These lovely photos of Sydney Opera House at night reminds me of when we saw Handel‘s Messiah there in December 2003. At the time, I was working at UNESCO in Paris and made the concert reservation over the internet. I remember smiling to myself at the amazing technology that, in seconds, could make a reservation the other side of the World.
By comparison, the first time that I visited Sydney was when I was working with American Express. It was 1975 and I was in Sydney in Winter, experiencing the freezing cold winds, straight off the Antarctic. When I spoke to family back home in the UK on the phone, I could not believe the record heatwaves. Of course, in 1975, it was a big event to make international and trans-continental phone calls. It would take another ten years for the World Wide Web to arrive and transform communications across the globe – telex communications were the backbone of international communications, at that time. When I flew out from London to Sydney non-stop, except for refueling in Bombay and Perth, it was quite an experience to fly on one of the early Boeing 747s – they had only recently been introduced. I think the journey from London to Sydney took twenty-six hours. Compared to the arrival of digital communications and the internet, I do not think that flights to Australia have improved that much. I suppose safety has improved. Oh yes, I also remember that my London Sydney return British Airways economy ticket, with an open return, cost £595. Of course, the seventies were the time of hyper-inflation but in 1975 a Pound Sterling was worth a lot more than today. For example, my salary at that time was circa £4,000 a year!
1975 was also the time of the oil crisis which sent petrol prices sky-high – the spikes were to return in the years ahead. In 1975 mainframe computers were deployed by most major businesses and PCs were some years away.
Sydney remains one of my favorite cities and I am very much looking forward to my next visit with my wife Marilyn.
I was very fortunate that thanks to working for American Express in the late seventies, I saw a large part of the World by the time I was in my mid-twenties. In the seventies, inter-continental travel was nowhere near as popular as today – travel was a luxury and today it is a commodity. Now that I am retired, I intend to do some serious travelling once again – this time with my wife.
I suppose that this is my first travel blog. I have been encouraged to write the blog by many friends who have told me that my post retirement travelling is of enormous interest to many people – especially those still working.
Anyway this is my first travel blog, so let me know your thoughts and interests!
- The Sydney Opera House: “Revealed” (backstory.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sydney Opera House and Opera Bar (thepassportreport.com)