Our retirement on Island Time as liveaboards.
We planned a day that was a little less hectic. (Day 6 was a do nothing day due to illness.) We planned a trip to the Taronga Zoo - just a ferry ride across the harbor. The zoo is located on a steep hillside so from the ferry dock we took an aerial tram to the entrance at the top of the hill. The zoo has the usual assortment of African animals as well as Australian animals.
After the zoo we went back to the Opera House for a tour of the inside. Unfortunately we could not take pictures of inside of any of the concert halls.
Architects from around the world submitted design concepts for the opera house. The current design by Danish architect Jorn Utzon was originally tossed in the reject pile. However a late arriving member of the selection committee retrieved it from the reject pile and said this is it. The construction started in 1959 and as one can expect with a project of this size the construction was way over budget and behind schedule. With a change in the political winds Utzon quit the project in 1966 in disgust. He never saw his finished building. A consortium of local architects oversaw the continuing work that was finished in 1973.
The upper level has several concert halls with the largest hall having a pipe organ where the longest pipes are three stories tall and shortest the length of your little finger. It took three years to build the organ and one year to tune it. The interior of the hall is as originally built with wood floors.
In the lower level additional small performance halls were built in later years in accordance with the architects original design concepts. Utzon’s son oversaw the completion of the lower levels.
The productions in the opera house include all venues from opera to sumo wrestling. Something for all aspects of the population as the opera house belongs to the public.
We planned a leisurely day. We walked down to the Sydney Tower – 260 meters above the city. From there we got a 360 degree look at the city including the Port of Jackson which is the official name of for the entire harbor (English spelling of harbor).
Later in the afternoon Helen English picked us up. We have a mutual friend, Carol, who lives near us in Vermont and belongs to the Mallets Bay Boat Club. Helen took us on a tour of the beaches south of Sidney and then we stopped at her apartment in Coogee for entrees and to meet her two cats before going out for a wonderful Thai dinner. Helen was an excellent hostess and we enjoyed our evening immensely.