I successfully meet my driver for the trip into downtown Sydney. This is one very spread out city. My Mercedes conveyance was nicely luxurious, and the hotel is truly a boutique hotel, meaning small, older touches (like the picture of the dining room you will see), black and white tile in the bathroom, and a truly old radio that reminds me of a 1950-1960s radio.
After settling in, I started exploring Sydney. There are many more people here than in any of the cities in which I have been in on this trip. I took a bus down to Circular Quay (a main ferry terminal), and had some prawns (shrimp) for lunch, and had a companion join me (see the picture of an Ibis).
I explored a residential and commercial part of Sydney called The Rocks, which was developed by convicts, hence the name, and became the main port of Sydney. Imagine living there a long time ago when the rich people lived higher up the slopes of the hills and their sewage literally flowed down hill. Yuck! Today, the remnant of the neighborhood is inner city middle-class residential with some places having terrific views of parts of Sydney harbor and many retail and pubs.
As I was leaving Circular Quay later in the afternoon, I took a picture of a guy with a sea gull perched atop his head.
Before heading to Circular Quay, I went to Hyde Park, and you'll see a picture of this unusual fountain, called Archibald Memorial Fountain, that has Greek mythological figures in it. Across the street from Hyde Park stands St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, the finest example of English Gothic architecture in the world. For those who may care, Gothic architecture most often employs the use of flying buttresses (arch type poles for want of a better term) to hold up the outside walls. The cathedral is huge and pretty magnificent inside. You'll see some pictures of the interior, including two of an altar that is intricately carved stone and the second of which shows St. Patrick in the foreground.
Two photos I took are of the State Theater lobby. To me, it is very reminiscent of older theaters where it has marble walls, metal sculptures, and a mosaic tiled floor. It's pretty cool looking.
One picture I took is from the top floor of the Shangri-La Hotel showing the Harbor Bridge.
Today, I am going to walk through the Botanical Gardens, take a tour of the Opera House (alas nothing is playing there while I'm in town), and maybe take a ferry to the Taronga Zoo.