> introduction <
sydney in australia is the capital of the state new south wales, located at the coast to the pacific ocean - see the map below.
sydney is together with melbourne at the southern coast, both 4,9 mio residents, the largest city of australia.
various groups of aboriginal australians have inhabited the sydney region for about 30000 years. during his first pacific voyage in 1770, james cook charted the eastern coast of australia, and landed briefly at botany bay, an area in the southern city.
in 1788, the first "fleet of convicts", led by arthur phillip, founded sydney as a british penal colony. this was the first european settlement in australia - criminals and low-rank police officers were the citizens.
by the way, regarding the battle to be australia's capital city:
after the federation of australia in 1901, at first melbourne served as the interim seat of the government of the new nation. then sydney, meanwhile australia's commercial leader, wanted to be it. yet in 1927 neither sydney nor melbourne "won" - instead canberra was established as australia's capital.
from 1995 onwards i've visited sydney quite a few times, and there heavily photographed. yet these were mostly slides, of which only a small proportion got scanned to create "jpg" pic's.
the above map shows sydney's central areas. the oldest part is named "the rocks", situated above the central harbour.
> features of sydney <
while in my (biased) view melbourne is australia's most exciting city, as it is the cultural and art and certainly sports capital - there are actually more pic's of sydney, which is the commercial and shipping center, in most international journals & books about australia.
the reason for this is obvious, namely sydney's three main features - the big bridge, the unique opera house, and ships ships ships.
>>> the big bridge
sydney's huge steel bridge connects the city center and the north shore and opened in 1932, after 9 years of construction..
it's data: 1149 m long, 48 m wide, 134 m above sea level. at each end is a pylon built with granite.
meanwhile visitors can cross the bridge on a special pathway for pedestrians.
>>> the unique opera house
this very very famous building is located on the foreshore of sydney harbour, on some kind of mini-peninsula. it is a multi-purpose art center.
history: this goes back to an international design competition by the government of nsw in 1957.the winner was the danish architect joern utzon.
after long-time building, first directed by utzon and then completed by an australian architectural team headed by peter hall, the opera was formally opened in 1973. (there were lots of battles before that, and utzon resigned during this process.) the actual costs did outrun the original plans widely.
this sketch shows utzorn's original design.
here is the result of all this - immense and just stunning, there is nothing like this anywhere else.
what one sees inside is enormous as well. it includes a large organ, with 10000 pipes. number of seats: concert hall 2679, theatre a 1507, theatre b 544.
inside both classical and modern art is realized. this is also true for its restaurant and cafes.
the sydney opera house is appraised as one of the world's most distinctive buildings and thus a true masterpiece of architecture.
in my (naïve) list "most beautiful buildings on earth" the opera house sits on place 2 (only 'beaten' by the taj mahal in agra/india).
>>> the many ships
sydney is also a large harbour, and big ships come to the city center, where a large anchoring system for arrivals and leaving is established.
given the structure of sydney's harbour, there are many ferries to connect all residential and business areas. they used to be and mostly still are painted in green+white design.
the ferries can be used for cheaper and more local tours as those offered by the tourist services.
> how to get there <
sydney has two large airports - but to flying railway travel is a serious alternative. modern trains provide regular connections with melbourne (victoria) and brisbane (queensland), and with nsw's other large cities, newcastle and wollongong.
that's it, right now... many other features, especially the high-class museums, have not (yet) been covered, urghhh...
whatsoever, sydney is without doubt a very attractive target for travellers!
* * * bye so far, sydney * * *