Afoot and Afloat in Sydney

We've Reached the Halfway Point!


After three months in close familial proximity, which of the photos below is fiction and which is reality?













View of Sydney Harbor from our apartment in Kirribilli, a suburb of Sydney that lies north of the Harbor.







We're in an apartment on the second floor of "Keston House" - described by the landlord as one of the original homes in the colony and rumored to be a former CIA interrogation house.









Literally 100 yards down the street from us is "Kirribilli House," the Sydney home of the Australian Prime Minister. Here we tried to stop in for tea and found that he had gone off to Iraq for ANZAC Day!








The Sydney Harbor Bridge is around the point from our apartment. Ashore at this point is Admiralty House, the home of the Australian Governor General (head of state), which is adjacent to the PM's House.







Sydney Ferries offer a great way to get around. This is a view from our apartment of the ferry that stops just below us. The guy in the red shirt on the bench in the stern is Ed.








Alex views the Harbor from the ferry during a quiet moment.









The famous Sydney Opera House. We pass by almost every day on the ferry ride into Circular Quay (pronounced "key"), the heart of the Sydney waterfront. We haven't seen anything yet at the Opera House but understand that Swan Lake opens while we are here.










Alex at the Botanical Gardens. He is trying to coax a cockatoo to come down from the tree and eat the berries in his hand.











Valerie tries the indirect approach and lets the bird come to her.










The Botanical Gardens have dozens of wild cockatoos all over the grounds. They look a whole lot happier than they ever do in pet shops although they make just as much noise!










There were ibises at the Gardens too. Here are two of a foursome that followed Valerie around for a while.








James took the opportunity to catch some rays and read up on Australia. Here he sits as far away from his family as possible so as not to be associated with all those kids chasing cockatoos.









Sophie got really close to this one. She's much better at bird speak, having practiced with Tiko (our conure).










We were able to get good seats at a game of Australian Rules Football (or "footy"). The game was at the Olympic Stadium which was an added bonus. Although the picture is somewhat blurred (it was a night game and the players were moving fast) the yellow blob is the football which has just been kicked by one of the Melbourne Demons.








The men in red were from the home team, the Sydney Swans. They still wear short shorts in Australia which was also a plus (at least for Catherine -- James did not agree).








Half time featured an exhibition by a wide size range of girls and boys who take themselves quite seriously (at least in footy).






A friend of ours from Caltech, Cheryl Robertson, joined us for a few days. Cheryl now lives in Perth as a naturalized Australian citizen and kindly acted as guide and as translator for our first weekend of Australian lingo.