It Started As A Prison – SYDNEY ( 3 of 4 Series) By Wolf Leichsenring

Part 3

………..what they were. And in order to always have plenty of food, no one was allowed to.

eat the animals of his own totem, only that of the other totems.

Only in this way could the tribes live side by side and keep peace

The ANZAC memorial stands out prominently in the park itself. A pompous building is reminiscent of the soldiers of the Australian-New Zealand Army Corps, especially those of WW I. It may not be a coincidence that St. Mary’s Cathedral rises in sight. This magnificent sandstone building, the last tower of which was only completed in 2000, is one of the largest and most important Catholic churches in Australia.

With inexpensive public transport, we cross the city like the ships of the explorers once the seas. We quickly notice that there is a big difference between knowing or reading about one of SYDNEY’s great attractions or the direct encounter: World Heritage Site Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge or Sydney Tower Eye, all of them immediately surpass any description. The final kick is when you enter, cross or climb these tourist institutions.

Anyone who thinks of a conventional opera house is absolutely wrong with Sydney’s landmarks. It houses a gigantic cultural center. The building is 184 meters long, 118 meters wide and covers an area of ​​approximately 1.8 hectares. Its distinctive roof rises 67 meters and is clad with 1,100,000 glazed, white ceramic tiles imported from Sweden. 580 piles, which were anchored 25 meters deep in the ground, support the approximately 160,000-ton structure. Located on a peninsula on the Circular Quay, it offers indescribable views from the inside and outside. At five in-house venues, dedicated art is presented at 1,500 events annually. Around 5,500 spectators can sit at the same time in the concert hall, the Joan Sutherland Theater (opera), the Drama Theater (spoken theater) as well as the Playhouse and the Studio Theater (mixed programs). And until the 1940s, the peninsula called “Bennelong Point”, on which today’s world cultural heritage shines, served nothing but a boring railway depot. The actual construction work began in 1959. Queen Elizabeth II then had to wait 14 years before she could officially inaugurate it. The

Number “14” plays another role in connection with the Sydney Opera. Anyone who thinks that cost overruns of such gigantic construction projects are a sign of the modern age should look at Sydney. The construction ultimately became 14 times more expensive than originally planned.

But you really have to experience it “from the inside”, not just during an official opera house tour. Puccini’s “La Bohème” gives itself the honor during our stay – and we do it! The scenes play in this production in plush, decadent Berlin at the beginning of the 1930s shortly before Hitler seized power. The real Puccini as a composer for “great grief in small souls” comes into its own impressively. At surprisingly moderate prices (approx. € 70 per ticket) and at the same time unsurpassable parquet space (11th row), the flattering arias and scenes flow just like that – three hours of opera enjoyment at the highest level. Obviously you know what you owe to the world-famous former opera diva Joan Sutherland!

“The Iron Lung”, Sydney’s second tourism icon, surely outshines the entire cityscape, as does the Opera House. We are talking about the Harbor Bridge, which spans the Port Jackson and thus connects Sydney’s north and south coasts. Inaugurated in 1932, it allows traffic on six car lanes and two train tracks. The traffic volume is corresponding. On its 1,149m length it reaches a height of 134m. Pedestrians can also walk on it. The sidewalk leads 69m above the water.

For her care she needs 30,000 liters of paint per coat. Thus, it provides the corresponding company with an annual fulltime job in an endless loop, as well as the responsible TÜV.

It got its nickname while building the bridge. At the time, Australia was experiencing one of the country’s largest economic crises. However, the bridge construction secured around 3,000 workers wages and bread for nine years. That’s history. Today the Sydneysider affectionately calls them “coat hanger”. The bridge actually looks similar to that.

The heights must be considered relative. Because on the numerous hot summer days in Sydney, she likes to raise or lower heat by up to 18m. The clear height of the highest arch is 163m, on sunny days up to 181m.

To be continued……

Wolf Leichsenring – Travel Journalist