So one of the challenges of our trip may have seemed that we’d be traveling from the hot summer in Seoul, South Korea, to the winter in Sydney, Australia.  Although it was a bit cold on the first day we arrived, and raining, we have to say that if winter in Australia is anything like what we experienced while we were here… wow. We could handle this!  Most of the time it was rather pleasant, at least in Sydney.  During the day it was between 60-70 degrees days and sunny most days, as you will see in our pictures, and at night it was in the 50s.  A very pleasant way to spend a couple weeks in the summer away from hot St. Louis.  (And then there was our couple days in Cairns, where the Great Barrier Reef is… more on that later!)

As you will see, Sydney is a gorgeous city, nestled in what some of the regulars say is one of the best natural harbors in the world.  We were struck at how well they have designed the city to be a walkable city, and how they have designed the city to encourage walking, running, and the use of their parks. 


 


It seemed everyone in the city must be out walking, running, strolling, shopping.  I was struck by this as a person in a public health school, and it made me think about how poorly some U.S. cities take advantage of their natural assets (take notice St. Louis) such as their great rivers. 

We spent the better part of our first day and other days just walking the paths along the harbor, and through a fabulous Royal Botanical Garden, as you will see.  It is free, which certainly encourages its use. 


Sydney has some absolutely beautiful beaches that are glorious even in the winter! 





We also took a ferry ride (not too expensive) out to an island called “Cockatoo Island” that was used for about three purposes – a prison, ship building, and an industrial park.  We expected to see cockatoos, but it seems now to be dominated by very loud and aggressive Sea Gulls (that reminded us of the movie “The Birds”)!


We took the ferry further to another part of Sydney that was where the 2000 Olympics were held. It is a very nice place, and a good place to take a hike.  We were very surprised to see how active the area still is – we found out that the area is a suburb of Sydney, they are still building apartments there, and the sports complex was used for a huge Rugby game the week we were there. 

On our ride back to Sydney we took a ferry ride at dusk and as you can see Sydney is a beautiful city at night when it is all lit up.