Friday, January 18, 2013

G'day From Down Under‏

Greetings All,
We have arrived in Sydney, Australia, the start of our next adventure. We left home at noon on Wednesday, skirted Winter Storm Helen to get to Washington D.C. and bumped our way over the jet stream to arrive in L.A. We left L.A. at 10:15 PM west coast time and a mere thirteen and a half hours later arrived in Sydney. It's hot here. It was 72 degrees when we landed at 7:30 AM and has now reached 114 degrees, a new record high for Sydney! We're staying in the quaint Russell Hotel in downtown, not far from the Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

  Russell Hotel is on the left with the turret, Harbour Bridge is behind 

We walked across the Harbour Bridge and climbed up to the top of Pylon Viewpoint. We had great views of the Harbour, Opera House and the surrounding city of Sydney.

We saw some people in blue and gray jumpsuits climbing the bridge.

At first I thought they were workers but turns out you can pay to climb the bridge. We thought about it but, it was just to darn hot. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the largest (not longest) steel arch bridge in the world. It took 6 years to build and opened in 1932.

We decided to visit the Opera House instead.

We took a tour which took us inside the large concert hall which seats almost 2700 people. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures. The building is an architectural and engineering marvel. It took 17 years to build at a cost of 102 million $AU! A bit over the original budget leading to the dismissal of Danish architect Jorn Utzon. He never did get to see the finished project but he did become involved about 5 years before his death with the upkeep of the Opera House. 

Tomorrow morning we are off to Hobart, Tasmania. We will explore this tiny island off the southeast coast of Australia before heading to Antarctica in about a week.
We hope all is well back home. Keep warm.

Peggy and Marc

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