Easter in Sydney. How delightful. Four full days of being a tourist in our oldest City!
I was lucky enough over the Easter period to go down to Sydney (I live on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia) for the four day break. My sister who lives in country New South Wales came down to meet me and we had the most wonderful time in Sydney. We acted as tourists, went to Taronga Park Zoo on the north shore, had breakfast on a Cruise in the Harbour then went to Fort Denison which is smack bang in the middle of Sydney Harbour, an old penal colony then a defence facility, which now houses a museum and lovely restaurant (also open for New Years Eve for anyone that’s interested with a great view of the Harbour Bridge!).
What struck me most was the diversity of architecture in the city, which I guess is not odd considering its age and being a large city and by Europe’s standards, not that old.
The standout celebrity of the city is of course the Sydney Opera House which, no matter what angle you take a picture, always looks outstanding (I may be prejudiced). Next in line is the Harbour bridge itself but I will do another blog just on the harbour later. Next in line is the Queen Victoria Building which was built in 1898 and housed originally a concert hall, shops, showrooms and warehouses. During the 1930s it housed Sydney City Council and was remodelled to suit offices, beautiful arches boarded up and stairwells closed and some would say it was scarred. From 1959 to 1971 it faced demolition but was given the green light for a massive renovation in 1982 and in 1986 it was opened for all to enjoy with retail outlets and restaurants. Its a testament to resilience in an otherwise changing world. To bring it back from near death to the proud building it is today is remarkable and I am always in awe of it when I walk through. Thank goodness for foresight and the people trying to preserve our historic buildings.
We also visited Government House, just south, up the hill, from the Opera House. It was constructed in 1837 and houses the Governor of NSW.
The Rocks, Sydney is adjacent to Circular Quay, the site of the first European settlement in 1788.
To walk up these streets is a walk back in time to that century. Beautiful old terrace houses abound and you could almost imagine yourself back in that time.
Such a magic, vibrant place where old meets new, meets architectural excellence (again I am biased).