Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The holiday - II

Right, so carrying on from where I'd left off, day 2 in Sydney. So on the previous night, we were ambling along one of the wide, and still almost busy roads, at an hour when most Perth main streets would bear an aura of complete and utter desolation, and suddenly we see a Ferrari showroom! Yes, my respect for the city instantly went up a few notches from already lofty heights :D.
So first thing in the morning, we headed back. I got a Ferrari jacket, surprisingly, not costing an arm and a leg. And I spent a little bit of time drooling over the 612 Scaglietti's and 360 Modena's on display :P. A good start to the day :D.
Eventually we made our way to the Circular Quays. On the way of course we ran into someone we knew from the boat! What are the odds?! Anyway, headed off for the bridge, after having gawked at the Opera House for a suitably long time from close range :D. Even the bridge had this coverall-wearing, safety-precaution-laden trip you can do, getting on top of the bridge and all that jazz (by which I actually mean on top of the bridge), but we chose to amble along the broad sidewalk. Stopping often, clicking away like there was no tomorrow.
There's something about bridges this extensively built with metal girders. I've been around only two. Actually walked on that is, not thundering over them on a train. I somehow have more.... respect for them than I do for, say, suspension bridges and cable stay bridges, like the Anzac bridge right next door for example. Inexplicable, I know.
The bridge isn't too long though :). And we were soon walking back, for the first time noticing the number of people who seemed to be out running! It's gotto be a national thing, you'd see similar things in Perth. So anyway, we made our way back, dodging runners, and other tourists, who were fairly numerous actually. And we came by a whole neighbourhood of old brick houses, The Rocks. Some of them looked like cafes. You could almost imagine fireplaces crackling within :).
And then it was time. To get up close and personal with that product of billowing sails, orange peels and a Danish mind :). I was really too engrossed in the fabulous structures, and angles, and colours, and sounds (there was part of a practice session in progress), and well... basically I wasn't paying all that much attention to the rather too detailed descriptions of our tour guide.
So I don't really remember a whole lot, but there are things that do stick out. Retracting seating galleries. Provisions for a disco in The Studio. Self cleaning tiles. The world's largest air organ. Decidedly sci-fi looking sound reflectors to provide feedback to the artist before the echo from the walls.... I couldn't help but notice though, everywhere, the seats seemed to be bright red :|.
Yes I wasn't kidding about the orange peels. This is the 'spherical solution' (sounds like a nasty complex mathematical model doesn't it, which it is actually...) that was used to design the outer shells.
Oh well, then it was time for lunch, and off we headed for Manly Beach. Yes, not the famous and fabulous Bondi, Manly. And I totally did not mind the fantastic ferry ride that provided a ride around the front of the Opera House. In the process of course I pretty much managed to acquire a continuous slide show of it from almost all possible angles :P. It's fun to do the whole tourist thing every now and then.
We also managed a fairly close look at the diminutive Fort Denison (pic foreground). Which at some point used to be the maximum security prison. Freo was more impressive. Unless of course these chaps had cells below water level, which would have been seriously evil... Anyway, we also passed by Shark Island, which is supposed to look like a shark's fin from the sky, and Clark Island, which is supposed to have been a failed attempt at gardening by one Lieutenant Ralph Clark :|.
But eventually we landed up at the very opening of Sydney Harbour (or Port Jackson), the gap between the very imaginatively named North Head and South Head :). (Yes, I completely love my camera: w-i-d-e-angle :D.)
And that's pretty much where Manly jetty is. You get off the ferry, walk a few hundred metres across the low thin strip of land, and there you are, wide open sea. This is about as far east as I've ever been I think. Yup, 151 deg 17' E, I checked :P. That's actually farther east than Sakhalin! Too bad we weren't there at sunrise. So we 'watched' the sunset instead. Facing east.
And watched the dad and son playing cricket. And surfers on the waves. People reading, running, walking dogs.... I chose to just sit back for a bit and go over the complete whirlwind that was slowly drawing to a close. And I had to be rather harshly brought down to earth by a phone call about my upcoming office rotation no less :|.
Anyway, we did get a little bit of the sunset :). A little walk down the darkening beach. A quick sip of hot chocolate and we were heading back once again towards Circular Quays, seagulls keeping the ferry company as we sat out on the open upper deck.
We headed back to Darling Harbour for the last dinner. Even managed a table by the waterfront :). There's not a whole lot more to say, except that at some point soon after, my cam ran out of battery once again :).
The third and final morning the sky finally decided to cave in. But by the time we were out for breakfast, the company reduced to two, everything was washed clean, and bits of sparkling blue were struggling through. With a little time to spare before it came down to one, we discovered a little park down at the bottom of Victoria Street.
Turns out I actually have family in Sydney :). Yes I would have met them earlier, but I was too busy enjoying myself :D. So I did manage to meet them in the afternoon, but not before a leisurely amble, zigzagging past the finger wharf, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and St. Mary's Cathedral before settling on a bench in Hyde Park...
...watching kids chasing soap bubbles :). Pretty much summed it all up for me. Yes, the perfect holiday.

Currently: slowly settling back down to earth :-<
Listening to: Colin Hay - Overkill

More Sydney pics.
Even more Sydney pics :P.
Sydney panoramas.

1 comment:

Anu said...

Congratulations! :D :D Yay!! Ossum job!