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Example:

We went to the roof terrace. Once there, we leaned on the railing and gazed the stars.

Thesaurus has synonyms for once, but not for once there. I don't know where else to look.

I tried other variations like up there and on there, but I think they're not very idiomatic?

  • 2
    When we got there, after we arrived, once on the roof, et al. There are dozens. – Hot Licks Apr 28 '15 at 11:47
  • Once there has been shortened from once we were there. Try rephrasing it. – Anonym Apr 28 '15 at 21:37
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Why is "once there" necessary? "We went to the roof terrace. We leaned on the railing and gazed at the stars" would suggest to me that you did so on the roof terrace. Where else would you do it? In the elevator? I don't think so.

Or, if you rightly do not want to start two consecutive sentences with a "we", you could go "We went to the roof terrace, where we leaned on the railing and gazed at the stars". But if you are attached to "there", it can do the job by itself: "We went to the roof terrace. There, we leaned on the railing and gazed at the stars".

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When we arrived, we leaned on the railing and gazed the stars :

intr.v. ar·rived, ar·riv·ing, ar·rives
1. To reach a destination.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,

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I'd use then:

  • At that time: I was still in school then. Come at noon; I'll be ready then. (AHD)

We went to the roof terrace. Then we leaned on the railing and gazed the stars.

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