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Sunday, August 28, 2016

CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE 2016: Day #19--My Super Sydney Sunday

First some history.  Lieutenant James Cooke discovered Australia in 1770 on his first journey.  On his third, now a captain, in 1778, he arrived in Hawaii.  Moving on, he returned to the Big Island for repairs the following year.  However, there were quarrels this time, and in his attempt to kidnap and ransom King Kalaniopuu, Cooke was killed.  He was 50 years old.

The day started with a very simple breakfast because I was planning to have a truly spectacular lunch, except I was uncertain where this would be, and the best restaurants in Sydney are normally all booked on Sundays:


I checked out of the 4 Points Sheraton and left my large suitcase for pick-up tomorrow.  The Sheraton on the Park was a 10 minute walk.  I was able to check-in and headed towards the Sydney Opera House hoping to find that perfect gem.  It turned out that my search resulted in a 5-hour hike, beginning with a piece of art:


I might add that Sydney is Monocle's 8th best city, with Tokyo at #1.  Honolulu is #23 and Portland #24.

Circular Quay walkway was saturated with people, and most of the tables in the outdoor restaurants were taken:


However, at one point I looked up:


Couldn't see anyone eating, and never heard of Q Dining, but I took the elevator up and saw that a family was seated, and the men were dressed in suit and tie.  However, they gave me that table in the corner to the left in the above photo.  Kind of an Australian-French fusion place.  Very nice.

I looked down at the masses strolling by from my table and thought that everyone looked happy and life was good.  Terrible attitude, but I felt sorry for them compared to what I was hopefully to experience.

I noticed a seagull, and in that shot, a red-headed lady with a pure white complexion.  I have noticed a lot of this in Sydney, the almost pure whiteness:


I ordered an Australian champagne, a New South Wales Shiraz/Cabernet and a Hunter Valley Noble Rot Ice Wine:


In Hawaii you can only have one drink at a time.  One of those free amusements came, and I forgot to take a photo, so this is how the used spoon looked:


I ordered a truffle/artichoke soup, although it had a much fancier name, and a wagyu steak:


Have I said this before?  This was my best lunch of my entire trip.  The Australian wagyu was nowhere close to the Miyazaki version, and the soup was delicately lavender, which means it had almost no taste, but the truffle slices were real and the artichoke crisp.  I finished with an Australian blue cheese and expresso:


I hardly was able to touch it, so took the cheese with me and wondered how long I could carry it.  The whole meal cost less than $100.

I then walked to the Opera House, but took a photo looking back in the direction of Q Dining, which can't be seen, but is on the left behind the lady:


The Sydney Harbour Bridge is prominent, and notice the people on top:


Here are three views of the Sydney Opera House, which is now 43 years old, and, as I indicated yesterday, could well have been that key catalyst spurring Sydney to greatness:


Now playing here, My Fair Lady, directed by Julie Andrews.

The walk continued on to the Royal Botanic Garden, which opened in 1816, and if you do the subtraction, you get two centuries:


Only 22 years earlier, in 1788, the British founded Sydney as a penal colony.

The birds were fascinating:


I guess they don't fly away.  The flowers, too, were noteworthy:


That's St. Mary's Cathedral and, looking the other way, through the trees, Sheraton on the Park:


Right by this fountain, my Blue Bar Pigeon came for a visit:


Note people dancing in the background:


Got back to my room and took a long bath.  Then I went to the Club Lounge and had a small snack for my dinner (note St. Mary's Cathedral in this photo):


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Typhoon Lionrock is at 130 MPH and will soon weaken a bit.  However, there will be some serious winds and rain when the eye makes landfall, probably near Sendai:


The ocean cyclone that concerns me is Tropical Storm Madeline, for she will strengthen into a hurricane, and be close to Honolulu on Friday, when my flight from San Francisco arrives.  Two favorable characteristics are that she should weaken a bit by Wednesday, and the current most probable path has her slightly to the south of my home:


However, right behind is Hurricane Lester now at 100 MPH and also headed for the Hawaiian Islands:


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