Sydney I – the city

Sydney was the last destination of our trip down the east coast of Australia. For me, this is the most beautiful city I know (don’t get confused with my article about Byron Bay “My most favorite town ever” – I’m talking city now! Smiley)

So, why is Sydney such a special place? I think it’s partly the location. The natural harbour this city is build around, makes a huge difference to cities without access to water. The view from a high building downtown is incredible when you see the famous sights, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, plus many yachts, driving around (or underneath them Zwinkerndes Smiley) and leaving white trails behind them on the opal blue water.

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But it’s also the people that make Sydney a place you feel at home from the very first moment. It’s such an intercultural and thus open minded city. You meet people from all over the world and when walking around on your own, it doesn’t need much time before someone comes up to you and asks you where you’re from and if you need help.

And I recon, Sydney will always be a very special place for me anyway, because my best friend since kindergarten moved here ten years ago and it’s always great to visit her because she’s simply the best Smiley

Moritz has never been to Sydney before so we spend our first day exploring the city center.

We started at Darling Harbour in the morning, when most of the shops and restaurants were still closed and not many other tourist were around.

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We crossed Tumbalong Park, which is located just behind the Imax at Darling Harbour and walked over to the Chinese Garden of Friendship. We didn’t get inside (mainly because you have to pay entrance fee and I’ve been inside during one of my previous visits to Sydney) but caught some glimpses from the outside… pretty pretty! Smiley

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Our next stop was one of the famous landmarks of Sydney, the Harbour Bridge. We walked along Hickson Road – which was actually not one of our best decisions because there’s a lot of construction work going on at the moment. Next time, I would choose an alternative route, like Kent Street for example. We did a little detour to visit the Park in front of the Sydney Observatory, where we had a lovely view.

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And there she was, one of the most famous bridges in the world –definitely the most famous one on the southern hemisphere Smiley. We got to the pedestrian walkway through an entrance from Observatory Hill – thank god, so the steep climb up to the park was not for nothing Smiley!

Of course, the view from the bridge is stunning.

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But I like the bridge itself very much, too.

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After we’ve enjoyed the views for quite a while we climbed down and found ourselves in the middle of The Rocks, the oldest neighbourhood in Sydney. Even though this is a very touristy place, I love the old buildings and narrow sidewalks.

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Now it was time to see THE main landmark of Sydney. We walked along Sydney Cove, passed Circular Quay and stood in front of the Opera House.

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Fun Fact: Did you notice that the Opera House resembles shells, that are stuck into the earth? Some say, it’s not shells but sails, referring to the ships that brought the first white people to Australia. I like both theories. I myself am part of team shells. Smiley

And as we haven’t walked enough for one day (attention: irony! Smiley mit herausgestreckter Zunge), we decided to walk a little bit more. So we promenaded along Farm Cove, passing the Royal Botanic Gardens with its huge, old trees.

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We grabbed a coffee, sat down on a bench and enjoyed the moment. Lovely park! But we finally got up again and walked along. Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair was waiting! Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife used to love the place where the landmark is today. It is known that she used to come here by carriage to enjoy the view. Rumor has it that is was not necessarily the harbour she was looking at, but the boats arriving from and leaving for England as she might have been a bit homesick, the poor thing. Her loving husband noticed her frequent trips and arranged that a chair should be carved out of the stone for his wife. Well, I can report that the chair itself is not that comfy but the view is nice!

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We walked along Woolloomooloo Bay, took Art Gallery Road and arrived at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

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After we had walked around Hyde Park…

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… we turned right and found our way to the Town Hallsydney_town_hall.jpg

… and the Queen Victory Building, a beautiful shopping center, build in 1898.sydney_queen_victory_building1.jpg

A beautiful day in a beautiful city! The only way to top this, is having dinner in another famous landmark: the Sydney Tower.

And that’s what we did Smiley!

The buffet was amazing…

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… and we had the best view over the city while dining:

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But this was just the city. There’s so much more to Sydney, the beaches and the National Parks around. I’ll show you some of it in my next posts, I promise. Smiley

More information about:

Sydney

Darling Harbour

Sydney Observatory

The Rocks

Opera House

Royal Botanic Gardens

Queen Victoria Building

Sydney Tower Buffet

A posh festival and fun in the fountain

As we are still waiting for some of the pictures of our wedding, I will write about something else until I put up posts about our big day. And there are many things happening in and around Stuttgart these days. It feels like I am emerging from the whole wedding preparation thing into real life 🙂 And it feels nice to finally be a part of what’s going on again! 😀

I have missed a lot of festivals in Stuttgart this year. But one is taking place this weekend and Moritz and I used this lovely afternoon today to stroll over the Sommerfest (Summer festival).

Sommerfest Stuttgart 2013

It was once planned as a one time event after the Bicycle World Cup in 1991. But as it was a great success, it became an annual thing. Until Sunday, 4th of August, you’ll find its white tents at Schlossplatz…

Sommerfest on Königstrasse in Stuttgart

Sommerfest in front of the new castle in Stuttgart

…but mainly in front of the opera house, all around the Ecksee:

Sommerfest in front of the opera house in Stuttgart

Tents around the Ecksee

As they are opening the festival this evening, not all of the businesses had their tents ready when we were there around 4 pm. But we were not hungry so it was no big deal. We simply had a fruit smoothie and were quite happy 🙂

Moritz ordering smoothies at Sommerfest Stuttgart

Selection of fruit smoothies

Enjoying our fruit smoothies at the Ecksee

We strolled around a little longer, but as it was such a lovely hot day today, I felt like a quick refreshment. And what do you have fountains for in Stuttgart?!

Refreshing yourself under the fountain in Stuttgart

Having fun under the fountain in Stuttgart

Standing in the fountain at Schlossplatz

On the last pic you see me splashing water at Moritz, seconds before I noticed it’s my camera he’s holding… 😀

I have to admit, that the Sommerfest isn’t my favorite festival in Stuttgart. It is a bit too posh for my taste. For example, here you don’t just eat pizza, you’ll have a  “Pizza Gourmet”!

At the Sommerfest, you don't want to eat normal pizza - you'll have a pizza gourmet!

True story! 😉

Plus, I always feel a bit sad for the ducks that live in Ecksee… Especially as they have babies right now…

Ducks swimming in Ecksee.

On the other hand it’s nice to see the Schlossgarten with all the white tents and a festival is a festival and festivals are always nice to visit – especially when you have such great weather as we will this weekend! 🙂 So: Don’t mind my words and just go! 🙂

More information about:

Sommerfest Stuttgart / Stuttgart Summer Festival 2013