Feb 12, 2014 Day 10
12.02.2014 - 14.02.2014 23 °C
By the time we got up this morning we had arrived at Sydney and were already tied up at the dock. We were right in the middle of the action as our pier is located between two Sydney icons, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These were our first views from our cabin.
We were here all day until 10 tonight so had lots of time to explore Sydney and get some work done posting the blog. Sydney is about the same distance from the equator as Phoenix AZ which means it is lovely and warm although the day started out overcast and was threatening rain.
Sydney is located ¾ of the way down the east coast of Australia on the Tasman Sea. It is the most populous city in Australia with 4.6 million Sydneysiders in the greater metropolitan area, similar to Toronto or Chicago. Like many Australian cities, it was established as a penal colony. It is surrounded by national parks. The coastal regions feature many bays, rivers and beaches including the famous Bondi and Manly beaches. We will return here at the end of the second cruise so we figured this was a good opportunity to get an overview of the city so we could plan our last couple of days before heading home. Right after breakfast we headed out to find the “Hop On Hop Off” bus. We frequently use this tour when we visit new cities. For roughly $30-$40 each we get a full day pass to the service and can get on and off their many open topped busses as many times as we like in the 24 hour period that the pass is valid for. It is a great way to get an overview of a city and helps you decide what you may want to visit later on.
Cal and Joan in front of Solstice at the dock
Roy and Sue
The Hop On Hop Off Bus
Sydney street from the bus
Sydney has some gorgeous architecture.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
This is a statue of Queen Victoria which was donated by a small town in Ireland. It is right near the Queen Victoria Building
Here is the Museum which currently has a display on the Tyrannosaurs – you can see one which has its tail protruding from the window at the left and its head coming out of the window on the right.
The Public Library of New South Wales
This is a statue of a wild boar outside the Sydney Hospital. It has a very shiny nose because legend has it that you will heal and be well if you rub its nose.
We returned to the ship for a lovely lunch on the back deck looking over the harbor and then returned to the city for more of the Hop On Hop Off bus – this time to the famous Bondi Beach.
Bondi Beach from the north
Bondi beach from the south
We had some good views of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. They have a “Bridge Walk” which is not for the faint of heart. You can walk along the top or along a lower level walkway. Here is a close-up of the bridge showing both walkways and some brave people who don’t mind heights.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Celebrity Solstice and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Here are some night shots from the ship as the Solstice sailed out of the Sydney Harbour and headed south towards Melbourne.
We spent the next day “at sea” heading south and around the southern tip of Australia between Australia and Tasmania and then a little west to Melbourne. For the navigators in the crowd our heading was 238 degrees for much of the day. The day was overcast with a few showers and a temperature of 20C. It was fairly hazy which meant there was little to see. We spent the day reading, relaxing, going to a lecture on forensic investigations and also watched a fairly good Neil Diamond tribute performer. We also attended an information session on the tour which Celebrity offers to the Galapagos which is the next cruise we are planning for 2015. For now though we are headed towards Melbourne.