March 3 – 4, 2019
As I mentioned in a previous post, we had a medical emergency on board and sailed into Sydney on Sunday afternoon, March 3 instead of the morning of March 4. And what a sail in it was! Since we came in on a Sunday there were hundreds of boats in the harbor, many doing sailing regattas. It was a beautiful sight. Although we have been to Sydney twice before, we never sailed in to this wonderful spectacle.
On our first trip to Sydney, we did the bridge climb. Yes, we did! The last picture above shows the people doing that climb as we sailed in.
The Sydney Harbor Bridge is the largest of its kind – a steel arch bridge. The harbor is also the largest natural harbor in the world. The famous Sydney Opera House – building it started in 1959 and it was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on October 20, 1973 – welcomes you to the city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among the world’s busiest performing arts centers with over 2500 performances a year. We toured it on our last visit and it is well worth the visit.
We had to have a face to face inspection with immigration when we arrived. Only after every passenger was off the ship and processed could we return to the ship, so we stayed on board until the last minute and didn’t have as long to have to sit in the terminal building. We were docked at the White Bay Terminal which is further from the heart of the city, so we opted not to travel to the city tonight since we had a farewell dinner for Rodney and Candace in Polo.
Here’s the view from our room at night.
The farewell dinner was for 14 people and we had a great time. We will miss Rodney and Candace – and they will be on another phase of their adventure. More on that later.
We had the last show by this entertainment team – Showdown”, and enjoyed it as much as the first time we saw them perform it. As always at the end of a segment, almost the entire crew shows up for a big farewell. It tugs at the heartstrings even though we aren’t the ones leaving the cruise yet.
On Monday, we woke up early – here’s sunrise over the city!
Our intent was to do the hop on hop off bus all around Sydney and then do a trip to the Taronga Zoo. We were out and about by 8 and the zoo didn’t open until 9:30 – and the shuttle bus to town didn’t start until 9, so we decided to take a ferry to the King Street pier where we could walk to Circular Quay and pick up the Big Bus.
There are two routes and we planned to do both. It was a beautiful day in Sydney and we got on the bus at about 8:45. We sat on the top and went around part way on one route, then changed to the second route. Here are some of the sights.
We had a chance go into the central train terminal with the clock tower before we changed buses to head out toward Bondi beach.
The beach is absolutely beautiful and the tour through some of the richest areas of Sydney was fun. They pay big bucks for those houses and of course, the multi million dollar views!
We again changed buses and proceeded through more of the city. At this point, it was about 12:30 so we changed our minds about the zoo – that will be for our next visit – and decided to get off the bus at Darling Harbor for lunch.
This building is worth a mention – Central Park Mall. It is the largest vertical garden in the world. The building is covered with plants. It houses 13 cinemas, 3 hotels, 2200 apartments and a shopping mall! We will need to actually visit it next time.
We also didn’t have the time to visit Chinatown which is the largest outside of China and has a beautiful garden. So when people say that some of our itineraries on world cruises go to the same places, I say that we never have time to see enough – just mark what we want to see “next time around!”
Here are a few more pictures from our tour.
We arrived at Darling Harbor, Cockle Bay Wharf, and decided to eat facing the harbor at Blackbird Café. Had a great lunch.
In the restroom, there was a poster on the inside of the toilet door. I wouldn’t normally be so aware or intend to post, but I thought this was quite an impressive program. Later we asked the server about it.
Apparently the program started in England and was approved in Sydney last July. A good way to help people who are in uncomfortable situations before they escalate.
We had a walk around the area after lunch. Two more signs we noticed (these are especially for you, Adam!)
We took the shuttle back, and Rodney and Candace were in the parking lot with their camper/truck that we have heard so much about. It is really well designed and we were so glad to have a chance to see it. They have been traveling around Australia for more than a year now and will resume that nomad life now that they are leaving the ship.
We relaxed on the balcony until the lifeboat drill, then took a few shots of the sail away. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone at dinner in the Terrace Café because the sunset was beautiful. Lonnie said he would share his pictures and I will post when I get them.
Now looking forward to a day at sea with the next port of Brisbane on Wednesday.