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Cernobbio Photos

Luxury on Lake Como – Villa d’Este

Trip Over to Lake Como

During our 3 weeks staying in Como the weather was generally perfect – cool, crisp, sunny spring days, but even on the couple of rainy days it was still perfect and didn’t stop us from getting out and about. The rain was never the umbrella type while we were outside – just the hat and coat variety.

It had been suggested to us that it is not possible to walk around the gardens at Villa d’Este unless we were staying there, that set the day’s challenge for us……. There were low, but non-threatening clouds over Como as the ferry pulled away from the wharf heading for Cernobbio (Pronounced:- Churn-ob-yo) just 2 stops away. The ferry passes another monument to Alessandro Volta, the local lad who invented the battery a few hundred years ago, unveiled in August 2015, this steel sculpture called Life Electric:-

“Inspired by the electric tension between two poles of a battery, the great gift from Volta to the humanity” – Daniel Libeskind from the Life Electric Project.

The sculpture takes on a life of its own in the variety of lighting conditions over the lake, sometimes almost blending into the lake, other times in stark contrast. Some local residents had signed a petition to stop this sculpture being placed in the lake, but now it is there with no sign of any animosity towards it, and it provides a good vantage point to walk out to with seating under the art work, giving a different view of Como and the surrounding area.

Villa Erba can be seen from the ferry as it approaches Cernobbio wharf, one of the many Villas in Cernobbia, groups can book tours here. Most of the villas are either private, or can be booked for events. But our mission was to visit Villa D’Este with its opulent gardens and hotel.

Within a few minutes our ferry had arrived at Cernobbio Wharf and as the ferry pulled up the last of the morning market was being packed away, suddenly we were the only people left on the streets. The drizzly, misty rain and cold must have kept everyone inside for an early lunch made from the produce they had just bought from the market. Undaunted, we continued on towards our challenge………..

The gardens in the villas were all very impressive, and even without land for gardening, hanging gardens add a creative touch to a house just up the road from the Cernobbio ferry wharf.

Up at Via Regina, the main road through Cernobbio around the west side of Lake Como, a side street, Via Monte Grappa, heads through the arch way before winding its way up into the hills. I love the way the Italians don’t knock down their history to make roads, they work with it. Parking is never a problem for these tiny Italian cars, there is always room to park your Fiat or Smart car no matter how small the space. If the car fits, park it!

After turning right at Via Regina and wandering up the road looking at various restaurants, reading menus (all sounding delicious) and trying to decide which one to have lunch in, and doing a bit of window shopping as the shops were all closed for the very civilised Italian long lunch break, we reached the next bend in the road and there were the gates to Villa d’Este. The plan to have lunch somewhere before going to explore the gardens went out the window as we hadn’t realised how close it was.

As we went striding purposefully in through the entrance gates to Villa d’Este the man in the gate office came out see what we wanted, quick as a flash Christine said, “We’re having lunch at the Veranda.” (I decided the terribly elegant couple in the photo of the main gates must be staying there as they weren’t stopped). He welcomed us to Villa D’Este and wished us “Buon appetito”. That was the lunch decision made………..we were in, mission accomplished!!

Prior to 1873 Villa d’Este was a private residence with a very interesting history involving nuns, a ballerina, a Russian Czarina and British royalty, although not all at the same time. Click here to read the history of the Villa.

Following the path lined with beautifully manicured flower beds, not a petal out of place, passing Villa Cima, a lakeside private, almost Tudor looking, villa on the estate built in 1814 by the Princess of Wales to accommodate Count and Countess Pino, the former owners of the estate, after she had convinced them to sell the estate to her (it was the least she could do). It is now one of the villas hotel guests can book to stay in.




Hundreds of immaculate hydrangeas line the interior of the restaurant, and yes, they are real, I checked!!

In summer the glass windows surrounding the Veranda can be lowered down into the ground so you really are sitting out on the veranda, and more tables spill out on to the terrace closer to the lakes edge.

Lunch was exquisite, we shared many dishes so we could taste as much as possible and were waited on hand and foot as there were almost as many staff in the Veranda as there were guests. I suspect though, even if every table was full, we would still be waited on impeccably. There was someone to take our coats, a sommelier to choose our wine, then the waiter recommended we share a Salmon and Strawberry entree, we then shared Duck Cannelloni and Ameriticiana Tortoli, all served up by the waiter at the table so we didn’t have chop and transfer half making a huge mess ourselves. Then the maitre d’ flambed our Crepe Suzette at the table – this was followed by the smoothest espresso coffee I have ever had – with a hint of chocolate.

Having eaten more than enough food to give us the energy to explore the gardens, and fortunately the rain had stopped, but it was still overcast, we set off into the gardens. There are a number of restaurants and bars at Villa D’Este, we walked passed the Terrace Bar that I’m sure in summer is full of sun kissed guests enjoying an Aperol Spritz overlooking the swimming pool that floats in the lake. Next to the Veranda Restaurant you can look up through the marble gardens, up the long path that leads to the statue of Hercules hurling poor Lica into the waters below. From here you can walk over to the back of the Villa d’Este gardens to the remains of Donna Vittoria’s towers and fortifications from the early 1800s, a bygone era in the life of the estate.

The Queen’s Pavilion was added to the estate in the late 1800s with steps going down to the lake and the underpass to bring boats in if the water gets too choppy for passengers to safely disembark………After bringing the boat into the protected water under the Queen’s Pavilion passengers could walk up the steps to the estate and the boat could be kept in one of the boat parking bays underneath.

In summer Cernobbio becomes a vibrant lakeside village, with many bars and restaurants open, but not on the grey day in early spring when we visited. We were not disappointed though, far from it, and we completed the challenge – we explored the gardens at Villa d’Este without staying in the hotel. I’m not sure if it was cheating that we were forced to have lunch there to get in through the gates, but if that’s cheating, I’m all for it…………

Book a tour on your Trip Over to Lake Como

Itinerary for Trip Over to Italy – Milan, Como and Venice

Qantas flight (Emirates code share) to Milan (Malpensa) from Sydney via Dubai
Stayed in Milan, Airbnb, for a week before going to Como
Picked up in Milan by Como Limousines and driven to Como
Stayed in Como, Airbnb, for 3 weeks
Picked up in Como by Como Limousines and driven to Venice
In Venice, water taxi to Al Ponte Antico Hotel for 3 nights and water taxi back
Picked up in Venice by Como Limousines and driven back to Como
Picked up in Como by Como Limousines and driven back to Milan (Malpensa) Airport
Qantas flight (Emirates code share) to Sydney via Dubai

The gate on Sydney's Pyrmont Bridge once to block traffic, now pedestrians when the bridge swings open to allow boats through to Darling Harbour. The W Hotel in the background is not likely to open this year as planned......
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The fan of stained glass windows above the York St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #sydney #stainedglasswindow #fanshapedwindow #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #sydneycbd #shoppinginsydney #myhometown #iloveoldbuildings #ilovetheqvb #oldstaircase
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The base of the QVB Christmas Tree going through the ceiling of the ground floor on it's way up to the dome on the roof.
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#queenvictoriabuilding #qvbsydney #qvb #christmastree #christmasinsydney #sydney #sydneycbd #startingtofeelalotlikechristmas #shoppinginsydney #seetheworldthroughmylens #goawayomicron #staysafe #merrychristmas🎄 #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️
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The arches and balconies on the 3 upper levels of the QVB, with glimses of the Christmas tree going up to the dome in the centre.
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Having a whale of a time in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, this new whale installation is growing nicely.
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Happy New Year - wishing you all the best for a fabulous 2022 🥂🥳!!
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#sydneyfireworks2021 #happynewyear #sydneyaustralia #sydneywildlife
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Merry Christmas🎄🥳🥂! ...

Top 9 around Sydney Harbour.
Top Row - Berrys Bay, the other side of Berrys Bay, Balmain from Balls Head Reserve.
Middle Row - rhe old Coal Loader Wharf in Waverton, Milsons Point Park, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Ferry.
Bottom Row - Luna Park, Robertsons Lighthouse at Cremorne Point, Mosman Bay from Cremorne Point.
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And there's the Martin Place Christmas Tree with the star on top.
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Walking down my street in the rain on my way to work, yet another bad hair day!!
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The main dome on Sydney's Queen Victoria Building in the afternoon sun.
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Construction begins on the Christmas tree in Sydney's Martin Place.
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#christmasinsydney #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️ #martinplacesydney #martinplace #martinplacechristmastree #cranesandscaffolding #sydneycbd #mysecretsydney #itsstartingtolookalotlikechristmas #goawayomicron #myhometown #lifeinthecity #merrychristmas🎄
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One of the most magnificent buildings in Sydney, not to mention great shopping!
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#qvbsydney #qvb #shoppinginsydney #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
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Another one of the stained glass windows at the George St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building.
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The Martin Place Christmas tree next to the old Sydney GPO clock tower.
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#martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #martinplace #clocktower #sydneygpo #oldpostofficebuilding #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #sydney #sydneylife #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️
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Outside the York St entrance to the QVB, showing the fan of stained glass windows, and all the amazing details only see on old buildings. Why can't they make buildings like this anymore????
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#queenvictoriabuilding #qvbsydney #qvb #stainedglasswindow #yorkstreet #domesontheroof #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #amazingarchitecture #sydneycbd #shoppinginsydney #myhometown
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Happy New Year - wishing you all the best for a fabulous 2022 🥂🥳!!
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#sydneyfireworks2021 #happynewyear #sydneyaustralia #sydneywildlife
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Let me out!! Bright pink flowers escaping through the fence.
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#pinkflowers #flowersinthestreet #flowersofinstagram #sydneystreets #onthewaytowork #pinkflowerseverywhere #sydneyinautumnisperfect #explorethecityyoulivein #seetheworldthroughmylens #escapingyourcomfortzone
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Happy New Year - wishing you all the best for a fabulous 2022 🥂🥳!!
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#sydneyfireworks2021 #happynewyear #sydneyaustralia #sydneywildlife
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A very tropical looking section of Hyde Park in Sydney, it has been such a hot, rainy and humid summer these plants are enjoying it a lot more than I am!!
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #tropicalgarden #palmtrees #sydney #mysecretsydney #sydneyinsummer #walkinthepark #explorethecityyoulivein
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Sandstone sculpture in Sydney's Hyde Park, representing Earth, Fire and Water.
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#sculptureinthepark #sandstonesculpture #hydepark #hydeparksydney #walkinthepark #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneylife #fountaininthepark
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These little flowers are loving all the rain in Sydney, me, not so much ⛈!
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #pinkflowersofinstagram #pinkflowerseverywhere #pinkflowers #redberries #greenleaves #outinthepark #sydneycbd #sydney #sydneyaustralia #walkinthepark #gardenideas #parksandgardens #explorethecityyoulivein
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The Darling Harbour Ferris Wheel, surrounded by the highrise jungle that is developing in that area, not a person in site!! Yet another soulless enclave!
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#ferriswheel #darlingharboursydney #darlingharbour #nopeeps #nopeepshere #soulless #highriseinvasion #highrisejungle #lunchtimewalk #sydneyinwinter #sydney #sydneylocal #sydneyaustralia
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Playing chess in Hyde Park, Sydney. Just up from the entrance to St James Station.
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#hydepark #hydeparkchess #playingchessinthepark #hydeparksydney #walkinthepark #intheshadeoftrees #lunchbreakwalk #exploretheworldwithme #explorethecityyoulivein #chessboard #chessmaster
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Sydney cbd

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#sydney #sydneycbd
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The base of the Martin Place Christmas Tree in place ready for the next layer to go up.
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#martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #martinplace #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️ #christmastree #christmasinsydney #merrychristmas🎄 #2moresleeps🎅 #sydneycbd #sydney #mysecretsydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
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The Market St end of Sydney's QVB bathed in sunlight - a rare thing in Sydney these days, we seem to be having a lot of rainy, or just cloudy days at the moment.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #shoppinginsydney #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #bathedinsunlight #sandstonebuildings #marketstreet #oldmarketbuilding #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #myhometown #traveltheworldwithme
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Merry Christmas from sunny Sydney!🎄🥂🥳🎄!!
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#martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #martinplace #sydneycbd #startingtofeelalotlikechristmas #starontop⭐️️ #merrychristmas🎄 #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia
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Growing in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, an anteater surrounded by ants.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #anteater #anteatersofinstagram #walkinthepark #artinthepark #sydney #sydneyinautumnisperfect #outinthefreshairandsunshine #sydneycbd #explorethecityyoulivein #seetheworldthroughmylens #seeeverythingdoeverything
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Queen Victoria sitting outside the Druitt St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #queenvictoria #queenvictoriastatue #domesontheroof #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #flytheflag #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
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Looking across Sydney Harbour from the Royal Botanic Gardens, to Kirribilli House, the Prime Minister's Sydney residence, on the north side of the harbour.
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#kirribillihouse #kirribilli #sydney #sydneyharbour #sailingonsydneyharbour #sailingboats #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #viewacrossthewater #viewfromthepark #outonthewater #whataview #sydneylife #sydneyharbourwalks #sydneywaterways #sydneyweekends
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Field of flowers blooming in Hyde Park in Sydney.
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #fieldofflowers #orangeflowers #yellowflowers #pinkflowers #flowerseverywhere #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneyinsummer #outinthesun #walkinthepark
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Not sure what these are going to be when they grow up, but they're a nice spot of colour near the Hyde Park Chess Set. I'll have to go back and see if they have grown up!
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#pinkflowers #brightgreenleaves #brightgreenleavesofbushes #flowersinhydepark #flowersinhydeparksydney #hydepark #hydeparksydney #sydneyinsummer #walkinthepark #outinthesun #freshairandsunshine #sydney
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Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid, looking over Circular Quay ferry terminal to North Sydney CBD, and the green lights on the ferris wheel at Luna Park.
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The Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park on a rainy day in Sydney, just enough of a slow down in the rain for me to get into the park!!
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #archibaldfountain #archibaldfountainsydney #fountaininthepark #waterwatereverywhere #sydneyintherain #sydney #sydneyaustralia #explorethecityyoulivein #seetheworldthroughmylens #sydneylife
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The central pathway through Sydney's Hyde Park that goes from Macquarie St, padt the Archibald Fountain, across Park St, to the War Memorial.
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #walkingthroughhydepark #niceshadywalk #sogreen #sydneycbd #sydney #sydneyaustralia #looknorain #exploretheworldwithme
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Martin Place in the Sydney CBD, looking from the George St end, over the flower beds full of foxgloves, down towards the fouuntain across Pitt St.
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#martinplacesydney #martinplace #foxgloves #foxglovesofinstagram #sydneycbd #pinkflowers #fullertonhotelsydney #sydneyinspring #sydney #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
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The QVB Christmas tree rising up through the floors towards the dome.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #itsstartingtolookalotlikechristmas #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️ #christmasinsydney #christmastree #sydneycbd #shoppinginsydney #myhometown #goawayomicron #seetheworldthroughmylens
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The front entrance to the old Sydney Post Office, in Martin Place, now the Fullerton Hotel.
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#martinplacesydney #martinplace #fullertonhotelsydney #sydneycbd #australianflags #beautifuloldbuildingsmakemehappy #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #sydneyaustralia #historicbuildings #sydneyinspring
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A glimpse of blue shy between down pours of torrential rain over Sydney. The Archibald Fountain in Sydney's Hyde Park, with St Mary's Cathedral in the background.
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#archibaldfountainsydney #archibaldfountain #hydepark #hydeparksydney #stmaryscathedralsydney #stormcloudsgathering #blueskybetweenrains #sydneylunchtime #breathoffreshair #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneycbd
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At the Pitt Street end of Martin Place in the Sydney CBD, the fountain designed by Lloyd Rees in fron of the amphitheatre and the beautiful Commonwealth Bank building. The fountain was in 2 of the Matrix films, and Superman!
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#martinplacesydney #martinplace #lloydreesfountain #commonwealthbankofaustralia #foxgloves #australianflags #australiancoatofarms #flowersinmartinplace #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #explorethecityyoulivein #myhometown
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Vivid Sydney light show on Customs House in Circular Quay, the cold night didn't stop some of us hardy souls from getting out there. You don't often need hats, gloves, scarves and coats in Sydney, but I was so glad to have all those items on. ❄!
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#vividsydney2022 #vivid2022 #vividsydney #kendone #lightupmylife #sydney #sydneyaustralia #coldnightinsydney #circularquay #customshouse #beanies #lightshow #exploretheworld #explorethecityyoulivein #seeeverythingdoeverything
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Walking around Sydney there are so many flowers spilling out of peoples gardens.
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#sydney #walkinginsydney #sydneystreets #explorethecityyoulivein
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As I walked to work this bright red flower was blooming over the fence. After so much rain the flowers are more like Spring than Autumn.
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#redflowers #brightredflower #flowersofinstagram #flowerseverywhere #flowersintherain #flowersinthestreet #sydney #sydneyintherain #walktowork #sydneyflowers
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The Royal Clock, made by English clock makers, Twaites and Reed, hanging in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney's CBD.
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#qvb #qvbsydney #queenvictoriabuilding #shoppinginsydney #royalclock #englishclock #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #iloveoldbuildings #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyphotographer #sydneylocal #myhometown #mysecretsydney #turretclocks #sydneycbd
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They don't make stairs like this anymore! Inside the York St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney's CBD. One of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney.....
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#queenvictoriabuilding #qvbsydney #qvb #amazingstairs #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #sydney #sydneycbd #myhometown #lovetheqvb #anazingarchitecture #shoppinginsydney #downthestairs
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More of the beautiful flowers in the Martin Place flower beds in Sydney CBD.
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#martinplacesydney #martinplace #purpleflowers #purpleandwhiteflowers #whiteflowers #springflowers #notthechelseaflowershow #bloomingsydney #sydneycbd #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia
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Top 9 flower pics in Sydney.
Top Row and Middle Row - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens
Bottom Row - Balls Head Reserve, Waverton.
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#topnine #flowersinsydney #rbgsydney #ballsheadreservesydney #pinkandgoldleaves #pinkflowerseverywhere #cottagegardenstyle #sydneyaustralia #mysecretsydney #sydneynativeflora
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In Hyde Park Sydney, this very stylish little bird house......at least that's what I think it is!!
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #stonebirdhouse #walkinthepark #sydneycbd
#explorethecityyoulivein #seekandyoushallfind #sydney #sydneyaustralia
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Visit Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens for a calm break just near the cbd.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #sydney #takeabreath #walkinthepark
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