Yes, it is true. Yesterday the sun shone in Australia, and it was glorious. We had a "day off" and took advantage of it. For a few hours we became sightseers, after a long working week.
First we took the train into the city, and got out near the Royal Botanic Gardens. The impromptu planter above was not in the Royal Gardens, but something we saw along the way.
The gardens were the perfect place to be yesterday. Australians were rejoicing to be out in the sunshine. The park is full of formal and informal gardens, and avenues of huge old trees like these.
We met up with our friend Anthea, who was in one of our workshops, and together we toured the National Art museum, which has a rich collection of aboriginal art, as well as numerous contemporary art works. It was great to have Anthea as a guide and companion. She knew so much about what we were seeing, and she is a fun person to be with.
Next we strolled down through the gardens to a sweet restaurant with an upstairs terrace overlooking some tropical ponds and gardens. While we ate a particularly scrumptious lunch (parsnip, celeriac, and hazelnut soup shown here) we were entertained by an array of birds who came right up to the tables looking for scraps. There were several Noisy Indian Minor birds, and many Ibis who hopped right onto table tops looking for goodies.
One area of the park was notable for the huge resident population of Fruit Bats (flying foxes). The dark sacs you can see on the tree below are all fruit bats hanging upside down. Many were flying around in broad daylight, or stretching and scratching themselves, and they make a raucous loud screeching noise. I could have watched them for hours!
After lunch we strolled through the park to the Sydney Opera House. Anthea left us there, and we signed up for an hour-long tour of the building, which was highly informative and delightful. We got into most of the theaters where rehearsals were going on, stage sets being built, etc. Fantastic building, with an amazing history of how it was designed and constructed.
At sunset we sat outside the Opera House and watched a little rain storm that swept across the western side of the city as the sun went down. There was a rainbow, and this golden hued sky.
To end the day, and our week in Sydney, we walked around the city and into the Rocks area where we met Derek and Celia for a final, celebratory evening together. We chose the Lord Nelson pub, on the recommendation of our Santa Crus pal Kristine, because she told us they have the best fish and chips in the world. After a hearty plate of of them, we can't argue with her. Once again an evening full of laughter, good, food, and great conversation as we deepen our friendship with these two very sweet people.
Now we are in the air en route to Brisbane and our next adventures!
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