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Hello from Sydney – by Renee

by on June 24, 2016

We have arrived in Sydney after a VERY early morning flight from Wellington. During our final day in Wellington we spent the day at Te Papa/the Museum of New Zealand. Overall the museum is amazingly well done – we saw things as unusual as the ONLY Colossal Squid on display in the world (it’s BIG, but apparently the scientists were disappointed that it was (a) female, as they have never seen a male, and (b) it’s a “tiny” one…only 14 feet long. 

 They also had an entire section dedicated to the Maori and esp the treaties that they signed with the British. Alex also noted that in almost every case New Zealand was years ahead of the USA on social issues including giving women and minorities the vote.

However the BEST part of our day at Te Papa was getting a private tour with Jaimee’s brothers. Brother Ben is the art director for exhibitions and brother Josh heads up the group that builds the exhibitions…and they both took time to give us a private tour through the current (and stunning) exhibition, Gallipoli. In case you aren’t aware, Gallipoli was THE first key battle that New Zealand took part in during WWI trying to invade Turkey. It was 8 months of brutal fighting over a tiny strip of land. Thousands of men were killed and it was a bruising experience for the New Zealand army. Te Papa (lead by Ben and Josh) have put together an amazing, larger than life, exhibit to honor the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle. When I say larger than life– it is exactly that. The exhibit tells the story of the battle through the eyes of several real soldiers, including a great uncle of Josh and Ben. While the impressive exhibit is amazing — hearing some behind the scenes stories was what made it so fantastic. Thanks Ben and Josh for sharing the stories and giving us a unique look at your terrific exhibit. We are already looking forward to their next exhibit, BUGS, which will go on world tour including a stop in San Francisco.

We left wet and windy Wellington and landed in wet and windy (really really windy) Sydney. We are staying on the 47th floor of our hotel….really high up and can see how hard the wind is blowing by looking out the window at the hooks on the construction cranes – and they are moving. Hopefully the weather front that is causing this wind will move through and we will get better weather tomorrow.

We did a walking tour of “The Rocks” area of Sydney this evening. The weather was challenging, but it was great to learn about the history of Sydney – from the convicts who came here (and why) to the Rum Rebellion and to the two different mutinies related to Captain Bligh.

Tonight we got our first glimpse of the famed Sydney Opera House…it was as impressive as I imagined it would be. Tomorrow we will tour the Opera House and see a performance of Carmen.


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One Comment
  1. anita permalink

    What a great education we are getting! How was Carmen, and how was the opera house inside..I’ve always wondered. Love Anita & crew

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