the opera house.

on day 3 in sydney we got an up close and personal sydney opera house experience.  we examined the outside of the opera house on our own and took a guided tour of the inside.  it was so incredible and the story behind it all is amazing.  i know i won't get all the details right so i won't tell you everything, but if you ever get the time look it up.  or... TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA!

here are a couple of interesting tidbits i can remember:

  • there was a contest for the design of the opera house with thousands of entries and one of the last entries was the winner.
  • the engineering was a huge challenge, both financially and physically; it was something that had never been attempted because of the arched exterior.  just when they were about to give up, the architect figured out that the roof could be built from a sphere of concrete being cut into individual slabs and placed accordingly.
  • the stages in the auditoriums are deep, but not wide.  so extreme set changes require 20 minutes to change and usually involve an elevator.  reason being is because the design required for the auditoriums to be built right next to each other and did not leave much wing space on the sides of the stage.
  • after the architect "resigned" from the project, he never returned to see his masterpiece finished.  however (and i am not sure how i feel about this); after he died, his family had his memorial at the opera house.  don't you think if he never went back there in his lifetime he may not have wanted a memorial there?  seemed strange to me.
  • you might ask why he resigned.  well, the project was taking too long and costing way too much money (originally was supposed to cost $7 million and ended up costing $102 million), so utzon {the architect} was asked to collaborate with a team for the remainder of the project.  he didn't like the idea so he resigned.  
  • the roof is comprised of "heaps" of ceramic tiles that are both white and off white.  
here are some photos of the inside and the outside:

the tour was well worth it and i highly recommend it.

this restaurant is right in front of the opera house and is where people go before performances to have a pre-show drink or meal.

after the sydney opera house tour, we took a ferry ride to the manly wharf.  manly consists of many shops and a beach with good surfing waves.  it was a little chilly, but we had fun looking around and watching the surfers.  it's a really cute area.

and i will conclude our sydney trip with a few touristy photos:  

the crosswalks actually had this written on the streets to tell tourists to look right for oncoming traffic instead of left!  love. 

the harbour bridge.

this was written in the sidewalk right outside our hotel!  and that is the year jim was born... small world!

and these photos wrap up the sydney portion of the trip perfectly.  we had such a great time!

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