"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sydney Australia, Part 2

Yesterday was our 28th wedding anniversary. JJ Hubby surprised me with this beautiful bouquet - he picked out the vase as well. I love getting flowers more and more with each passing year. Believe it or not, there was a time that I considered fresh flowers to be a complete waste of money - but I've slowly begun to appreciate them in a whole new way - they are fragile, beautiful works of art to be enjoyed - like our lives.

The afternoon portion of our Sydney tour took us to more lookouts, the famous Bondi and Manly Beaches and through a number of very posh neighbourhoods. The above bluff (which I had as my header pic a few days last week) is a popular site where many have unfortunately chosen to end their lives. In fact, an emergency Help Line has been installed along the main walking path in case some lost soul is having second thoughts. Finding this out certainly took away some of it's raw beauty for me.

 When we first arrived at Bondi Beach, this adorable couple immediately caught my eye! 

Totally mesmerizing. I could have stood at the water's edge for hours just taking pics. 
(All of these are definitely worth expanding :)

 Each scene is so transitory and unique.

 Love the layers :)

 Needless to say, I took a ton of shots!

This is Bondi Pavilion, which we had to walk through to get to the beach. It's a very interesting building with a colourful history dating back to the early 1900's when it was known as the "Playground of the Pacific". People bathed in the Turkish and 'Hot Sea Water Baths', danced in the ballroom and it was even used as an officer's club at one point. Nowadays, with a theatre, a gallery, music, art and pottery studios to name a few, it is the cultural hub of Bondi.

 Back on the bus, we headed over to Manly Beach.

The Macquarie Lighthouse was Australia's first lighthouse. First erected in 1818, by Francis Greenway (the famous convict architect, responsible for many significant buildings in early Sydney), the tower soon began to deteriorate and several large stones fell away as early as 1823. When it was commissioned, Greenway had correctly predicted the poor quality of the sandstone being used would result in rapid deterioration - and the tower had to be rebuilt in 1883!

 As we passed by, our tour guide pointed out a neighbourhood with a definite New Orleans flair to it.

 Not great pics, but I think you can get the idea :)

This is what's known as 'Federation' architecture and prevalent from around 1890 - 1915.

 A quick pit stop. We were pretty parched by the time we arrived at Manly Beach...!

There are over 200 stores concentrated in this area, from eclectic to high-end and everything in between; I sure wish we'd had more time there to explore them.

 The clouds that had hung around off and on all day now mysteriously vaporized.

The perfect end to a fabulous day.

 This beach seemed to have a colder, wilder feel to it.

 A last look...

Well, that was our nine hour tour - I hope you enjoyed it! I apologize for the heavy picture load... but if it's any consolation, I've only shown you a fraction of the pics I took :)


  1. Happy Wedding Anniversary :)
    You captured the structure well of the bridge in the your last post so beautifully, great composition.
    The beach, the sea forever changing.

  2. Belated congratulations on you wedding anniversary.
    The architecture surprised me. I am not at all familiar with Australia, but somehow that was not what I expected; very pretty. I imagine the Bondi Pavilion was quite something in its heyday, and the lighthouse building is stunning. Thanks for sharing these pics.

  3. (Belated) Happy anniversary, Jane! 28 years, you say? That is wonderful!

    These photos are beautiful. You get a true feeling of the place. It saddened me to hear about people ending their lives at that beautiful bluff. That is truly tragic.

    I love that neighbourhood with the New Orleans look. Very pretty. And those beaches...oh...I could spend hours there. So inviting. I could look at photo after photo without getting tired of it; no need to apologize about sharing many pics.

  4. Let me be the, let's see, looks like the 4th blogger to wish you a happy anniversary! Lovely flowers!

    Why is it your ocean shots always give me a pang in my heart? I've never been to Australia but for some reason I can picture being there and being so far away. They are breathtaking photos Jane, you captured something special.

    1. Perhaps you lived there in a past life? Or beside an ocean at one time? I have the same strange familiarity when it comes to big sailing ships - I feel like I must have spent a lot of time on one at one time.

  5. Ooh Jane, This has been a joy. Beautiful pictures! My favorites are the beach shots. The layered one is incredible.

  6. Happy anniversary! And thanks for the beautiful photos. Those beach ones in particular are great!

  7. Photos and flowers are lovely!

  8. Happy Anniversary Jane! 28 years, that's fab. Those flowers are lovely. I loved all your photos,otherwise how would I ever see these places? Those beaches are amazing. I also take loads of photos of the sea rolling towards me, it's hypnotic and very calming, a beautiful sight. I wouldn't say no to one of those "Federation" style houses, very pretty.

  9. Congratulations and happy anniversary! That's a lovely bouquet and I, too, used to dislike cut flowers and now I love them.

    This is definitely a place I would like to go.

  10. Congratulations on your 28th wedding anniversary, you have truly been blessed. The flowers and vase that your hubby picked out is very special and so fitting.

    I love the old light house, so massive, almost looks like a mausoleum, very beautiful right on the sea.

    The New Orleans look of architecture would certainly appeal to me, I would love to live in a building with the pretty pastels shades shown in your pictures. I think I would prefer the salmon shade.

    The beaches and the sea are so gorgeous, I love being by the ocean. It just makes you feel so at peace and relaxed.

    Such a cute couple in the picture standing on the beach, and they will never know they are now immortalized on your blog. I think that is just the greatest.

    Don't stop posting your pictures from your trip, its just so fabulous to share your adventure along with you.

  11. Happy Anniversary, Jane!!
    And once again, you have posted the most beautiful photos. I love the couple on the beach and the pic after that one of the beach. All of them were gorgeous, I'm glad you had a good trip.
    Hugs,from me and Wilma

  12. Thanks everyone for your congrats! It hasn't always been 'fun', but we've stuck it out, lol!! I also really appreciate your positive, encouraging words for my travel pics :)

  13. Congrats on the anniversary :)

    I loved your pics of Sydney, you've seen much more of it than I have! We do have beautiful beaches here....another reason you'll have to come back - you haven't photographed them all yet ;)

  14. What I find odd in both sets of pictures is the lack of people. I had it my mind that Australia would be filled with tourists and the beaches and shops packed. But it doesn't look any busier than any normal Midwestern town.

    1. You know, I hadn't realized that, but you're right! The 'crowds' were non-existent... maybe because we were there on the off-season (they were just heading into winter). In retrospect, it was just perfect. The downtown of Sydney was very busy though - we toured it first thing as everyone was heading to work and it was definitely a hustling-bustling place.

  15. I'm a little late commenting, with this past week of all the rain and storm we've had; even surprised myself that I actually was able to take decent photos of my foods in natural light.

    Happy 28th anniversary to you, Jane! Cent'Anni!...in Italian, meaning...100yrs
    The flower arrangement is beautiful. I love, yellow flowers so much, I do have a yellow board on my Pinterest board.

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, stunning, of the beautiful beaches in Australia. The one with the cute couple is....priceless!
    You're right about the New Orleans style architecture buildings. I love the unusual old architecture, ie. San Feancisco Victorian style buildings are a huge favorite of mine, as well.
    Thanks for being so kind to share your memorable photos of your trip. I'm looking forward each time, to see your latest post!

    1. Hi Elisabeth, I must tell you that your food photos are amazing - pics can make or break a food posting - and your's make the dishes look so fresh, modern and inviting.

  16. A belated Happy Anniversary!! Lovely flowers from JJ Hubby (I always chuckle at that name!)I am surprised and amazed by the New Orleans style architecture in Sydney! The city looks to be a fascinating blend of old and new, water and land!

    1. Thanks Dianne :) So do I - the first time he coined it I groaned, but (like pretty much everything in life) it's grown on me. He's now taken to referring to himself in the third person as JJ Hubby...!!

      I was very surprised to see this style of architecture on the other side of the world.

  17. beautiful beaches! looks so relaxing- there's nothing more calming than just talking a walk by the beach, hearing the waves and seagulls and looking at the horizon.

    1. I so agree - wish I could have stayed longer that day.