All travellers 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 Machu 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 take you all the way up there. And despite knowing what the three towers of Torres Del Paine will look like, we still hiked twenty kilometres to see them and were speechless (and exhausted!) 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.

Rush Hour at Central
Circular Quay
Circular Quay and Downtown Sydney
Darling Harbour at Sunset
Darling Harbour at Sunset
Darling Harbour at Sunset
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Circular Quay

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  1. khengsiong January 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I was back in my hometown for a few days and had no Internet access. But I read in the newspaper about the ‘Biblical flood’ in Australia, and was worried about you…

    Well, since you’re in Sydney, I suppose you’re alright.

  2. shionge January 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I was staying with my girlfriend in Mosman and her apartment faces the Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge and every night….sitting at the balcony and enjoying the majestic view….it was awesome 😀

  3. Tulsa Gentleman January 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I subscribe to several Sydney blogs and am accustomed to the photos of that beautiful city. Yet your photos show me new things about this place. I like your eye Zhu. You have a keen sense of appreciation for places and things and it shows in your photos.

  4. PhotoVigor January 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Love these pic and miss the place. Very beautiful.

  5. PhotoVigor January 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Beautiful pictures of beautiful skyline. Love it.

  6. Linguist-in-Waiting January 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I agree: even though I have seen thousands of pictures of the Statue of Liberty in New York City, or of Machu Picchu in Peru, or of the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines, seeing them for the first in real time is breath-taking. Also, when I finally visited Athens and climbed the Acropolis, it was like whoa! I used to just read about these in the encyclopedias, and yet here I am facing them in the flesh!

  7. micki January 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful Sydney Nights and night photography~~Zhu!

  8. Zhu January 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

    @khengsiong – Thank you for thinking of me! We are okay, we escape the floods by a few days.

    @shionge – Oh my, must have been quite a skyline view!

    @Tulsa Gentleman – Thank you! I love seeing the world and I’m glad it shows in the pics 😉

    @PhotoVigor – Thank you very much!

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – It’s exactly that! Funny feeling, eh!

    @micki – Thank you Micki!

  9. Wayne Robertson February 5, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Love the night shots….
    I have some great night shots of Sydney on my website too…
    Check em out!


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