They found out that the natives of Australia the Aborigines had been living here for centuries ,slowly the plains of new south wales attracted more immigrants ad Sydney became what it is today a bustling modern city with the iconic Opera house proudly showing its profile facing an emerald sea and inlet to its famous harbor and its coat hanger shaped memorial bridge
The bridge is another iconic marvel of engineering a delight to watch it standing with dignity amongst the cruising ships and flying gulls
West mead in Parramatta was more of a residential area with a lot of expatriates notably Indians ,we had booked into Wesley lodge opposite West mead Hospital ,the hotel was comfortable but had no lifts or room boys and one had to lug the heavy bags to the third floor which left us exhausted ,it was summer in Sydney and the whole of down under and it was warm and a bit humid too but by afternoon it became cloudy and cool .
I walked to nearby west mead railway station .
Sydney is well connected to all areas by the train network ,there is a monorail in downtown near the tourist circuit of Darling harbor and circular bay and also a free shuttle bus ,one could go around the city for sightseeing in the hop on hop off bus too .
Opal incidentally is one of Australia's well known precious stones and Sydney has several designer opal stores which does huge business ,its said the impurities inside an opal determine its value and those with a reddish hue fetch the best price !
I managed to take some pictures too but created an unwelcome noise as inadvertently I dropped one of the lenses !
this happened earlier to me when I saw the Blue mosque or the Hagae sophia in Istanbul or the Blue mosque in Beirut or The Taj Mahal in Agra
The sun was at its brightest as I fitted my 700 mm lens to take distant shots of the memorial bridge spanning across the Sydney harbor ,
They slowly lumber up the arches to reach its peak where photographs of the climber is taken in the backdrop of the city and the opera house ,I could see a batch climbing up gingerly through my telescopic camera lens .
taking a breather in a park I gazed upon a three year old playing all by himself with his toys near a fountain ,in a distance sat his grandparents watching him benevolently ,there was also an old man gazing at me gazing at the child ,all of us were relaxed and able to observe other humans ,something which is missing from our lives these days .
downtown Sydney was full of shops and heritage buildings .
I reached Darling harbor with its IMAX movie theatre ,Discovery center ,Aquarium ,wild life zoo ,Madame Tussauds wax exhibits
the aquarium was impressive specially the Australian manatee in it called Dugongs which are large sea living mammals known for their vegan diet of lettuces and lettuces only .
The Sydney tower rising 309 meters into the sky has been there for last thirty years is the tallest building in Australia and has the Sydney eye from where one could observe the city and its landmarks ,the sky walk is a glass bottomed walk with a balcony and by paying 8 dollars more to the 25 dollar ticket one could get there iof course after wearing the safety gear and harness .
Views from Sydney tower ..eye of Sydney
the trails continued for a long distance and if the weather was cool it would be great to walk the whole distance but this was mid morning of a Sydney summer so we had to cut it after an hour or so .
Manly beach was another well known beach town off Sydney where millionaires built their homes and the sea side was lined with designer shops and liquid refreshments ,seeing a very muscular aborigine in the early days by the whites gave the place this muscular name !
Dinner with friends in a salubrious residential locality gazing at a furry Artic pet dog the size of a leopard but tame and loving unbelievably .
A visit to the Muruga temple in Westmead was also an interesting one
Rain was drizzling as dusk fell ,we hurried through the maze of roads to reach the Kings wharf as were scheduled for a dinner cruise alongside Sydney harbor ,We did manage to reach the wharf in time a bit wet in the process with just one umbrella to shield us from the rain ,we got into our priority front row seats and toyed with our welcome drinks getting friendly nods from neighboring tables as the big cruise slowly glided away into the sea .
The sights were beholding as we moved amongst the memorial bridge ,the opera house and the tall skyscrapers along the banks ,we clicked away with our cameras and joined the selfie orgies in the deck !as the rain increased we rushed back to watch a Broadway like show by chorus girls and a senior magician showing his cute table tricks all along tucking into a reasonably tasty fare .
The clinks of the glasses mingled with the guffaw of the passengers while uniformed stewards balanced so nimbly their delights on outstretched hands as they sallied along curtseying politely .
The Sydney cruise is a no miss event indeed .
Next day morning we left to the Blue mountain tour .
Australian tour coaches are wonderful comfortable cozy with large windows for viewing the scenery ,with a toilet and WIFI and above all a one man guide ,commentator ,Radio jockey manager CEO cum driver who had an excellent sense of humour conducting the trip in perfection .
The blue mountains are a range of hills and mountains and valleys about 50 km off Sydney ,it was so named because of the blue haze created by the abundant Eucalyptus trees there .
initially convicts were sent there as it was thought that the hills were insurmountable slowly the convicts and later others settled here
When Europeans arrived in Australia, the Blue Mountains had already been inhabited for several millennia by the Gundungarra people , now represented by the Gundungurra Tribal Council Aboriginal Corporation based in Katoomba, and, in the lower Blue Mountains,we watched them display their dances skills in making fires the traditional ways and took photographs with them again they are also professional in their shows speaking in good English and eager to be friendly .
We then saw the famous three sisters sandstone rock formation ,
it is said a tribal chief had three lovely daughters ,the chief also was a magic expert ,once when he away from home he became aware of danger to his daughters from his enemies and by remote control turned them into stones so that they could not be harmed and planned to turn them back on return unfortunately he got killed before he could return and it is said that the sisters are still waiting for their father ,after listening to this story the rock formation do look more like the three sisters .
The Katoomba scenic Railway is a 300 metre steep railway lined with toy like coaches its a remnant from the mining era and one tumbles down at great speed it was fun more like an amusement park ride ,after coming down we went up by the hige cable car which could hold more than 2p people ,we saw the three sisters as we went up