little harbor


And across the narrow peninsula, Manly Beach


I was stunned to see so many people on the beach at 7:30 in the morning running and swimming. On closer inspection, they all appeared to be of the age where you start to cherish life with early morning exercise rather than undermine it with early morning bourbon. That crowd probably wouldn’t be out until noon at the earliest.

After a full English breakfast on the beach and a good look around, I caught the slow ferry back to Sydney


The botanical gardens off to the left are also amazing. Lush and perfectly manicured, I saw a wedding taking place there a few days ago, with the Opera House as the backdrop


Pulling back in to Circular Quay and wishing the ride wasn’t over


Fortunately it’s not. Lot’s more to see in Sydney, especially the famous Bondi Beach, where I may spend a few nights. But Sydney is also my exit point from Australia, so I’ll be back this way. Tomorrow I am catching a flight to the northeast to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. In China I got to hike on one of the architectural wonders of the world, in the next few days I’ll get to snorkel over one of the natural wonders of the world. Feeling pretty fortunate lately.