Monday, 19 November 2018

Monday Mural - Flowers

I photographed this mural in the Phoenix Shopping Centre in the southern Perth suburb of Spearwood, when I drove my daughter there to meet up with a friend, when she visited us in September.
Next to a flower shop stood this beautiful mural of flowers painted by Mandurah (suburb south of Perth) artist Tahnee Kelland.
Aren't the flowers so pretty?

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you;
just follow the Linky steps below and  don't forget to visit 
your fellow posters.  
Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks, Sami. 

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Sydney - Day 4 - Chinese Garden of Friendship

Tuesday 23rd October - My last day in Sydney, but my flight back to Perth was only at 5.30, so I still had time to do some sightseeing before taking the train to the airport.
My husband had taken my carry on bag to work with him in the morning, so I was "hands free".
At around 10am I alighted from the bus at Elizabeth street, across from Hyde Park, and walked towards Darling Harbour to go and visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship.


The revamped area of Darling Harbour was looking bright and beautiful.
After a bit of a twirl around the area and some photos I walked towards the Chinese garden.


I had been there before a few years ago, but a Gardening program I watched on tv about the Chinese Garden made me want to revisit it.

The walled garden occupies about 1 hectare of land, and you have to pay an entry fee of $6 (adult) to visit it, but once inside you are in a little oasis that recreates the philosophy and harmony of traditional Chinese gardens, with waterfalls, exotic plants, pavilions, hidden pathways, bridges, sculptures, koi's all so graceful and peaceful.

The garden was built to symbolize the friendship between Sydney and the sister city of Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China, to mark Australia's bicentenary in 1988.

The art of Chinese garden design was started during the Shang Dynasty 3000 years ago, and this garden is just a small version of a typical private garden, and it's design follows the "Yin and Yang" Taoist principles and incorporates the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

There is a traditional Chinese Teahouse by the entrance to the garden and you can enjoy the peacefulness of the garden while you drink a cup of tea.


Right by the entrance is a tiny garden with lots of bonsai plants. I've always admired them and the art and patience it takes to create such marvels.


Next comes the Dragon wall with two flying dragons, a symbol of majesty and perfection.
The brown dragon represents the province of Guangdong and the blue dragon represents the state of New South Wales.


There are beautiful views wherever you turn to, with pavilions, waterfalls greenery and koi fish swimming around.

Pond and waterfall
One of the pavilions with a big lake below

Statues scattered through the garden

Pavilions and water ponds

Through the park there were small metal statues depicting the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs - I only found 6 - Rat, sheep, dragon, horse, rooster and dog. 

Turtles (which I didn't see) to birds, koi fish and water dragons, inhabit the Chinese gardens.
I was most excited to see the water dragons of course! They have powerful limbs and claws to help them climb, a muscular tail for swimming and a row of spikes at the base of the neck (nuchal crest) that get smaller towards the tail.
The females can reach 60cm and males can grow up to 1 metre! I think I just saw females as none of them were that long.
They are very shy but have adapted to human presence in suburbia, seeking cover in thick vegetation or in the water if they feel threatened. They can be submerged for up to 90 minutes.

An Ibis collecting twigs, a water dragon and koi fish

Various water dragons


Visitors can rent traditional Chinese dresses, and I saw a few young girls and some older women parading around with beautiful colourful kimonos.

The photos probably don't do the garden justice, but I loved the time I spent in this amazing and beautiful garden in the center of Sydney!

Sadly it was time to leave the garden, and I walked back towards Hyde park via George Street where I saw a few interesting buildings, with architectural details like the one below.

Interesting detail in building on George street, and Chinese quarter near the Chinese Garden
Close to Hyde Park I called my husband and he met shortly on the corner of Park street with my hand luggage.
We chatted for a little bit and it was then time to say goodbye and he returned to work while I walked just down the road to Museum Station and caught the train to Sydney airport, just a couple of stations down the track.

And about 2 hours later we took off to Perth, where I arrived 5 hours later at 7,30pm.

On the flight I watched the movie "The book club" with Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, which I found very entertaining and I think I might have laughed a bit, as once in a while the lady travelling next to me would look at me and my screen to see what was going on 😁😁.

I then watched 4 or 5 episodes of the series "The Bold type" which was inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan editor in chief Joanna Coles . I had seen the first 3 episodes on a flight a few months ago and thought I would follow up as I liked the 3 spunky girls that play  the main characters.

Flying over Sydney, the sun going down gives the sky a purplish hue

Map of my walking route from Hyde Park to the Chinese Garden and back to Hyde Park


Sydney - Day 3 - Hyde Park


Monday 22 Oct - On my third day in Sydney, upon returning from my visit to the "Sculpture by the Sea" at Bondi Beach , I alighted from the bus at Elizabeth Street, just across from Hyde Park  which is close to where my husband works.
I had about 1 hour until Jose finished work, so I sent him a message that I was in Hyde Park and to message me 10 minutes before he left work so we could meet up by one of the statues.

Hyde Park is Australia's oldest park, was originally used for gathering firewood and for grazing animals, but was proclaimed as a public park by Governor Macquarie in 1810 and named after London's Hyde park. It's divided in two areas broken up by Park Street, and is known for its well kept gardens and close to 600 trees.


From the map below you can see where I entered on the west side of the park  - to my left was the huge Yininmadyemi "Thou didst let fall" memorial, by Aboriginal artist Tony Albert, to acknowledge Aboriginal men and women who served in the various wars.
The concept for the artwork is based on the story of his grandfather Eddie Albert who served in the Australian Army during WWII. The standing bullets and the fallen shells representing those who survived and those who died.

Just ahead is the Anzac Memorial, an art Deco building inaugurated in 1934, and the main commemorative military monument in Sydney. 
I didn't go inside this time, but I visited the memorial a few years ago.
You can read more about its history if you click on this link.
Facing the main entrance to the Anzac Memorial is the serene Pool of Reflection surrounded by a lot of greenery and benches where city workers can sit and relax during their lunch break.

Anzac Memorial and Yininmadyemi Memorial
Pool of Reflection in front of the Anzac memorial

Captain Cook statue (top right), Australian Museum (top right) and Frazer Fountain (bottom right)
Map of the west area of Hyde Park (you are here sign = where I entered the park)


I walked across a fig tree lined avenue and crossed Park Street to the east side of the park. On the right corner is the area known as Sandringham Gardens, erected as a tribute to King George V and King George VI. The manicured gardens and fountain are very pretty.

Map of the east side of Hype Park

Fig tree lined avenue in Hyde Park
Fountain at Sandringham Gardens
Manicured gardens at Sandringham Gardens


The J.F.Archibald Memorial Fountain, is named after the owner and editor of the "Bulletin magazine" who donated the funds to have the fountain built. He specified it had to be designed by a French artist because of his love of French culture and to commemorate the French/Australian association in World War I. The fountain and statues were unveiled in 1932.

Archibald fountain and statues - the Sydney Tower and St Mary's Cathedral on the other side of  the park


I'm glad I paid a quick visit to St. Mary's Cathedral across the road on College Street, as both the exterior and interior were beautiful.

Built on the site of the first Catholic Chapel in Australia which burned down in 1865, the Gothic cathedral built with local sandstone is beautiful and grand at 107mt long, 24,3 wide, and the front towers and spires over 74mt high.
To reach the main entry to the Cathedral you have to climb 30 steps, but the side entrance from where I exited is at street level.

St Mary's Cathedral, front and side and view from the steps over a paved area with flower planters

The Organ at the top, flower planters on the  Cathedral courtyard, Statue to St Mary of the Cross

When I exited the Cathedral I crossed the street back into Hyde Park, and walked past an area of the park where food stands and decorations from an Asian food festival were being dismantled, and soon I was at the "1921" War Monument where my husband met up with me.

An Asian food festival being dismantled, the 1921 War memorial


We walked a couple of streets west of Hyde Park through Pitt Street and I admired some of the old buildings, past "The Strand" an old fashioned shopping mall building from 1891, the modern Sydney Tower atop the Westfield shopping centre, Martin Place, a pedestrian mall with beautiful buildings including the 1891 GPO building. It originally  housed the headquarters of the General Post Office until 1996, and is now home to retail shops, restaurants, a Hotel and banking offices.
Martin Place mall is also home to some of Australia's banking headquarters and to Channel 7 TV headquarters. 
On the other side of the street an artist was painting a long canvas with underwater motives.

Sydney Tower, old buildings in the CBD
The Strand - shopping mall
The GPO Building on Martin Place
In Martin Place an artist painted a long canvas


At 1 Bligh Street, at the entrance to the modern office building is a familiar statue similar to our green "Grown your own" aka "The Cactus"  in Perth. (you can check the public art post).

This one entitled "Day in, day out" was also created by Perth artist James Angus.
On the side of the building a metal mesh curtain structure enclosed a semi-outdoor eating area.
And so slowly we arrived at Bridge Street where we caught the bus to the northern suburb of Middle Cove.

"Day in, day out" artwork, a beautiful door across the bus stop, a mesh curtain encloses an eating area

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Signs - How to forecast the weather

Photo taken outside one of the roadhouses we stopped at during our 2013 car trip from Perth to Coral Bay, a small town on the north coast of Western Australia, about 1200 km from Perth.
We travelled almost 3000km from Perth to Coral Bay and back, and had an amazing holiday.
The sign is another example of Australian humour :)

More signs at Signs, signs.

You can read about our trip on the following 7 posts and see some wonderful West Australian sights.
part 1 -
part 2 -
part 3 -
part 4 -
part 5 -
part 6 -
part 7 -