Sydney to Cairns, Australia
There are many cool old buildings in downtown Sydney. One is Town Hall. It was built between 1886 and 1889 of local sandstone. It's in the style of Victoria Second Empire. It's really fancy! It is still used as Sydney's Town Hall. It has a pipe organ with the largest tubular pneumatic action in the world. This means, according to www.merriam-webster.com "an action in a pipe organ in which the opening and closing of the mouth of the pipe is controlled by air pressure regulated by the depressing and releasing of the key". The contra trombone stop in the pedal is 64 feet long! Unfortunately I didn't get to hear the organ being played.
The Queen Victoria building is a massive structure, taking up a whole city block, measuring 98 feet wide and 620 feet long. It was built in the Romanesque Revival style as a market place. It was opened in 1898 and cost over 260,000 pounds. At that time it was filled with shops, offices and a large hotel. It has been restored numerous times and today is filled with shops and a large hotel! Some things never change!
The bronze statue of Queen Victoria was made in 1908. It used to be in Dublin and the Irish sculptor tried to present her as an Irish Queen. She's sitting in a low chair, instead of a typical English high throne. Instead of wearing a crown, she wears a simple coronet. On her badge there are shamrocks, St. Patrick's cross and harps- again, more Irish symbols. For 43 years, it was removed and stored in a yard! With the restoration of the Queen Victoria Bulding, it was perfect for the entrance and so it came to Sydney.
The statue of Islay shows a dog begging above a wishing well. It's modelled after one of the Queen's sketches from 1843 and cost only $10,000. There is also a poem explaining the life of Islay and 4 proverbs about giving.
There is a piece of stone from the Blarney Castle on the wishing well.
Hong Kong House was built as The Central Hotel in 1890. Notice the red granite columns and the foliated caps and bases made out of bronze. It was a very popular pub. In the 1980s, it was changed into shops and offices. The government of Hong Kong bought it in the 90s and today use it as their office for economics and trade.
Saint Andrew's Cathedral is an Anglican church built in the style of Gothic Revival architecture. It opened in 1868. It's 160 feet long and made of sandstone.
I flew to Cairns and will go diving tomorrow!