The view from the Sydney Tower high above downtown reminded us of Seattle and the Space Needle. They have a revolving restaurant but we settled for a cup of tea on the stationary cafe.
Like the port of Cape Town, Sydney Harbour also has a ball clock by which mariners could set their clocks in the days of navigation by sextant. This ball looks yellow as opposed to red. The Sydney Observatory in the foreground has a museum displaying the long tradition of Australian astronomy.
Evening sun shining on Opera House diners through the Sydney Harbour Bridge or "Curtain's Coathanger" as our Aussie friend, Steve Burges, told us it is sometimes called.
As in London, Sydney also has a Hyde Park, but this one is lined with Australian trees and we spotted a kookaburra sitting up in the branches (of an old gum tree?) and surveying the lunchtime picnickers.
Saint Mary's Cathedral, on the east side of Hyde Park stands out starkly in the blue fall sky. The trees have been steadily losing their leaves since our arrival in late April.
James, Sophie, Valerie and Alex relax on the steps of the Opera House (actually there are halls for opera and ballet, symphony and theatre) before taking a tour around the inside. The concept and early construction of the Opera House were the brainchild of famed Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who disengaged from the project under acrimonious circumstances in 1966 while it was still a shell (or shells).
Peter Hall, an Australian architect, completed the interior designs and the center opened in 1973. The artistic process has come around full circle: a retrofit of a portion of the Opera House interior is currently underway which is being entirely designed by Utzon (from Majorca) and coordinated by his son. Utzon, who is too old to travel, has never seen the Opera House in person.
Tish Bowles, who was the kids' nanny for two years and is now watching over our house and pets, came for a week's visit. As you can see, everyone, especially Alex and Valerie, were very happy to see her and she had the most popular couch in the family room.
Valerie and Tish pose for the camera at the Opera House after taking photos of the interiors (even the bathrooms are cool!).
Sophie and Valerie in a close encounter of the toothy kind at the Australian Museum.
Fall weather held up very well for us. This is a shot of the full moon on the night of a total eclipse of the moon in Sydney. The view is from our balcony and the blurry lights in the foreground are passing ships.
A big fish and a shark at the Sydney aquarium which has some very impressive walk-through exhibits and many references to "Finding Nemo."
We visited the Royal Botanicals gardens again and were able to feed some of the cockatoos. As you can see some of them are not shy about landing on humans.
Best to wear something on your arms to protect from their sharp claws. About three of these birds could probably carry Valerie away.
Cockatoo landing...beginning final approach.
Tish goes for the macho bare-armed approach. Actually this was because Valerie had appropriated her sweater.
There is such a thing as too much attention!
Alex favored a more careful, ground-based method for interacting with the big white birds. he has come a long way since Chile where he was hiding from the pigeons!