Sydney, Australia

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The travelers thank Joelle Finley of New Orleans, who is newly married, for taking the time from her honeymoon to identify the Australian birds that appear in this portion of the travelogue.

Sunrise in Australia observed from Vietnam Airline Flight 773 at 40,000 ft. altitude 

View of the Sydney Opera House, the iconic symbol of Sydney, from the hotel room. The bottom of the photos shows ferry wharfs in Sydney Harbour. Among other places, ferries from these wharfs travel to the Taronga Zoo and the city of Manly, which are located on the opposite (north) shore toward the right (east).

Playing chess in Hyde Park (Sydney Australia)

Travelers at the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park. Although it's midwinter here in June 2012, the temperatures range from 50-60 degrees F. 

A partial view of the Archibald Fountain and the St. Mary's Basilica on the left

A bubble maker in Hyde Park
Soap bubbles in Hyde Park

St. Mary's Basilica in Sydney. This is the largest church in Australia, but not the tallest. It was built in stages, and an early stage was complete in 1883. The two spires on the right were completed in 2000.

The spires of St. Mary's Cathedral

The Sydney Tower, which was opened to the public in 1981, is shown in the background. This is Sydney's tallest structure (1014 ft.), and the second tallest in Australia. The tower contains restaurants and an observation deck.

An Australian white ibis in Hyde Park Buying flowers

This local Australian beer costs $3.00, more than beer at the Asheville Tourists thirsty Thursday's nights. We had a great hamburger at the Cafe in the Royal Botanic Garden; for $18.50 a piece, it should be great.

A traveler with a statue of Thomas Sutcliff Mort (1816-1878), a prominent Australian Merchant-Industrialist

Touring the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney. The rules of this park are unusual as the sign states that walking on the grass is encouraged as well as hugging the trees.

A traveler at a monument in the Royal Botanic Garden
A traveler and scarecrow in the Royal Botanic Garden A view of the Sydney Tower from the Garden

In the succulent garden in the Royal Garden; these plants prefer hot dry climates and are indigenous in North and South America and Africa.

A view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Royal Botanic Garden

This sandstone bench in the Royal Botanic Garden was carved in 1816 for the Governor's wife, Elizabeth Macquarie. It's known as Mrs. Macquarie's chair. It is located on the eastern portion of the garden.

In front of Lion's Gate in the Royal Botanic Garden
A succulent tree in the RB Garden A statue in the garden
Two rainbow lorikeets in a tree in the RB Garden

In the fern exhibit of the RB Garden

At a fountain in the RB Garden

Near the entrance of the Taronga Zoo. Near the traveler's right hand is a statue of a squirrel hanging on the brick wall. We see actual squirrels hanging and walking on the brick walls of our home in Hendersonville, NC.

Two koalas bears hugging. A hopping kangaroo

Three wallabies. Kangaroos have square snouts and wallabies have cone-shaped snouts. Wallabies and kangaroos are the only animals of heights greater that 50 cm whose chief mode of locomotion is hopping.

The colors of these Asian, or Mandarin ducks is magnificient.
A red panda asleep

A view of the opera house taken from a ferry returning from the zoo to the south shore of the Sydney Harbour, the location of the travelers' hotel and the Royal Botanic Garden.

The Public Library of New South Wales in Sydney

The Art Gallery of New South Wales; the architecture is similar to that seen on the left.

The rotunda of the Art Gallery A painting by Adelaide Ironside, one of our favorite Australian painters

A magnificent self-portrait of Peter Paul Rubens in the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Trecking back to the hotel after a hard day's touring

The Opera Bar on a lower concourse of the Sydney Opera House. It's the end of the fiscal year here, and all of the office people are out celebrating. Imbibing after work here in Sydney ranks with, if not excedes, that of Manhattan. 

The roof of the Opera House, viewed from the Opera Bar, is the white structure visible in the background.

This is where one picks up his/her drinks at the Opera Bar Another sort of cocktail pick up
An outdoor bar near the Opera on a Friday evening A traveler enjoying an Australian Chardonnay in the Opera Bar

A traveler at the Museum of Sydney. This museum covers the development of Sydney. Unfortunately photography inside was disallowed. 

On a ferry beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney has a marvelous harbor and port. The mouth of the harbor begins at Manly to the east, the site of the first European landing in Australia. The Parramatta River passes through Sydney and continues west to the city of Parramatta. No city in the US has a comparable harbor and inland rivers as does Sydney.

Mortlake Ferry (the last automobile-carrying ferry operating on the river) A darter on the banks of the city of Parramatta
A dusky moorhen in the Royal Botanical Garden A noisy minor in the Royal Botanical Garden
A masked lapwing in the Royal Botanical Garden An Australian magpie near the wharf of the Sydney Harbour
North Sydney observed from the Parramatta ferry  The Sydney Harbour bridge seen from the west from the Parramatta ferry
The Sydney Harbour bridge contains walkways.

The sailor's home in the Sydney Harbour; it is no longer used as a sailors' residence.

On the way to the Sydney Opera, a performance of Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City) by Erich Korngold. Besides composing opera music, Korngold received a Hollywood Oscar for the musical score of Robin Hood (1938). 

A traveler outside of the Sydney Opera House. Note that the iconic concrete shells are covered in a subtle chevron pattern with 1,056,006 glossy white- and matte-cream-colored Swedish-made tiles, though from a distance, the shells appear a uniform white.

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Waiting for the performance The House

In a somewhat bizarre fashion, the conductor and orchestra were located in the theater in the opera house complex invisible to the audience. The person above watched the orchestra on a TV screen and directed the singers on the stage. It's difficult to believe that Australian soprano extraordinaire Dame Joan Sutherland sang under similar circumstances while her husband Richard Bonynge conducted the orchestra. The singing by all the participants in Die Tote Stadt was magnificent. The story behind the opera was not as good.

The lead soprano, Marie Cheryl Barker, taking her bows at the end of the performance. Roses play a major role in this opera and are used one way or another in every act. Surprisingly, the soprano was not given a bouquet at the end of the performance.

A traveler outside of Market City on a Sunday afternoon. This market equals those seen in Shanghai and Bangkok. Note on some of the dates in this photo-journal, the date may be off by a day. The camera is set on Hendersonville, NC (eastern daylight savings time) and not on the local time.

At a shop

A traveler in Paddy's Market, part of Market City. This stall contains a large variety of tee-shirts.

This shop in Sydney Australia is a clothing store unrelated to Vans in Hendersonville, NC, the latter of which is by far the best candy store in the USA.

To celebrate our last evening in Sydney Australia, we plan to have some bubbly. This is a marvelous city, but the prices are 2-4 times greater than that in the US. However, people here have universal health care coverage, and there is no charge or co-pay when they see a physician - they love the system.

As part of our last day's celebration, we took the ferry to Manly. This is where the first Brits set foot in Australia in about 1778.

The Taronga Zoo seen from the Manly ferry. Its skytrain cars can be seen descending the hill.

Walkers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge looking at the sunset
Manly Australia viewed from the Manly ferry

Sunset observed from the Manly ferry on its return to Sydney. The main section of Sydney is called Circular Quay. The Aussies pronounce the second word as key. 

Back for more food at the Opera Bar with a chance to observe more cocktail pick ups of several sorts.

Waiting for Korean Air flights 122 and 853 to Inchoen South Korea and then onto Beijing China on Monday Morning 2 July 2012.

View of Sydney Olympic Stadium from flight 122 

View of Indonesia from flight 122. We transferred from flight 122 to 853 at the Inchoen Airport in Korea. Inchoen is where General Douglas McArthur and his American Army made a miraculous assault during the Korean War. We saw no evidence that this was a former war zone. Although Korean Air has first rate airplanes and a courteous staff, avoid Inchoen Airport if at all possible. We had to pass through security when transferring from one international flight to another. The lines were long and slow, and we just made our connection as we scurried from one terminal to another. Moreover, the rest room facilities are much too sparse when considering the size of the airport. 

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Created 27 June 2012; updated 14 July 2012

Robert Roskoski Jr. Laura Roskoski