Monday, February 23, 2009
Some cities just capture my heart. New York, Paris, and now Sydney, Australia.
We arrived in Sydney on January 31 after a round of surprises in our itinerary. Our flight from LAX to Sydney was canceled and we were put on a flight to Brisbane instead. Since we had intended to proceed to Cairns from Sydney, we went on to Cairns from Brisbane. I won't even talk about our luggage that went on a separate vacation without us. We went to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns without the swimwear that was in our luggage. We did get to Sydney with all our luggage a day before we were due to board our cruise ship, the Celebrity Millennium. The previous cruise of Millennium had started from Auckland, NZ and was docked in Sydney for the final two days of that itinerary.
Even as tired as we were, still jet-lagged, in a time warp (it was still January 30 back home), the sight of our ship in the Sydney harbor between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House was reason enough for immediate exhilaration, love at first sight. We had a day to explore the city, and tour the Opera House before we were due to board.
There were no operas scheduled for the time we were there, but we did have the tour with the fascinating history of the design and construction. The design was chosen from a competition even without architectural drawings to support the design. It took at least six years and several iterations of design plans to find an architectural solution to support the shell design.
The Opera House is more than an opera house, rather a multi-venue performing arts center. It has spaces for symphony, theater, ballet, and even has space for wedding receptions and book-signings.
We finally checked in for our cruise on Sunday, Feb 1, had lunch in view of the Opera House,
and called our Australian friend "Frangipani." We have known her online for more than six years, and she came to the port to meet us. How cool was that!
We had a city tour on Monday, and said goodbye to Sydney on Monday afternoon, just about the time that the US was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night.