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Cruising the Bosphorus in Istanbul

Cruising the Bosphorus

Trip Over to Istanbul

The Bosphorus is the magnificent body of water that separates Europe from Asia, cutting straight through Istanbul, the only city in the world to span two continents. Giving access from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, it has a constant stream of cargo ships passing through, with the ferries that cross from the European side to the Asian side dancing between them as if it was all choreographed.

There are a few tour operators running cruises, so the best idea is to walk down to Eminonu just off the Galata Bridge and have a look at the timetables to see which one suits you. The long cruise leaves Eminonu at around 10.30am, passing by all the Istanbul landmarks, palaces and the old Ottoman Yali summer houses perched on the edge of the Bosphorus, going all the way up to Anadolu Kavagi near the Black Sea, then returning getting you back to Eminonu at about 4.30pm. Get to the wharf in plenty of time to get your ticket, then make sure you get the seat you want. My favourite spot on cruises is always outside, undercover (if possible) at the back.

As the ferry pulls away from the wharf you get a great view of Galata Bridge – traffic, fishermen and pedestrians on the top level, many fish restaurants on the lower level, and ferries passing under the middle to make their way up the Golden Horn. From the ferry you can see all the Mosques on the hill up towards the Grand Bazaar, and just across the road from the Eminonu Ferry stop is the New Mosque, called the ‘New Mosque’ because it is – built in the second half of the 17th century – the others were built much earlier! The Suleymaniye Mosque was finished in 1557, the Rustem Pasha Mosque finished around 1563, the Blue Mosque around 1616, so the New Mosque really is quite new, opening its doors in 1665.

You also get a different view of Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, then as the ferry turns you pass Karakoy you can still see the Gatata Tower always on the lookout over the city. The Istanbul Modern Art Gallery doesn’t look so impressive from the water, but inside it is quite a different story. They give you a map onboard so you can identify what you are looking at, and all the traffic that uses this magnificent water way is all very interesting from the tiny fishing boats, to the many pilot boats that take the pilots out to guide the giants of the sea safely through the shipping lanes. But I saw no sailing boats, of any size. Maybe it was too early in the season for them – maybe they sail somewhere else…………




Looking at Dolmabahce Palace from the water shows how enormous it is, this is where the Sultans moved to with their Harem after they felt the need for an upgrade from Topkapi Palace. The white and gold fence along the water’s edge goes on forever, with exquisite gates to open when the Sultan’s boat pulls in. Just as impressive to look at from the water as visiting the gardens and inside the Palace. Behind it, the Ritz Carlton Hotel towers up into the sky, we had a few fantastic Sunday brunches there, a very relaxing way to spend a few too many hours!

After passing Dolmabahce Palace, then the Maritime Museum, the next collection of buildings are all either 5-star hotels or part of Istanbul University, which is an interesting area to walk around. Just before you go under the Bosphorus Bridge, opened in 1973, on the European side of the water is the very elegant Ortakoy Mosque. The next bridge spanning the Bosphorus, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, opened in 1988, looks very similar to the Bosphorus Bridge, I guess they thought, “If it works, duplicate it!”

Then you come to the Fort of Europe, also known as Rumelihisari Castle, built in the mid 1400s to monitor use of the Bosphorus and prevent attacks on Constantinople coming from the East. Having completed his fortresses, Mehmed proceeded to levy a toll on ships passing within reach of their cannon. A Venetian vessel ignoring signals to stop was sunk with a single shot from the canon and all the surviving sailors were beheaded, except for the captain, who was impaled and mounted as a human scarecrow as a warning to further sailors that they mean it.

The ferry makes a few stops along the way on either side of the Bosphorus to pick up and set down passengers, then stops at Anadolu Kavagi on the Asian side, where you can get off, walk up the very steep hill through the very pretty village to the ruined medieval castle. There is limited access, (let’s say none), to the castle as they are doing archeaological digs to find out more about its Byzantine origins. From here you can see way out into the Black Sea to where the black smog hangs in the air from all the shipping tankers. The supports were in place for another bridge to cross the Bosphorus, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, a slightly different design to the other two bridges, but only very slightly.

After walking back down to the village we still had time for a delicious seafood lunch in one of the restaurants along the water’s edge before boarding the ferry again for the trip back. We chose a restaurant to the far left (as you get off) of the ferry stop, a nice table in the shade, no one wanted that table as they all wanted to sit in full sun – not something I have any desire to do. The waiter was very apologetic that he had no more tables in sun, but for us it was perfect.

Having spent the trip up the Bosphorus taking many photos is was nice on the way back to just look, and of course snap a few pics of the seagulls that fly along with you hoping to be fed a few crumbs by the passengers. Of course we had to take photos of the majestic mansions and some in a terrible state, in need of a lot of care, and there were a few more palaces that were able to sneak into the lens. A fantastic, relaxing day out on the water flitting from Europe to Asia and back again.

Book a tour on your Trip Over to Istanbul

Itinerary for Trip Over to Istanbul

Flew from Sydney to Istanbul via Dubai, with Qantas/Emirates.

Stayed in an apartment near Galata Tower for a month – rented through Istanbul Place Apartments.

The apartment came with 2 transport cards, that we just needed to top up and we had tickets for all trams, funiculars and the metro.

Istanbul Place Apartments arranged for us to be picked up at the airport on arrival, and taken back at the end of our holiday.

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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#topnine #sydneyharbour #sydneyharbourwalks #coalloaderwharf #milsonspoint #sydneyharbourbridge #sydneyferries #lunaparksydney #robertsonlighthouse #mosmanbay #myhometown #endof2021❣️
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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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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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One of the more jungle looking areas of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #rbgsydney #sydneyjungle #sydneyinautumnisperfect #sydneyinautumn #walkinthepark #outinthefreshairandsunshine #sydney #sydneyaustralia #aftertherain
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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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Merry Christmas from sunny Sydney!🎄🥂🥳🎄!!
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#martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #martinplace #sydneycbd #startingtofeelalotlikechristmas #starontop⭐️️ #merrychristmas🎄 #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia
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Merry Christmas🎄🥳🥂! ...

Top 9 Sydney photos this year. Each row from left to right...
Top Row - Sydney Opera House from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House from the south east corner of St Leonards Park in North Sydney, a carved tree in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.
Middle Row - Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour, the old Coal Loader Wharf at Balls Head Reserve in Waverton.
Bottom Row - Sydney Harbour Bridge behind the residential towers in Milsons Point. Staircase in the Queen Victoria Building. Flowers at the Balls Head Centre for Sustanability.

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.#sydneyaustralia #topnine #sydneyinlockdown #sydneyharbourwalks #sydneyharbourbridge #rbgsydney #mysecretsydney #ballsheadreservesydney #sydneyoperahouse #happynewyear
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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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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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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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Still dreaming of where to travel when the world recovers from Covid.
Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Split.
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#croatia #croatiafulloflife #croatiatravel #croatiafullofmagic #zagreb #dubrovnik #dubrovnikoldtown #dubrovnikwalls #stmarkszagreb #strossmartre #split #splitbelltower #zagrebbotanicalgarden #croatiancoast #dreamsdocometrue #dreamingoftravel #exploretheworld
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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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Lights over Sydney during Vivid 2022.
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#vividsydney2022 #vivid2022 #sydney #sydneyaustralia #searchlights #bluelights #lightupmylife #lights #lightshow #lightinspired #sydneyinwinter #coldnightinsydney
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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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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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Hyde Park in Sydney, much smaller than Hyde Park in London, but still a lovely piece of paradise in the middle of the city.
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#hydepark #hydeparksydney
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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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Sydney cbd

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#sydney #sydneycbd
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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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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 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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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 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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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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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 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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Another one of the stained glass windows at the George St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building.
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#qvbsydney #qvb #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsarebeautiful #stainedglasswindow #shoppinginsydney #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #sydneycbd #sydney_insta #explorethecityyoulivein #traveltheworldwithme #seetheworldthroughmyeyes #myhometown
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The QVB has it's own light exhibition as part of Vivid Sydney lighting up the city as it does every June. These magnificent lights are hanging under the QVB dome.
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#vividsydney #vividsydney2022 #qvbsydney #qvb #lightshow #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #sydneystyle #sydneyinwinter #myhometown #explorethecityyoulivein #pinklights #bluelights #lightupmylife
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The AMP Building us one of the better looking buildings looking over the city shore line of Sydney Harbour. (There is a shocker going up at the moment nearby!!) This is the view from the western gate to the Royal Botanic Gardens on Macquarie Street.
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#ampbuilding #interestingarchitecture #sydneybuildings #royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicgarden #sydneycbd #amazingarchitecture #sydney #sydneyaustralia #intercontinentalhotel #outinthesun #viewfromthepark #walkinthepark #explorethecityyoulivein
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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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Dreaming of where to travel when it is safe to start exploring again....
London, New York, Rome.
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#royalhorseguards #stjamesspark #toweroflondon #historicroyalpalaces #traitorsgate #brooklynbridge #flatironbuilding #chryslerbuilding #pantheonrome #trevifountainrome #piazzadispagna #london #newyorkcity #rome #dreamingoftravel #getwellsoonworld
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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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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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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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Martin Place Christmas tree on a sunny Sydney Christmas Day. Merry Christmas!🎄🥳🥂!
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#merrychristmas🎄 #martinplacechristmastree #martinplacesydney #mysecretsydney #blueskyandsunshine #starontop⭐️️ #sydneycbd #eatdrinkandbemerryfortomorrowyoudiet
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One of the stained glass windows above the George St entrance to the Queen Victoria Building in the Sydney CBD. The building was originally a market, then left in ruins before being meticulously restored and converted into shops and restaurants.
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#queenvictoriabuilding #qvbsydney #qvb #shoppinginsydney #stainedglasswindow #sydney #sydneylife #sydneyaustralia #sydneylocal #myhometown #explorethecityyoulivein #sydneycbd
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All it does in Sydney these days is rain, but the flowers I walk past in my local area are enjoying it.
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#flowersofinstagram #flowerseverywhere #flowersonthestreets #hibiscusflower #pinkhibiscus #hibiscus #hibiscus🌺 #pinkflowers #pinkflowersofinstagram #flowersintherain #raininsydney #sydneystreets
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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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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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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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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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The river that runs through Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens glinting in the sun.
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#royabotanicalgardens #royalbotanicgardenssydney #sydneyroyalbotanicgardens #riverinthesun #walkinthepark #sydneyinautumn #sydneyinautumnisperfect #tropicalgarden #explorethecityyoulivein #relaxinthegarden #outinthefreshairandsunshine
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Looking across the flowers in Sydney's Hyde Park, to the Land Titles Office, or Registrar General's Building, whichever you prefer.
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#landtitlesoffice #landtitlesbuilding #registrargeneralsbuilding #hydepark #hydeparksydney #flowersofinstagram #flowersinthepark #flowersinthesun #orangeflowers #yellowflowers #parkbenches #historicbuildingsenrichourlives #oldbuildingsmakemesmile #outinthepark
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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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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 gates to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens (before is was royal!) back in 1873. These gates are up on Art Gallery Rd.
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#royalbotanicgardenssydney #royalbotanicalgardens #gatestothegardens #parkgates #artgalleryroad #sandstonegatepillars #walkinthepark #sydney #sydneyaustralia #outinthefreshairandsunshine #explorethecityyoulivein
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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 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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