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Villa del Balbianello Photos

Trip Over to Lenno from Como

An Explorer’s Paradise – Villa del Balbianello

We had been told this villa was magnificent to visit by Milan, our driver from Como Limousines on the drive in from Milan to Como, and having seen Villa del Balbianello standing majestically on a beautifully terraced peninsula as the ferry passed by on a trip on Lake Como the previous week, it was firmly put on the list of things to see.

The ferry trip from Como to Lenno takes 30 minutes on the fast hydrofoil, or a relaxing 90 minutes on the regular ferry sipping coffee, or wine, from the ferry’s bar, taking photos as you pass the many magnificent villas on the edge of the lake and pull in to all the village ferry stops along the way. Then Villa del Balbianello comes into view. The ferry passes close by the Villa as it turns in towards the Lenno ferry wharf.

After getting off the ferry turn left and follow the road around to the path leading up to the Villa, stopping for lunch in one of the beautiful lakeside restaurants along the way. Then wind your way up the well sign posted path through the forest to the main gates. Or you can arrive at the villa by boat on a private tour or water taxi, you will pass the water shuttle on the way to the woodland path. It is possible to visit the gardens without a guide, but to go inside the buildings there are regular guided tours to join.

Villa del Balbianello was built in 1787 on the site of a Franciscan monastery, the towers you can see from the lake are the campanili of the church. The cardinal left the villa to his nephew, who later sold it to the Arconati family, who over a few generations transformed it into a serene summer residence. But as the family started to die off the buildings fell into a state of neglect until American businessman Butler Ames bought it in 1919 and renovated the villa and its garden. In 1974, Ames’s heirs sold the villa to the leader of the first Italian expedition to climb Mt Everest, Milanese businessman and explorer, Guido Monzino who filled it with rich collections, including artifacts acquired on his expeditions to the North Pole, China and South America.




Guido Monzino, who died in 1988, asked for his ashes to be placed in a little out building in the grounds overlooking his beloved lake, and he left the villa to the National Trust of Italy who set about cataloguing his collections, maps and books, then opened the villa as a museum. (Thank you Guido). The guide can show secret passage ways through the building that lead down to a waiting boat in the boat shelter, built in case a hasty escape was required, from what, or who??? All very James Bond……….

Monzino was very particular about the garden and the view, all the large plane trees pruned to look like very ornate candelabras and the old oak trees are trimmed into a mushroom dome shape so the lake can be seen from all windows in the villa. He has a snake on his coat of arms so some of the vines growing on the building are trimmed to resemble snakes.

Villa del Balbianello was the hospital in Casino Royale where James Bond (Daniel Craig) recuperated after being tortured in 2006. He should have been more decisive about whether he wanted that last Martini shaken or stirred, he recovered well though and – spoiler alert – he got the girl and off they went to have a fabulous time in Venice!?!

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

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
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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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Walking down my street in the rain on my way to work, yet another bad hair day!!
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#sydney #flowersinthestreet #hedge #pinkandgreen #raininsydney #walkingintherain #streetsinsydney #walktowork #puddleseverywhere #sydneyinautumn #sydneyinautumnisperfect
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The top of the QVB with the star up in the dome.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #itsstartingtolookalotlikechristmas #christmastree #mysecretsydney #sydneycbd #myhometown #shoppinginsydney #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #starontop⭐️️ #merrychristmas🎄
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And there's the Martin Place Christmas Tree with the star on top.
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#sydney #mysecretsydney #martinplacesydney #martinplacechristmastree #merrychristmas🎄 #flowerseller #littledogsofinstagram #sydneycbd #goawaycovid19 #goawayomicron #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️ #christmasinsydney
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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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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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Vivid Sydney at the QVB.
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The Great Australian Clock hanging in the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #greataustralianclock #clockdesign #christopherccookclockmaker #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #myhometown #sydneyphotographer #sydneycbd #mysecretsydney #historicbuildingsenrichourlives
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As part of Vivid Sydney, this is the light show on Customs House in Circular Quay. It was a bitterly cold night so the crowds were down - perfect!!🥂
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#vividsydney2022 #vividsydney #vivid2022 #lightshow #customshouse #sydney #sydneycbd #beachscene #yellowlight #coldnightinsydney #lightupmylife #lights #outonthetown #seeeverythingandevenmore
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The park in the cbd of Sydney that has become my lunchtime breath of fresh air.
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney #walkinthepark #breathiffreshair #sydneycbd
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Great balls of Cactus at the Art Gallery Road entrance to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#cactusofinstagram #cactusgarden #cactusworld #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #sydneyroyalbotanicgardens #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneyinautumnisperfect #outinthefreshairandsunshine #exploretheworldwithme
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The main dome on Sydney's Queen Victoria Building in the afternoon sun.
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#qvb #qvbsydney #queenvictoriabuilding #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #domesontheroof #domesinthesun #bluesky #sydney #sydneycbd #sydneylife #sydneylocal #myhometown #explorethecityyoulivein
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Sydney cbd

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The giant art installation in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, called Sea of Hands, winding its way down from the Art Gallery Road gates.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #seaofhands #artinthepark #artinstallation #outinthefreshairandsunshine #walkinthepark #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneyweekends #lushgreengrass #sydneycbd #seeeverythingandevenmore #explorethecityyoulivein
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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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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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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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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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Visit Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens for a calm break just near the cbd.
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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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Beautiful pink flowers to brighten up an autumn day in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#pinkflowers #pinkflowersofinstagram #pinkflowerseverywhere #ilovepinkflowers #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicgarden #sydney #sydneyinautumn #sydneyinautumnisperfect #outinthefreshairandsunshine #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #seeeverythingdoeverything
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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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Beautiful foxgloves in Martin Place Sydney, these flower beds are a lovely way to bring Sydney out of lockdowm.
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#martinplacesydney #martinplace #foxgloves #flowersinmartinplace #pinkflowers #sydneyaustralia #sydneycbd #sydneyinspring #orangeflowers #purpleflowers #flowersofinstagram #mysecretsydney #seetheworldthroughmyeyes
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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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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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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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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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Sandstone sculpture in Sydney's Hyde Park, representing Earth, Fire and Water.
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Very impressive row of huge old trees in Hyde Park, Sydney. Walking in Hyde Park in my lunch break is my new thing.
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#hugetreeseverywhere #hydeparksydney #hydepark #walkinthepark #greengroundcover #intheshadeoftrees #sydneyaustralia #mysecretsydney #myhometown
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Looking down the George St side of the QVB from Market St. Originally built as a market building, now a lovely shop, eat or just admire,
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#qvbsydney #qvb #georgestreet #marketstreet #shoppinginsydney #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #sydneycbd #seetheworldthroughmylens #beautifularchitecture
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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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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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Still dreaming of travel.....
Prague, Berlin, Ljubljana
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#charlesbridgeprague #praguenationaltheatre #vltavariver #ourladybeforetynchurch #pragueoldtown #brandenburggateberlin #reichstagberlin #ampelmann_berlin #berlin #ljubljana #triplebridgeljubljana #ljubljanacastle #franciscanchurchoftheannunciation #dreamingoftravel #dreamsdocometrue #lookingforwardtothefuture
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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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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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From Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, the view across Faarm Cove to the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the North Sydney CBD across the harbour.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #sydneyharbourbridge #sydneyoperahouse #farmcove #northsydneycbd #walkinthepark #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyharbourwalks #sydneyaustralia #sydneyweekends #sydneywalks #sydneywaterways
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St Mary's Cathedral across the road from Hyde Park in Sydney. The spires were only added in 2000, prior to that there were just the two square towers with flat tops.
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#stmaryscathedral #stmaryscathedralsydney #hydepark #hydeparksydney #palmtrees #walkinthepark #churchspiresofinstagram #churchspires #sydbeycbd #outinthepark #explorethecityyoulivein #seetheworldthroughmylens
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St Mary's Cathedral behind the Archibald Fountain in Sydney's Hyde Park.
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#stmaryscathedralsydney #stmaryscathedral #archibaldfountain #archibaldfountainsydney #churchspiresofinstagram #churchspires #fountaininthepark #walkinthepark #sydneycbd #sydney #sydneylife
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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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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #shoppinginsydney #amazingarchitecture #arches #wroughironbalconies #sydney #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #myhometown
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Lovely lace locked spiral staircase leading to a small locked door in Sydney's QVB - does anyone know where it goes and who gets to go there??
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#qvbsydney #qvb #queenvictoriabuilding #spiralstaircase #wroughtironstaircase #mysterystairs #amazingarchitecture #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #sydney #sydneycbd #luxurysydney
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The tree lined path near the NSW Art Gallery, on the way to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#treelinedstreets #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #artgalleryroad #intheshadeoftrees #onthewaytothepark #walkinthepark #takeabreath #takeabreakfromwork #outinthefreshairandsunshine #sydney #sydneyaustralia #sydneylife #sydneycbd
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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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At the George St end of Martin Place in Sydney's CBD, this building used to be the Commercial Banking Corporation of Sydney, now a fabulous Burberry store, looking over the raised flower beds full of foxgloves in Martin Place.
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#burberry #burberrysydney #burberrysydneyflagship #martinplacesydney #georgestreet #foxgloves #marigolds #pinkflowers #orangeflowers #sydneycbd #sydneyinspring #exploresydney
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Autumn colours at Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #autumnsunshine #autumnleaves #autumnvibes #autumncolours #sydneyinautumnisperfect #blueskyandsunshine #blueskywhiteclouds #walkinthepark #outinthefreshairandsunshine
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The Sea of Hands art installation in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#seaofhands #artinthepark #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #walkinthepark #artinstallation #giveusahand #handsup #waving #sydney #sydneyaustralia #explorethecityyoulivein #seeeverythingdoeverything #seetheworldthroughmylens
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As much as the Martin Place Christmas tree always looks good - it's the same every year. I think we are due for something else. This one is great for the people visiting Sydney, but for thise of us who live here - can we please have a new style and colour next year????
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#sydneycitycouncil #martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #martinplace #sameoldsameold #christmas2021🎄🎅☃️❄️ #sydneycbd #christmasdecorations #decorationsonthetree #timeforachange #myhometown #christmasinsydney #seetheworldthroughmylens #sydneyaustralia
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A cassowary growing in Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens, I'll have to go back to see how it is growing and post some updates.....
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #sydney #animalplanters #sydneyinautumnisperfect #royalbotanicalgardens #rbgsydney #outinthefreshairandsunshine #explorethecityyoulivein #walkinthepark #cassowary #cassowarybird #growinginthegarden
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