All travelers know how great—and slightly surrealistic—it feels when you see a landmark for real, whatever it is, for the first time.
Despite seeing the Eiffel Tower all the time on postcards and in the distance from various places in Paris, I still gasped the first time I saw it up close. I remember exiting the subway station at Trocadéro and looking around for a couple of seconds, before realizing it was there, right in front of me, bigger than I had thought. You can’t really imagine how huge Tian An Men is before standing in the middle of the crowded square, and trust me, the Great Wall is higher than it seems. The Macchu Picchu looks exactly like the iconic postcard picture but you are still in awe in front of the misty mountains and the twisted road that leads there. And despite knowing what the three towers of Torres Del Paine will look like, we still hiked twenty kilometers to see them and were speechless when we finally made it.
I didn’t react any differently when I first walked to the iconic Sydney Opera House. This building, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, came to be a synonym of Australia for the rest of the world.
Darling Harbour, with its various museums and rampant waterfront development, as well as Circular Quay, with the impressive view on both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, are great places to hang out as the sun sets down under.