It's winter and it's sunny and there's a special friend in the house who hasn't been into "town" for nigh on 30 years, so it's time for a trip to town, to the city, the harbour city … Sydney.
It really is beautiful. Cook's men must have been gobsmacked when they ventured through The Heads to find such an enormous, protected waterway. A place to rest, a place to build a future colony.
"Imagine what they would think if they were able to return today and see what has become of their landing spot …" muses my visitor.
There's a bridge, a coat hanger of a bridge, with people climbing it and two flags flying, side by side.
And ferries and boats hurrying beside a cruise ship terminal.
And an Opera House, like no other.
I find it sad that Utzon didn't returned to see the result of his spectacular vision.
Those sail-like-structures never cease to amaze me.
Linda, my visitor, the pineapple lover, playing tourist.
And then snapping others playing tourist.
Everyone wants a photo with Utzon's masterpiece … except Utzon.
We grab a coffee so we have time to sit and admire.
And a treat for me. Yuummm.
See me in the spoon. Unintentional, but I like it.
Our little friends think the view is pretty awesome too.
And we take some arty reflection shots.
But it's lunch time in Sydney and, as we stroll admiringly around the Opera House, we are overtaken by a mad rush of joggers, one after the other after the other.
And then more.
What is it about city life that these people must rush through their day, even their lunch hours?
They puff and pant and sweat. They check their times. And then some do this.
I hope at some point they take time out to relax, to appreciate the beauty of their city. Surely one of the world's best.
So, while they rush by, we wander up into the Royal Botanic Gardens and Government House.
It's peaceful, serene … relaxing even.
The gardens are free for us to roam.
Two flags fly again.
I get excited when I see a sign saying the House is open for tours. This is my kind of thing. Then I read the smaller print … Friday to Sunday.
Note to self: come back with MLP one weekend to tour Government House.
A Canadian gnome in Queen Lizzie's Melaleuca Leucadendra.
Linda loves roses, so we seek out the Rose Garden within the Royal Botanic Gardens. And we are not disappointed. The roses are stunning and so beautifully perfumed.
We strike it very lucky for lunch … one would think the cheapest lunch spot so close to the city: the Bistro at the Conservatorium of Music. See that castellated building behind Linda? That's it.
And the Bistro is just to the right. During term, you're even lucky enough to be entertained by the Con students. What more could you want?
Where else in the city could you get a beef burger for $5.50 or butter chicken for $8.20? Vegetarian options too. And little treats. Perfect.
As we leave the gardens through these intricate gates, we start to head home.
We take time for another arty reflection shot. This time at Parliament.
We admire the old buildings squashed between the new.
And re-enter the high-rise
and busyness of the city.
A day out in town being a tourist.
Cheap and cheerful.
The city outside the shopping precinct.
Cook and his crew would be gobsmacked again.
What do you think?
Do you know any secret spots in Sydney I need to venture to?
Did you enjoy your day out in town?