A new country, a new passport stamp- yesterday we arrived in Sydney, around 7:45 am local time. We’d been up since 4:30 am NZ time, and we were tired, but it’s Sydney! Time to get out and explore! Of course, we saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, and inadvertently found Chinatown (it’s pretty big, though; it’d be hard to miss it.) By mid-afternoon Bob was about ready to collapse. We both had a bit of culture shock, I think. Coming from quiet, relaxed, rural New Zealand to a big and loud city like Sydney- whose population, by the way, is about the same as the entirety of NZ, about 4 million- was an assault on our senses, so we escaped to a mall food court to relax and have something to drink.
So to recharge, we went to the beach today. Sydney in many ways is like any other big city, but one unique thing it can claim is an assortment of beautiful beaches, great for surfing, swimming, or sunbathing, just outside the downtown area. We decided to take a ferry across the harbour to Manly Beach, which got its name when an early English explorer described the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area as being particularly “manly.” It seems to me that it was sort of an offhand comment, but the name stuck.
Coming back, we were treated to an amazing sunset, which naturally lent itself to great photos (if I do say so myself) of the skyline, Opera House, and Harbour Bridge. Of the three, my favourite was the Opera House. At one point Bob asked me if I had enough pictures, and I blurted out “I can’t stop. I love it.” The Manly ferry turns right past it, so taking a ferry is the perfect way to capture the Opera House from several different angles. It was hard to choose just one photo, but here you go.