This is Australia’s city, with apologies to Melbourne, Brisbane, Carnes, Perth, and Alice Springs. Sydney has a population of about 4.4 million; Australia, about 7.1. The city has a couple of must-see landmarks (I have photographs but you’ve probably already seen some and Google knows about millions.) It has an opera house of some renown and the Harbor Bridge is almost as recognizable. Both were expensive to build, went over budget, took longer to finish than scheduled, were very controversial and now they are iconic.
We haven’t heard any mention of sports stadia.
For about $150 AU, you can climb the bridge, walking along the cat walk on one of the main cables; we skipped that opportunity. Painters work continuously on maintaining the bridge and you probably didn’t know, and probably can’t find on Wikipedia, that one of Paul Hogan’s career stops, prior to Crocodile Dundee, was Harbor Bridge painter. They seem to have omitted that from his bio.
We did the basic Hop-on-Hop-Off tour yesterday and while that may not be a random sample of the city, we saw no evidence of anything one would call a distressed neighborhood. There certainly are a mix of ethnicities and the European treatment of Aborigines is comparable to or worse than the European treatment of indigenous groups almost everywhere.
There of course is a major Asian population and our favorite stop was the Chinese Gardens. We stayed there until they threw us out. For cities, we prefer finding excursions and tours on our own rather than through the ship. That let’s us stay places we like longer than you can with a group, skip things we don’t want, and they typically cost less.
After thinking in pounds and Euros for most of the trip, the New Zealand and Australian dollars are really fun. Rather than adding 20% or 25% to the price of everything, we can now knock off 25%. So our $40 AU tour, only cost $30 US. Distances are also relative; Aussies would consider Winnipeg a day trip from Minneapolis.
Another day in Sydney, then off to Brisbane. Trivia question of the day: What do you call a resident of Sydney? (You can always address them as ‘mate’ but that’s not what I’m looking for.)