AUSSIE TIGER TALE: WHEN YOU CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL…

WHEN YOU CATCH A TIGER BY THE TAIL

  • A smiling young lady from Niger,IMG_3383
  • Once went for a ride on a tiger,
  • They returned from the ride,
  • With the young lady inside,
  • And a smile on the face of the tiger.”

(One of the few poems I recall from my childhood)

AUSTRALIA 2015 BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES OF A LONG-AGO ENCOUNTER WITH WESTERN TIGER SNAKE

A  few months ago, Elizabeth and I came back to Maui from an amazing trip to Australia. For me, it was a return to Paradise that I once called my home. For Elizabeth, it was her first trip to the land Down Under. And what a memorable experience it was! (see AUSTRALIA 2015 – http://wp.me/p3R16m-1yE).

One day, as we were driving down Commonage Rd near Dunsborough, Western Australia, I had a flashback.

“See that driveway over there,” I said to Elizabeth. “That’s where an old friend of mine used to live.  At the end of that driveway, he once encountered a tiger.”

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“A tiger?” Elizabeth repeated sounding incredulous.

“Well, an Aussie tiger,” I grinned. “A 10-ft tiger snake.”

“Yikes!”

During the rest of our drive to Dunsborough, I recounted for Elizabeth the tale that Peter, my former neighbor, shared with me almost two decades ago.

Peter and his wife Grace were retired farmers from up north when I met them in the 1990s. No, not the kind of farmers we know in America who work perhaps a few dozen or a few hundred acres. In our country, we would call Peter and Grace ranchers.

They had two “farms.” The smaller one was 30,000 acres. The 441936-e5994ad8-6ac2-11e3-8f0f-08d285a22398larger one was 750,000 acres.

Jus to give you an idea what that means, that’s bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

“I had over 30 miles of roads which I had to maintain myself,” Peter said.

And he also had a single-engine airplane.  Even after retiring from active farming and turning his state-size property over to his four sons, Peter continued to fly to and from his ranches up north in and out of Dunsborough. He used the back of his (small) Commonage Rd property as a landing strip.

No permits. No air traffic control. Just man and machine. Like in the good old days… before governments started mess with people’s freedom and lives.

659733-21113-sheep-farmerIt was important for Elizabeth to first hear what kind of a man Peter was in order to fully appreciate the tiger snake story which lurked at the end of that driveway.

By contrast to this rough and tumble outback cowboy, Peter’s wife Grace was nothing but sweetness and roses. In fact, she did have a gorgeous rose garden. And she used every bit of land around their home to grow something beautiful or edible or both.  She was also an excellent cook. I still remember some of the delicious dinners she would serve.

The two of them – Peter and Grace – were a perfect match. Because they were so different. It was a true harmony in contrasts.

Back to my story…

One morning in the mid-1990s, Grace was working as a part-time helper at a local arts and crafts store, just a mile or so up from their place on Commonage Rd.  Peter was alone at home.  As he did on most days, he walked out to the back of the paddock (field) to check things out. Just to kick the dirt. Old farmer habits die hard.

He1540402_283023508552272_7674483745378094674_o stopped about half way down to take in the view of the Geographe Bay which lay in the distance  (the photo on the right offers a similar view from my former property – the Bolt Hole).

“I felt something move under my feet,” Peter recalled.

WESTERN Tiger snake

To his horror, he discovered he was standing on giant Tiger snake.

The Aussie Tiger is not only big and powerful (about 10ft in length), it is also fast.  And deadly.  About 40% to 60% of the people who are bitten by the Tiger snake die unless they get immediate medical help.

During my nine years in Australia, I had only seen one Tiger snake in nature. It was on a sandy path near Prevelly Point. Fortunately in my case, the snake was already dead.  Peter was not so lucky, however.

“I realized I was in a bit of a spot,” he said showing a typical Aussie outbacker’s self-deprecating modesty.

“In a bit of a spot!” Standing on a giant Tiger snake. What a giant understatement!

Most people would have been terrified.  Some might have even tried to run.  Probably to their peril.  As I said, these snakes are also very fast.

Peter was also frightened, of course. Only a fool wouldn’t be.  But he did not panic.10604012_358049887716300_1430519399987764607_o

“I was wondering what I could do,” Peter continued. “I was wearing just my shorts and a singlet” (like yours truly in this photo taken in the same area during our Feb 2015 trip).

“As I was checking my pockets, I realized all I had was a small pen knife.”

Well, beggars can’t be choosers.  So holding his foot firmly on the snake’s neck, Peter proceeded to sow off its head.  One can just imagine what a horrendous struggle it must have been. For both: the 10 ft-snake and the man wielding a small pen knife.

Well, eventually the pen knife prevailed. Which is why Peter was able to share this tale with me.

But that was not the whole story. Guess what this retired outback farmer did after he had saved himself with a pen knife?

He picked it up the severed head with bare hands, and, like a cat proudly bringing home the critters it catches, Peter went to that arts and crafts place where his wife worked – to show off his “trophy.”

When he walked into the store, holding the snake’s head with his jaw and _MG_9950.tiffangs fully distended, the two ladies started to scream in horror.

“Get out of here you crazy bastard,” his wife Grace shouted, suddenly losing all of her gentleness and grace with ease with which a snake sheds its skin.

Peter just chuckled.

“Thought you’d like to see what I caught today in our back yard,” he lied.

NOTE: Peter and Grace are fictitious names. In any event, I have forgotten their real names anyway. Everything else about this story, however, is true.

Shelly Beach 2-20-15

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AUSTRALIA 2015: TABLE OF CONTENTS

And now, for those of you who may have missed some of the travelogues, here’s a Table of Contents page for the entire trip:
 

READER COMMENTS

  • Barbara Mahdinec Funny story! I would probably stop breathing and have a heart attack, death by fright! We have a story about a Coral snake encounter when first married and Milan was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. The year was1970. Scared the hell out of me. To this day, don’t remember my feet touching the ground again, landed in the house! We were sitting on a back stoop and bare feet resting on cinder blocks for steps. Our new collie was whimpering scratching at us. I kept pushing her back. I happen to glance down and in the crack is a Coral snake with our feet over it. I can’t explain my panic, screamed “Coral snake” and flew through the door. They are small snakes and have small mouths as you probably are already aware. Best place for their mouth to get yu is between toes, fingers. Holy crap, just sitting barefoot talking away! What are the odds?! Milan runs in house and gets a small 22 pistol and goes after snake. It is caught by the tail and slithering back and forth andhe is waving gun pointed at it trying to get a shot! I’m screaming “get away”! Well lo and behold, Milan nails it! I’m thinking I witnessed a miracle! Never forget it!!!
  • Bob Altzar Djurdjevic Wow. What a story! Thanks for sharing it, Barbara. Yes, I know what a Coral snake is and what it looks like. And that it is extremely poisonous despite its small size. In fact, you’ve just reminded me of my own encounter with in right here in Phoenix in 2001. In my case, I did not even have my slippers on when I discovered it on a chair under a table the caterers had just delivered. I was having a party the next day. At the time I saw the snake, however, I was butt naked, just having gotten out of my pool. And I did not have a 22 or any other pistol handy. So I just grabbed another chair and killed the snake with it. As I threw it over the fence, its carcass got caught on some palm fronds. It had stayed there for a few days until I forgot to check on it. Shall I add both of our Coral Snake stories to my Tiger Snake piece?
    Bob Altzar Djurdjevic's photo.
    4 mins · Like · 1
  •  Bob Altzar Djurdjevic The Coral snake is particularly dangerous because its venom can take up to 18 hours to start showing itself, and many people who get bitten thus do not seek help until it is very late in the game. Left untreated, the venom can kill by shutting down a victim’s lungs. For more, see…https://www.desertmuseum.org/books/nhsd_coral_snake.php
    Order: Squamata Family: Elapidae (fixed front- fang…
    DESERTMUSEUM.ORG
  •  Barbara Mahdinec Yes, people like wild stories! I like you being butt naked throwing chairs! Oh my gosh!

AUSTRALIA 2015: EPILOGUE

AUSTRALIA 2015: EPILOGUE

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Was this trip to Australia all I had hoped for?

It was more, much more than that.

I never could have imagined a journey with such a variety of experiences… from the roo breakfasts and dinners in the Yangarra bush above Dunsborough, to the ethereal “Madam Butterfly” Sydney Opera House. With a myriad of other amazing experiences in between.

Roo breakfast IMG_3342 Shelly Beach 2-20-15

Only Divine travel agents could have arranged such an itinerary. All I had to do it follow my instincts.  They handled the rest; all the logistics. Including the appropriate weather for each day.

Another responsibility I had was to share it all with all you all afterward in the form of these travelogues. Such special experiences are never meant for just those taking the trip.  That would be very selfish. And our Spirit guides would not like that.

As a result of the travelogues, some of the readers have even expressed interest of moving to Australia, not just visiting this beautiful country. Others just wanted to know what it would be like to live there. And even my Australians friends seem to appreciate the stories.

“I’ve been re-reading your travelogues,” my longtime friend and a former Bolt Hole neighbor wrote to me the other day.  “There’s no doubt you know how to travel – it’s hard to find a minute that was not dedicated wholeheartedly to depositing more experiences in the bank of life.  I’m in awe of your energy and enthusiasm.”

I replied in part:

“We have been also reliving them with each story. The additional narrative and pictures sort of help cement the ‘experiences in the bank of life,’ as you so eloquently put it. We approach everything with a motto – ‘if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.’ And that includes ‘vegging out.’ You never know what you may end up harvesting while vegging out.” 🙂

TOP THREE EXPERIENCES

At the end of all our major trips, Elizabeth and I discuss what our respective top three experiences or memories of the trip were. In this case, we did that on our last day in Sydney, Feb 26, while sipping our drinks at the Starbucks near Circular Quay.

Elizabeth’s top three experiences in AUSTRALIA:

1. “Madam Butterfly/Sydney Opera HouseIMG_3344

IMG_32252. Fremantle/River Cruise;

3. Battle of the Oceans at Cape LeeuwinIMG_3050

My top three experiences in AUSTRALIA:

1. “Madam Butterfly/Sydney Opera HouseIMG_3351

IMG_45302. Day of the Beautiful Dunsborough Beaches;

3. Battle of the Oceans at Cape Leeuwin IMG_3048

NEVER AGAIN? PROBABLY NOT…

As Elizabeth and I reminisced and recapped our Australian experiences at that Circular Quay Starbucks, both of us also realized that this is probably it. This was the trip to end all trips. We are probably not going to return to Australia in this lifetime.

I never say never, but I just don’t think it is in the cards anymore.

That’s because this entire trip felt like an Epilogue, a Grand Finale, of my life in Australia.  And for Elizabeth, who had never been Down Under before, it was both the baptism and farewell all in one.

Oddly enough, I felt no sadness when I realized that. Maybe that was the whole point of this trip. To say goodbye with joy and gratitude for the experiences this amazing continent has blessed me with without expectations of encores.

That evening, on our flight back home to Hawaii, I thanked the Spirit for the privilege of being able to experience all that, and to end the Australian chapter of my life with my life partner in many lifetimes at my side. So now she knows what Australia is about, too. Firsthand.

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AUSTRALIA 2015: TABLE OF CONTENTS

And now, for those of you who may have missed some of the travelogues, here’s a Table of Contents page for the entire trip:
 

 

 

ELEPHANT DANCE, “MENAGE A TROIS” IN LIONS DEN, AND MUCH MORE AT THE ZOO

Feb 26 – SYDNEY ZOO: OUR “WARM DOWN” AFTER “MADAM BUTTERFLY” AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

How do you come down emotionally after completing a marathon?

I should ask my Aussie friend Andrew that question. He is an accomplished world-class marathoner.

I don’t know what he does after a big race. But I would guess that he does not spend the next day in bed. Just vegging out. Probably goes out for a little run.

I am no marathoner. But in swimming, we used call that a “warm down.” That’s what you do an exhausting race.  You do a few laps just to loosen up come down emotionally before you shower and dress.

Sydney Zoo: Our “Warm Down” after the Opera

That’s how Elizabeth and I felt the morning after that high we experienced on Feb 25 during the “Madam Butterfly” performance at the Sydney Opera House.

So what did we do? We went to the zoo.

On our last day in Sydney, we walked down to the Circular Quay from our Darling Harbour hotel, and took a ferry to the Taronga Zoo. We thought it would be a good way to come down emotionally from the high the “Madam Butterfly ” experience represented the night before.

But first, we found a surprise at Circular Quay.  The nighttime breezes blew in a big cruise ship.

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Idefault-QE-19593 told Elizabeth that many years ago, at that very pier, I saw “Elizabeth II” (right), docked in front of The Rocks.  It was a spectacular view. 20090226ran8116382_037.jpgJust as was this one of “Mary II” (left) sailing past the Sydney Opera House.  Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.37.38 AMThe original “Queen Mary,” which saw service in WW II carrying the troops from the U.S. to England, is now a hotel in Long Beach, CA.  It is located right next to Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose.”  I went on board “Queen Mary” in 1983 when it was still a museum.

(For those who might not be aware, Queen Mary of England (1516-1558) was one of Elizabeth’s past incarnations).

And now, here are some of our shots from the leisurely walk around the zoo…

At Taronga Zoo

IMG_3367 IMG_3365 IMG_3371 Giraffe_final_sml And then, just as I was telling Elizabeth that the above photo of the Giraffes with the Sydney skyline was my favorite, someone posted this photo on FB of a Giraffe in a pot hole. 🙂

Moving on…

IMG_3369 IMG_3368 Komodo dragon

It is a good thing we did not know at the time that this Komodo Dragon also devours humans among some of his dinner favorites.

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The Python needed no narration from me. But I did point out to Elizabeth that we would have seen the Quokkas in their natural habitat had we gone to Rottnest Island near Perth.

Here’s more from the Aussie section of the zoo…

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DANCE OF ELEPHANTS

Elizabeth and I spent a long time watching this (female) elephant practice her dance routine.  Eventually, I got my camera out and made thie short video that captured her dance steps.

ELEPHANT DANCE AT SYDNEY ZOO – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – made on location at Taronga Zoo on Feb 26, 2015 –

* * *

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Menage a Trois in Lions Den

And I also took some shots of a rather regal looking lion family. At first.  Then a spot of trouble ensued among this “menage a trois”.

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 Sumatra Tiger’s Swagger

The Lion may be the King of the Jungle, but no animal walks with more swagger than a tiger. Check out this big Sumatra tiger as he was pacing through the woods impatiently.

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And then we came upon some mere Meerkats. Very cute…

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And then some mountain goats, rams as we would call them…

IMG_3399 IMG_3408 … and even an unregistered zoo volunteer on the pavement between he pens.

We finished our walking tour with a sea lion show at the zoo pool.

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And then it was time to go back…

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Once back in the city, we took these two final shots of us on our last day of the fabulous trip to Australia.

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That evening, Feb 26, around 9:30 PM, we left Honolulu on a 10-hour flight back to Honolulu.  And now, a bit of the global travel trivia for those of you who have not traveled to or from Australia.

TIME TRAVEL BACK HOME: WE ARRIVED BACK HOME IN HAWAII 11 HOURS BEFORE WE HAD LEFT SYDNEY

We arrived home today over 11 hours BEFORE we had left Sydney!

How’s that possible?

It is. Because the global date line being in the middle of the Pacific. And we crossed it going BACK IN TIME.

As a result, we left Sydney on Thursday evening at 9:20 PM, and arrived in Honolulu on also Thursday at 10:10 AM.

Quirky, right? 🙂

“We did some kind of time travel,” Elizabeth remarked after we landed in Hawaii.

Isn’t that a fact.

 

 

“MADAMA BUTTERFLY” AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Feb 25 – AN EVENING AT THE OPERA TO REMEMBER FOREVER

Madam Butterfly stage

Words cannot adequately describe the experience Elizabeth and I had this evening at the Sydney Opera House. Fabulous, amazing. incredible… might be some of the adjectives about tonight’s performance of “Madama Butterfly.” Suffice it to say that both of us teared up at the end.

“This tops them all,” Elizabeth said afterward, answering my question where she would rank this evening’s opera.

Here are some pictures of us taken beforehand at a cocktail party at the top floor with a truly amazing view despite the cloudy weather.

We also met and befriended here a family from Scotland whose daughter is now a resident of Sydney.  It was a delightful prelude to an unforgettable evening at the opera.

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Feb 25 – ALTZAR’S ASTRAL REBIRTHDAY

It was only today, Mar 16, my 45th North American birthday eve, that I realized why our “Madama Butterfly” experience was so special. It was my astral (re)birthday.  Six years ago, on Feb 25, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona, I first became aware of my astral name – ALTZAR – and my eternal lifetimes on this planet and elsewhere around the universe (see ALTZAR’s REBIRTH, PDF).

Altzar rebirth2-25-09

ALTZAR’S MANTRA

“I know who and what I am and I give praise and thanks.

I am a child of the universe,

I am a ray of the original sun,

I am Wholeness,

I am Love

And I love you.”

 

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE: ICONIC BUILDING OF THE 20TH CENTURY [essay]

Feb 25 – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TOUR INSPIRES AN ESSAY ON ICONIC BUILDINGS [essay]

Guess the rain we were supposed to get yesterday arrived in Sydney today, Feb 25. The weather was positively miserable. We used our umbrella for the first time as we walked slowly from our hotel toward the Sydney Opera House.

We had two dates there today. At noon, a tour of the entire building. And then at 7;30 PM, the long-awaited performance of “Madam Butterfly” at the opera hall (the smaller of two large concert halls).

At some point during a very informative tour, I realized we were standing at an early example of a re-fusion of arts and sciences. IMG_3263

“Iconic building of the 20th century,” our guide said at one point.

“Wow,” I muttered to myself. “What a perfect caption.”

Every century left its mark in human memory. If I said, “19th century,” for example, what image would come to your mind?

tumblr_nimyheCN9X1ss7bmoo1_r1_1280edward-moran-statue-libertyThe Eiffel Tower, in my case.  The Statue of Liberty would be a close second.

Interestingly, both were French creations. The Eiffel tower was built in just two years for the 1889 world fair in Paris. The Statue of Liberty was intended for the 1876 Centennial.  But due to the squabbling in Congress over funding, it opened 10 years late.

What about the 18th century?

catherine-palace-in-tsarskoye-selo

For my money, the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, Pushkin, outside of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1756.

The 17th  century?

taj mahalversailles-oneTaj Mahal, India (1632). And yes, Versailles would come second (1682). The buddhist monastery Paro Taktsang (Tigers Nest) in Bhutan (1692) would be a close third.

The 16th century?

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No question. El Escorial near Madrid, Spain (see El Escorial: Grand Finale of a Magical Day and El Escorial Morning After: Special Shamanic Atonement Ceremony to Clear Phillip II Karma)

The 15th century?

Machu_Picchu_early_morningMachu Picchu, Peru. Interestingly, both El Escorial and Machu Picchu were built by the then adversarial empires.

Okay. We’ll stop here. Back to the “iconic building of the 20th century.”

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When I realized the historical significance and the magnificence of the building I was in, standing on the purple carpet of the (symphony) concert hall (above), I had shivers on my back.

For generations, maybe centuries, people will be looking at the images of the Sydney Opera House and saying, “this is it; this was the symbol and the pinnacle of the 20th century’s creativity.”

IMG_3309 IMG_3313 IMG_3312 IMG_3314 IMG_3315 IMG_3316 Opera House interior IMG_3323 IMG_3317

The rest?  Sadly, the rest of the 20th century will be known mostly for its many wars and destruction of priceless creations from human history.

And some pundits have even called the 20th century the “American Century.” What a legacy!  Ancient Romans would empathize.

And then I also had another revelation.  More personal.

AN EARLY EXAMPLE OF RE-FUSION OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Back in 1994, I wrote an editorial about the upcoming re-fusion of arts and sciences. It was a futuristic piece, anticipating that process that the Internet and PC revolutions were about to bring about (see RE-FUSION OF ARTS & SCIENCES [1994] and my FORBES 02_Gra6 column “Move Over Einstein, Signor Da Vinci Is Back” [1997] – Da Vinci as Chief Creative Officer).

Today, we have many examples of marriages of arts and sciences, just like 500 years ago, when Leonardo Da Vinci served as such a role model.

What I did not realize 21 years ago was there was already such an example which had been created 21 years earlier. It was the Sydney Opera House. Jørn Utzon, its Danish-born architect, created “one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.” (Expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, 2007).

“It is the iconic building of the 20th century,” our young British guide told us today as we previewed the building in which we will see a performance of the opera “Madama Butterfly” tonight.

The tour ended at the second Opera and Ballet concert hall. That’s where we are going to return tonight and travel to Japan on the wings of Puccini opera.

IMG_3332IMG_3324 IMG_3325 IMG_3326 IMG_3327 The stage had not yet been set up for “Madam Butterfly.” That would start at 2:30 PM.

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Sydney Opera House Story

The Sydney Opera House story is about as fascinating and sad as any opera. In 1957, Utzon’s imaginative design won the contest for an opera house without ever having set foot to Sydney before. But that was only the beginning of his challenges.

Can it be built? Nothing like that was ever attempted. After eight years and 16 different engineering designs having been tried and rejected, it seemed it was a dream impossible. Until Utzon himself came up with the engineering solution while peeling an orange. No kidding. it was an artist, therefore, that came up with the ultimate engineering solution which had eluded teams of scientists. And that’s why I say that this was the first example of the re-fusion of arts and sciences, long before computers took over the world.

The initial estimate was that the Opera House would cost $7 million and take three years to complete. It ended up costing $107 billion (which would be in excess of $3 billion in today’s dollars) and 16 years to construct. When the project ran into budget deficits in the late 1960s, Utzen was forced to resign. He returned to his native Denmark and never came back to Australia.

The Opera House opened in 1973. Yet the creative genius who envisioned it and made its building possible never saw it. Utzon died in 2008, age 90, a year after the UN World Heritage Committee inducted the building into its protectorate. It was the first time a building that young was granted such an honor. It was the first time that this has happened while the architect was still alive.

SYDNEY THEN AND NOW: CITY SKYLINE 1985-2015

Feb 24 – THEN AND NOW: “AT LEAST THEY COULD NOT RUIN THE BEAUTIFUL HARBOR”

Also, Australia’s See-Through Money

As we were sailing around the Sydney Harbor today, I remembered a painting, a drawing actually, I bought from an 80-year old artist in front of the Opera House.

The year was 1985.  The artist, E.G. Twist, signed and dated his artwork as ’85.  It still hangs in our guest bedroom here in Maui. Mr. Twist drew the city skyline with the Opera House in the forefront.

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So during our Feb 24 boat ride, I kept taking various photos of the city skyline now, 30 years later, intending to compare them with that old drawing when we get back home.

Since I did not have the photo of the painting with me, I never quite got the right angle. But with the help of the Photoshop highlights, here’s a picture of the tremendous changes Sydney has undergone during the last three decades. Upward, of course.

Sydney skyline 1985-2015

“What is Sydney like?” Elizabeth asked me on the flight from Perth.

“Now, it’s like New York,” I replied. “But at least they could not ruin the beautiful harbor.  We’ll have to take a cruise.”

Australia’s See-through Money

I have always been intrigues by Australia’s see-through money. I have never seen anything like it anywhere else around the world.

Take a look…

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EXPLORING SYDNEY BY BOAT AND ON FOOT

Feb 24 – EXPLORING SYDNEY BY BOAT AND ON FOOT

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Our second day in Sydney started with a delightful breakfast/lunch with a friend who traveled for an hour on a train from her home to meet us at Darling Harbor. All three of us thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and the food.

Afterward, Elizabeth and I went for a walk to the Darling Harbor bridge.

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Sydney meteorologists called for a 90% chance of rain. Even as of 8:30 this morning when I woke up. Indeed, it did rain a little at the time. But by the time I finished my first “flat white” and asked the Spirit to keep the rain away from Sydney the rain had stopped. And then a gradual clearing followed.

HARBOR SHOWBOAT CRUISE

During lunch, Sydney friend wanted to know what we had planned for the day.

“The forecast is for rain,” I said.  “We were hoping to take a boat IMG_3243cruise in the harbor. But looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.”

By 2 PM, with the weather now being mostly sunny, we boarded the Sydney Showboat at the Darling Harbor station. The harbor cruise lasted a little less than two hours.

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Sydney Opera pano 2-24-15 IMG_3270

FAREWELL TO OLD SHOES

Two days ago in Perth, I predicted to Elizabeth that my shoes would give up the ghost by the end of this trip. I was wrong. My left shoe fell apart on board our harbor cruise, right in front of the Sydney Opera House. How embarrassing… 🙂

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So when we disembarked at Circular Quay, we looked for a temporary solution that would keep the sole of my shoe attached till I got back to the hotel.

Want to know what that solution was? Get ready for a chuckle…

Two bubble gums and a string for sun glasses, 🙂 Elizabeth did the chewing for me and then stuck the gum between the shoe and its sole. I then tied it all together with a string for sunglasses.

Necessity – mother of invention! 🙂

I know it sounds crazy, but it worked. I got back to the hotel on my shoes and then tossed them in the trash.

ELIZABETH TEACHING HULA TO ABORIGINES

While walking along Circular Quay toward the Sydney Opera House, we heard a sound of music.

“That’s didgeridoo,” I said excitedly.

I had previously told Elizabeth that on my earlier trips to Sydney , I would come across some Aborigine didgeridoo players here. Only this time, it was a whole family performing.

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Soon, we joined in – Elizabeth with her Hula moves, me with a camera recording it all. Eventually, Elizabeth tried to teach the Aborigines the Hula swing. Which they quickly picked up.

I have it all on a video, too:

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BOTANICAL GARDENS

After the walk along Circular Quay and our encounter with the Aborigines, we went on to the Botanical Gardens and the Art Gallery within it.  By the time we made it back to the hustle and bustle of the city, it was already 5PM.

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DARLING HARBOURSIDE DINNER

Later this evening, we went out to dinner at the Darling Harbourside, across the harbor from our hotel. It was fabulous. And it offered amazing nighttime city views.

Here are some pictures from that evening outing.

IMG_3302IMG_3288 Darling Harbor night pano

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