36 hours in Sydney

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I’ll admit that even by my standards, flying to the other side of the world for a stay of 1.5 days would be a touch excessive – but in this case it was just a stopover on the way back from Melbourne

We arrived in Sydney from Melbourne in mid-afternoon, caught the airport train into Central and then had our 10-minute walk from the train station enlivened by these guys forgetting to set the handbrake on their truck. This is what happens when a loaded truck rolls back from the far side of the road and hits the kerb:

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They weren’t having a good day, but it could have been a far worse one if there had been anything in its path …

We dumped our luggage at the hotel and caught a bus to the ferry terminal to catch the Manly Ferry past the famous Harbour Bridge …

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And of course a building that needs no introduction:

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We arrived time to walk from the Circular Quay through the Royal Botanic Gardens to the far peninsula, known as Miss Macquaries Chair. I’d identified this as a likely spot for sunset photos of the Opera House and bridge. We had about 40 minutes to wait for this view:

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And a further half an hour for this one:

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We wanted to make the most of a very short visit, so after walking back across the park we carried on to the Sydney Tower. Not quite as impressive as Melbourne’s Eureka Tower, it’s still not a bad view from 1,014 feet up.

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Daylight photos the next day felt pedestrian in comparison. We took a circular monorail trip (rubbish for photos due to the filthy glass, but quite a good way of seeing a bit of the city), then lunch at the Australia Centre.

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Then a walk past you-know-what.

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To climb the south-east pylon of the Harbour Bridge. Interestingly (or not), the pylons are not a structural part of the bridge: it’s supported entirely by the steel arch. They were an afterthought to add visual interest.

For such a famous landmark, the signposting to the Bridge Steps is rubbish. We had to ask directions from three people, two Australian guys, who were quite vague, and finally a woman who gave clear and accurate directions; she was from Manchester.

The climb was hot, but there was a cooling breeze at the top.

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Perhaps it’s just when I first saw photos of Sydney, but to me shots of the Opera House and city from here had a 1970s postcard look to them.

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Sadly the pylon closes at 5pm, so you can’t take night-shots from here (sunset was at 19:09).

We then returned to the Circular Quay and the Opera House once it got dark.

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It was surprisingly quiet, and long exposures rendered almost invisible the few people who did wander through the scene.

And that was my Australian holiday done.

March 2010

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