Impressions From The Land Down Under
My family organized a trip to the continental country in the southern hemisphere popularly known by the moniker “land down under”-Australia. Three decades ago, in the early eighties, I was here for a visit with a party of Supreme Court and local judges after receiving an award as an Outstanding Voluntary Arbitrator. But this recent trip is special to me because I share it with my wife Minda, two of my children residing in the US, and two other children with us in the Philippines.
We went to the city center of Sydney, and our first stop was at the Darling Harbour, named after the 19th-century Governor of New South Wales, Lieutenant General Ralph Darling. Here we found the so-called Welcome Wall that pays tribute to the migrants who have traveled to make Australia their home passing through the harbor, originating from more than 200 countries. Just close by was another tourist area called the “King Street Wharf,” where visitors enjoy daily cruises for sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
Also located near the Harbour is the Chinese Garden of Friendship, said to have been modeled from the classic private gardens of the Ming Dynasty. The experience was breathtaking, like landscape paintings of mountains, water, and flowering plants coming alive before our eyes. Then we went to Sydney Tower Eye, considered the tallest structure in Sydney, with an observation deck that took us to a spectacular view of the beautiful city.
A three-hour drive north of Sydney took us to another tourist site, the Hunter Valley region, one of Australia’s major wine regions known as the birthplace of Australian wines, where boutiques offer cellar-door wine tasting.
The last stop in our visits to tourist sites was at the Wildlife Sydney Zoo, where we saw a glimpse of wildlife haven in Australia. We had fascinating encounters with koala bears, baby kangaroos, and freshwater crocodiles.
However, the highlight of our trip was visiting the iconic performing arts center Sydney Opera House and treating ourselves to the Shakespearian play, “Macbeth”, in one of its theatres called the Playhouse.
The best part of our Aussie experience was the warmth and kindness of the Australian people and its multiculturalism. We saw people of diverse nationalities everywhere we went, and we were always blessed with friendly Aussies ready to give a helping hand. They are happy people who give premium to a balanced lifestyle.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“ADVENTURE IS WORTHWHILE” - Aesop
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“Go,” the LORD said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”