Even from the plane window, the Sydney Opera House did not disappoint - living up to all the glory of its architectural wonder status.
I think it was Clive James who called it a portable typewriter full of oyster shells. And on any given night, depending on the position of the sun, the weather and my mood, it appeared as white sails in the breeze, an armadillo, a Trojan helmet, butterfly wings...
I couldn't stop looking at it.
An added bonus is that every now and then they light it up with a theme, as if the wings are a blank canvas - this happened while I was eating lobster in a restaurant with a view, so it was like a moment of perfection.
I also got the privilege of seeing an Opera performed there - La Traviata.
This was my first Opera and the grandeur of the event did not escape me.
I felt like a little girl exploring in my Super Target dress wrinkled from being at the bottom of the suitcase, allowed in the same atmosphere as elegant women dressed in ruby red and furs, drinking cocktails on the patio during intermission while staring out at the harbor.
And though I haven't been converted into an avid Opera follower, there's something transformative about music sung passionately in another language, full of power and climax and anticlimax - all that translates is pure emotion, enough to tell the story to anyone.
Other Sydney highlights:
Royal Botanical Gardens - started when a very rich and jealous man wanted his wife to be able to go look out at the ocean and be outside without being seen by other men, naturally he built her a magnificent walled off garden.
The best bookstores.
Aquarium - spent practically the entire day there.
High church, an Aunt Barb staple.
City life, city style.
And I kinda fell for Ken Done's drawings of the opera house while I was there.