This morning I woke up pretty early (as in 3:30 in the morning early), so I checked messages as I normally do first thing only to find out that back in St. Louis lightning had struck the remaining oak in our front yard causing the tree to fall. Those of you who follow my blog know that we lost two huge trees out front a couple years ago, and they fell on two different neighbors' cars. The good news is that the tree landed predominantly in our yard, and hopefully did not destroy the small buckeye we put in last year to replace the one that had fallen the previous year. The bad news is that it took out the internet and cable line. Oh, and the huge quote to remove the tree was not exactly good either. Thankfully we have people staying in our house while we are gone, and they could deal with the issues right away. We are so grateful for the wonderful neighbors who came over to offer their assistance to our house sitters.
Once we were assured everything was being taken care of at home, we took off for an early breakfast and then made our way to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Affectionately known as the "Coathanger", the bridge opened in 1932. It is the world's largest (but not longest) bridge, spanning 1149 meters in length. It carries eight lanes of vehicle traffic, two train lines, a footway and a cycleway. You can climb the bridge spans if you dare, with prices beginning at $158 Australian dollars. Once I learned that no phones or cameras are allowed, that was a deal breaker for me. We chose to walk across instead. The views from the bridge are quite spectacular.
Once on the other side of the mile long bridge we were in what is called North Sydney. There at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge we found Luna Park, an amusement park that was built in 1935. The park is only open Friday-Monday, but we were able to walk in a bit of it. Luna Park is one of two
amusement parks in the world that are protected by government legislation. Several of the buildings in the park are listed on the Register of the National Estate.
By the time we completed our walk back across the bridge, grabbed lunch to go, and returned to the room to eat on our terrace, we had already racked up over 15,000 steps and walked nearly 7 miles. And it was only noon!
Following lunch and a short rest we walked to the Royal Botanic Garden. This 74 acre garden opened in 1814 and is free to visit. Paths meander throughout, taking you past lush planting beds, ponds and along the harbour. Numerous birds call the area home and we even saw parrots! We will need to make another trip back as dusk began to fall before we had finished exploring. Luckily it is within a short walking distance of our hotel. As we hit over 23,000 steps on our Fitbits today, we were ready to find somewhere to eat dinner, then head back to the room.
I've been researching why photos can't be placed in this blog on an iPad, and haven't found a satisfactory solution yet. I never have problems on my iMac at home, but for some reason blogger cannot find the photos I have uploaded to this iPad. It is very frustrating as that is why I brought the iPad along. I'm not giving up yet!