Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sydney - The Sydney Opera House - A First Timer's Journey

It's your first day in this iconic Australian city. You want to see and feel the Sydney Opera House. No need for a car in Sydney - it's a bit like hiring  a car in New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris or London - it costs more to park than it's worth.  We are going to walk from our hotel.   Let's check a map of Sydney for the exact location.

Look at the picture below. The Opera House is on a point of land sticking out beside Circular Quay (pronounced "Key"), where all the ferries leave from. If you can't see the Opera House from Circular Quay, you are in real trouble, or you have a serious case of jet lag and should go back to bed. 

Designed by Danish Architect, Jorn Utzon, the Opera House took years to build and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.  Like plenty of other projects, it came in late and way over budget.

Walk right around the front, smell the air (it has an indefinable "Sydney" smell about it - moist, salty, hint of diesel), feel the breeze, listen to the hum of the bridge and the city.  Then take one of the Sydney Opera House tours to look through. This is not just one big, single Opera Hall, it is actually a number of performance areas of varying size and function. It is well worth a look through the inside and getting backstage.

After the tour, just sit at one of the many cafes of restaurants beside the Opera House and soak in Sydney.

"Sails" of the Opera House

Why do the "Sails" of the Opera House gleam in the sun? When you get close, look directly up along the curve of the "Sails". They are covered with thousands of single tiles. The tiles alternate from glossy white to matte cream.  No wonder they seem to change colour depending on the time of day and the weather.

So, how do you book to see a show? Easy. You can book directly online and then pick up your tickets at will-call.

More information on the Sydney Opera House? - Check Wikipedia.

Next post, we'll take a walk through a real suburban oasis - the Sydney Botanical Gardens.  Stay tuned.

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