When you think Australia, what comes to mind? Koalas? Kangaroos? How about the Sydney Opera House? This weekend, we had the good fortune of attending a performance at the Opera House. I can see why it’s ranked one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World! Day or night, the building is incredibly beautiful and the setting on Sydney Harbor is breathtaking!

Sydney is a striking city — a mix of old and new architecture, lush public gardens, pristine beaches and, of course, the sparkling harbor. It’s Australia’s largest city with over 4.5 million people. Like Melbourne, Sydney has an excellent transportation system, making it easy to get around and a joy to explore.

Frank and I spent one day exploring the CBD and the next, visiting famous Bondi Beach. It’s one of Australia’s most stunning beaches, 30 minutes outside the city. The fine, wide, white sand beach is set in a cove surrounded by a backdrop of shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries. Expensive homes sit along one corner of the beach. The other corner has a coastal trail with scenic vistas of crashing waves and colorful rock formations, leading to other nearby beaches. Bondi was hopping, not only because it was a sunny and hot Saturday but also because it was the final weekend of Sculpture by the Sea, Australia’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition.

Because we only had two days, Frank and I decided to utilize the red double-decker hop on, hop off buses to explore Sydney and Bondi. I’ve used them in other cities to get my bearings and to get an “overview” of a place, but here it was awful — long waits, buses that didn’t stop at designated stops and worse, buses that drove past landmarks so fast, you couldn’t even snap a picture! We got fed up and double-backed to a few sites on our own. Sydney got rid of its tram system a few years back and now has a lot of buses and taxis — plus a very efficient light rail network.

We left Sydney Harbour late last night, grabbed the light rail from the Harbor to the airport, took a quick flight back to Melbourne, boarded the airport shuttle from Melbourne airport to the train station, and then rode our #96 tram to our front door!

Quick and very easy trip home after a quick and very interesting trip to Sydney. Here’s a look ago some of the things we saw . . .

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