Day 1,791 of Traveling the World | Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve | January 1, 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR to our friends and family! We weren’t sure we would find a venue to see the best fireworks ever (we have seen them twice, in 2018 and 2005), as even the normally free places are ticketed and were all sold out. Tickets for restaurants with a view, and including the Sydney Opera House, were going for $2,000 per person. Dive boats and party boats wanted $500-1,000 for a seat out in the water. But we wanted to see the show, somehow. In addition, this is the first celebration of NYE fireworks since the pandemic began, so a great party was promised.

Then, in the afternoon, we got an email from our friend Annie, a niece of our dear friend Maya, who passed away in 2022. She had two tickets to the Botanic Gardens that she couldn’t use: would we want them?? YES!!! So, we took a picnic to the gardens and were seated right on the harbour (acceding to the Australian/British spelling) for one of the greatest shows on earth. We won’t label/comment on each photo, as they are self-explanatory. They are in chronological order, from arrival around 6:00 pm when it was still daylight. One great thing is, Sydney sets off a “more modest” fireworks show at 9:00 pm, so it gave us the opportunity to see which settings and apps were best for fireworks photos. The first two photos of fireworks are from the 9:00 pm show, while all the rest are from the New Year. We took 400 photos! Be glad that the old days of “Come see the slide show of our trip” are over, or you would be sitting for hours! We are just offering a dozen.

Midnight came, and we traveled from the past, the old (2022) to the future-now-present and the new – 2023! This is one of the great experiences on earth. The local news predicted that there would be ONE MILLION people on the streets of Sydney, all angling for a place to see the fireworks. Roads closed early in the area, and public transportation stopped. Luckily, our hotel is just a 20-minute walk from where we watched the fireworks show, and where we talked to everyone around us! We met Federico, an aeronautical engineer from Argentina; Sabrina and her partner Martin, with her parents, from Switzerland; a couple from France; and a few others. Everyone was super-friendly and helpful. What a great evening! Welcoming the New Year was very welcoming to US! It will be a Great New Year!

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