Following breakfast we went on a tour of the Opera House. It was fantastic, made all the more so by our wonderful guide, Steve. The building really is an architectural marvel. When construction began in 1957, it was supposed to take 3 years and a $2 million to build. When it was finally completed in 1973, the final cost was over $100 million and the architect, Jorn Utson, had been replaced.
After the hour plus long tour, we came back to the hotel room to change into shorts as the high was predicted to be 75. Then we walked up to Hyde Park, where we saw some old churches and the war memorial. We grabbed lunch at a Korean restaurant, and then continued on to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. It was quite a hike from where we were. The garden is quite lovely, and a surprise within the confines of the city. Modeled on the typical private gardens of the Ming Dynasty, the garden opened in 1988 and symbolizes the relationship between Australia and China.
Evidently we took a circuitous route back, because it took us a longtime to get back to our side of town. The bonus was that we caught some nice light on the Opera House. It was a fitting end to our time in Sydney. My wrap-up of our visit is that Sydney is a beautiful and vibrant city filled with friendly people. It is very international, and while expensive, is an easy place to be a tourist. We have very much enjoyed our visit, but are ready to see more of this fascinating country.