Sydney, Australia

4/21/19 – Sunday – Easter

As when we were in Sydney before, we’d made no special plans. In the end we decided to ride the “Hop on Hop off Big Red Bus” just to get a good lay of the city. I also wanted to see Australian animals. Since I was still gimpy with my sore foot we chose to visit the Wildlife Sidney Zoo. It’s much smaller than the main zoo, but that was better with my foot issues. Plus we didn’t have to cross the harbor to get to it because it was close to where the Sydney Opera House and Botanical Gardens were located as well as where our ship was docked. Before I get into the photos I’d like to mention the names of a couple towns that sounded very Australian: Woolloomooloo and Wollongong.

Views from our Big Red Bus:

Note the Sky Tower just behind this building.
St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral
Sydney Hospital – the oldest hospital in Australia, at this current location since 1811.
A vertical garden!
Beautiful lampost where our Big Red Bus waited for passengers.
Yes, Coca Cola is everywhere…
Starbucks is here too.
They love their pies.
A beautiful fountain in Hyde Park, I think.

At this point we were desperate to visit some toilets (they don’t say restrooms or bathrooms here). We were nearing the spot where the Wildlife Sidney Zoo was, so we got off then. Guess what? The closest toilets were in the Wildlife Sidney Zoo so naturally, we got our tickets for it and hit the toilets. On to see the critters, all uniquely Australian. All we saw of the Tasmanian Devil was his backside in a a dark corner, sleeping, so no decent photo.


Northern Long Necked Turtle

Australian Green Tree Frog

Inland Taipan, the world’s most venomous snake

Blotched Blue Tongue Lizard

Cunningham’s Skink (actually, you can see there are two).

Diamond Python. It keeps its eggs warm by wrapping around them and shivering.

Bush Stone Curlew, ground dwelling and nocturnal

Koala. “ The first meal for a baby Koala is its mother’s poo. This contains special bacteria that allows them to digest gumleaves.
Another cutie

Laughing Kookaburra

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby

Bare Nosed Wombat

Cassowary, a rather tall bird, maybe 4 feet tall. “It’s the male Cassowary who raises the young chicks.”

Green and Golden Bell Frog

Gouldian Finch

Two Kangaroo Island Kangaroos, little guys

We saw a Platypus, but he was small, like 16”, and swimming like crazy in a dark room so no decent photos.


Spotted Tailed Quoll

Spinifex Hopping Mouse. Boy did it hop!

It was crazy crowded (Easter Sunday so lots of families enjoying Sydney) and we’d gotten really hungry so we headed farther on the wharf in search of lunch. By the way we learned that the letters in wharf stand for “Warehouses at the river front”.


Lunch was a wonderful Pulled Pork Pizza that included applesauce. Plus I took the picture to show the earthenware dish it was baked in, then brought to us, really hot. Yummy!

Now that we were energized, we headed towards the Opera House for pictures and got some of the Harbour Bridge along the way.


Sydney Harbour Bridge, image taken from Big Red Bus

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Holland America Noordam and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Also along the way:


Ibis, wandering free

Street Artist

I had a blast taking shots of the Opera House. I had no idea that it’s more than 1 building, or that the roof is make of tiles.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House. Notice this building includes a restaurant. I overheard a lady telling others that she’d gone there with friends only to find out it’s terribly expensive. Duly warned.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

A few stops on our way to the ship included the Botanical Gardens:


Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens

We boarded the ship at Circular Quay by 2:30. Showered, rested, then went to our Easter Dinner where we were appointed to a different table for 8 (new cruise). Wow, 6 new friends. We all became good friends as the cruise continued. To clarify: we paid for 2 cruises, one from Sydney to New Zealand for 2 weeks, then return to Sydney. The 2nd was to then leave Sydney for the South Pacific to cross the Pacific Ocean until reached our destination of Vancouver, BC, Canada. We live abou t400 miles from there, so it made great sense. Especially because we could avoid that long night plane ride. We would also be visiting numerous islands on our way. By paying for this trip as 2 cruises we saved money. Others signed up for both as one trip. Both they and us were on a “Collector’s Cruise” according to Holland America. Thus our 2nd trip meant a new table. Yay!

John spent the evening at the Piano Bar while I listened to the String Quartet, then went to bed. I had good reason: we had to set our clocks forward 1 hour, thus less sleep time.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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