Kurma Dasa: Sydney's picturesque Botanic Gardens ranked amongst the world's oldest, and encompassed an area of over 30 hectares. The Lower Gardens adjoined the Sydney Harbour. Their ponds, shaded groves, flower beds and extensive lawns dotted with exotic palms seemed an ideal venue for Prabhupada's morning walk.
The lights of the North Shore twinkled in the distance. A slight, chill breeze blew, and the occasional light of a silent ferry could be seen gliding across the bay. Magpies warbled their morning melody - a discordant pan-pipe tune. Kookaburras laughed on a distant tree; early morning commuter traffic rumbled in the distance. A white ibis stood silhouetted against the water as the tangerine-colored sky reflected on the smooth dark gloss of the Harbour.
Prabhupada reached the Sydney Opera House, nearing completion for its gala opening. The building - with its striking design resembling the white sails of a ship or the shell of an exotic marine creature perched by the harbor - reflected the morning light. Prabhupada and the devotees followed the path as it turned back on itself, past Government House and the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge. Prabhupada stopped, pointing at the bridge. "This is a famous bridge."
"Yes, Srila Prabhupada," a devotee answered. "When it was built it was famous for being the world's largest steel arch." Prabhupada appeared not so impressed. "Hmm. I have seen bigger," he said and resumed walking.