Monday, January 4, 2010

Royal Residents

After returning from our ferry ride to Watson Bay and the amazing view of the Tasman Sea from The Gap Park we decided to walk back through the Royal Botanic Gardens, located next to the Sydney Opera House. Australia's close history with the United Kingdom can be seen everywhere, from the Victoria architecture to Queen Victoria's picture on the Australian dollar to the love of open garden spaces.The Royal Botanic Gardens stretch from the Opera House along Sydney Harbor down to Woolloomooloo Bay spanning down towards Hyde Park where our hotel was. This inner-city, urban, massive garden made us homesick for some of the gorgeous innercity parks our hometown of Portland has.Similar to the Royal Botanic Gardens we visited in Europe there were numerous themed areas focused on regional plants, open lawn areas, herbariums and ponds.Unlike the Royal Botanic Gardens of Europe there was no glass conservatory where tropical plants were housed. The tropical plants and animals were out in full view, living among the Sydney city dwellers and definitely the highlight of this gorgeous garden.It was amazing to be walking through the park, hear this strange sqeaking noise and look up to see these beautiful parrots! And even though we just spent 4 months in tropical lush SE Asia we were still in awe of the palm trees, tropical plants and amazing bamboo trees!The gardens had a Tropical Centre, Fernery and Palm House. As we walked up to the Palm House we looked up into the trees and saw BATS - lots of bats!Tropical, relaxing, amazing views of the city and harbor and smack dab in the middle of Sydney. A fantastic living example of how unique Australia really is.

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