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Published: March 8th 2015
The Sydney Opera House and the famous bridge were amazing to see the first time. All my life I'd seen photos but now I was actually looking at these sights and I had to pinch myself, It was hard to believe I was actually there!!- Sydney is a lovely, quite modern city, situated on the harbor. For me, the Opera House was what impressed me the most, it's totally magnificent! I couldn't take my eyes off of it! Over the next few days while there, I did have the opportunity to take a tour and hear 'Schumann's 3 & 4 Symphony' in the main theatre. An experience I shall never forget. I also got to walk across the famous bridge crossing Sydney Harbour and walk miles around the city, night and day. Took a ferry around the harbour at night, and, since it happened to be Chinese New Year, the Opera House was lite up red, very dramatic. I also took a cruise around the harbour and found it to be quite large and beautiful.
A little history of the Opera House: In 1950 the city began the initial plan to build an opera house and in 1955 there was
a world-wide competition. A 38 yr old Danish designer won and building commenced in 1959, with a budget of 7 million. All the glass was imported from France, the roof tiles from Sweden. All tiles are triple glazed, in a white and cream. There are five theatres, each with the most sophisticated acoustics. Main theatre has 2,600 seats. End cost, was 102 million, Sydney created a lottery and paid off the debt in 18 mos! Waterfront homes begin at 2 million and go as high as 18 million.
A few of us went to Bondi Beach, located on the South Pacific, and spent the day frolicking in the waves and enjoying a laid-back beach day. We took a bus back to our hotel. We were amazed at how strong the currents were and all afternoon, the lifeguards were moving swimmers around the beach depending upon the current. The sand was amazingly fine. It was a delightful day!!!
A little Australian history: Australia is situated in the Southern Hemisphere, below Asia, is approximately the size of the U.S., 2,500 miles, and is 15 hrs ahead of NY time.
The European's began arriving in the 17th century, the Dutch,
Spanish and Portuguese were the first to arrive. The Dutch named it, 'New Holland'. The British arrived in 1688 but it wasn't until after Captain Cook's voyage in 1770, that they named it, 'New South Wales'. After the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain had to find a home for its 161,000 convicts so they were shipped to Sydney. The settlers established six colonies, sheep farming and grain were a big part of the economy. Gold was discovered and this brought more foreigners, especially Chinese.
Australia played an important role in both World Wars, fought alongside Britain in WWI, and the U.S. in WWII, which brought it closer to the US.
I will end by mentioning there are approximately 24 million people living in Australia...........more history than you ever needed!!-
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