various pics from Australia
September 27, 2010
My first view of the Sydney Opera House. I got into Sydney late, after dark, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do anything, but then I thought, “What the hell,” and started walking. It turned out my hotel was only a few blocks from the Circular Quay, where the opera house — and the Harbor Bridge, and the Rocks, and the Botanical Gardens, and a ton of other really cool things — are located. So I got to see it, which was cool because I wasn’t expecting it. I so wasn’t expecting it that I forgot to bring my camera. D’oh! But I did have my cell phone. I remember telling the guy at the phone place that I didn’t want a phone with a camera — I didn’t need a phone with a camera. And yet, here we are.
Victoria wine country — the Chandon winery a couple of hours outside Melbourne.
Y’all have seen plenty of pictures of Uluru as this big, hulking beast of a rock rising up from the middle of a flat plain. (Seriously, I thought it looked vaguely alive, like it might uncurl and become this mighty prehistoric creature.) This is some of what you’ll see around the base. They’d been having a wet winter, and I got to see streams of water flowing off the rock, which I’m told is a special thing. The wildflowers were also blooming like crazy.
It’s really hard to get a good idea of what the Great Barrier Reef really looks from a picture on the surface. Especially since it’s actually hundreds and hundreds of small reefs and islands linked and scattered along the coast. This is at Flynn Reef. If you look toward the top of the water, near the horizon, you can see a white line — this is the Pacific Ocean breaking on the reef. The pale parts are the sandy bottom, about 10 to 12 meters, or 35 feet or so, down. The darker purplish greenish brownish blobs are coral, piles and mounds and canyons of it, filled with fish and giant clams and turtles and sea cucumbers and everything. You have no idea, looking from the surface, how much is really down there.
Looking over the beach at Port Douglas. Sigh…