As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, has always been a significant and an integral part of my life. Some 400 trips to every portion of the globe, by means of road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article focuses on Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.
The Sydney Opera House, sporting its sail-resembling roof and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, confirmed my arrival “down under” after another flight whose hour duration eclipsed two digits in number on the appropriately named Qantas Boeing 747-400 “Long Reach.”
Although a need to reduce trip costs relegated me to a smaller hotel, it was nevertheless well-located and appointed, with quaint decorations, a refrigerator, a small kitchen area, and a private bath, facilitating grocery storage for breakfast and Thai take out for dinner, eaten at its very round table.
The country-continent’s sights were, however, canvased, with both walking and motor coach tours during a flawlessly-blue spring, which, in the southern hemisphere, meant October, and included Kings Cross, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and its monorail, the Chinese Garden, the Queen Victoria Building shopping complex, the Sydney Aquarium, and The Rocks, a restored and preserved neighborhood whose buildings dated at least a century, but had since been converted into terrace houses, shops, galleries, craft centers, restaurants, and taverns.
Ferries plying the deep blue harbor took me to Manly and the area’s famed Bondi Beach, one of Sydney’s iconic, crescent-shaped, sweeping stretches of sand.