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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sydney by Margot Justes


An early six am flight put me in Sydney about three hours later. The first thing I noticed was the change in temperature; Cairns was mid 80’s , Sydney mid 60’s. Not bad for middle of winter. For me, it was the perfect time to travel.

As with Cairns, I loved Sydney. Vastly different from Cairns, Sydney is big, less touristy, a working metropolis, like any other major city, except it’s in Australia, and it’s stunning. Maybe because I loved the gorgeous accent, the famous harbor, the iconic Opera House, the bridge, and all within walking distance, but it never got old. The people are just as friendly and helpful as they were in Cairns.

A short taxi hop brought me to the hotel. I love to walk, and usually pick hotels in areas where I want to spend the most time.  I wanted to be close to the Opera House, Sydney Harbor, Harbor Bridge, and the Rocks, considered to be the oldest part of Sydney. There was a hotel that fit the bill, and the price wasn’t astronomical.

When I checked in, the room wasn’t ready. They were very gracious, and said there would be a lovely room available within an hour. I had breakfast at the hotel restaurant, and by the time I finished, a room was indeed ready, and the luggage was already in place. The view was fantastic; I could see the harbor, the Opera House and the bridge.

By noon, I was on my way to the harbor to get a closer look at the Opera House; without a doubt, it was one of the most remarkable buildings I have ever seen. I was already dreading going home, and I just got there.

There are many restaurants along the harbor, with spectacular views, and I decided my first dinner in Sydney would be in one of those outdoor places. It gets chilly in the evening, and most of them had heaters and candles. The heaters for warmth, the candles for ambiance. Perfection.

The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting the Government House. The mansion overlooks the Royal Botanic Gardens, and it was walking distance form hotel.

The Government house built between 1837 and 1845, and for a while served as the official residence of the Governor of New South Wales. This Gothic Revival building is quite beautiful; the stately rooms, and 19th century furnishings make for a fascinating visit, and along the way you learn quite bit about Sydney.  The guide was knowledgeable, and passionate about the history of the building, and some of the inhabitants. Admission is free, and it is well worth the visit.

In the evening I went back to the harbor area, and stopped for dinner in one of those delightful restaurants that faced the harbor, and the food was delicious.  I’m a pizza fan, and always manage to try the local version. Yes, even in Australia-they are quite popular there too. I couldn’t have asked for a better first day.

More next week.

Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks
coming soon Blood Art
www.mjustes.com

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