Friday 29 June 2018

Sydney - Vivid Lights Festival at the Botanic Gardens - day 2 PM

After my long day of walking around the Botanic Gardens and visiting a couple of Museums, Jose met up with me after work at Wharf 5 at the Circular Quay (ferry and train terminal).
We decided we would go to the Botanic Gardens to see the lights festival, so we walked towards the Opera House which was the nearest entrance to that area.

There were thousands of people in line to go into the park, and they had made it so that after seeing the show people came out through another gate, so it all flowed pretty well. 
Of course at the other end people were upset they weren't allowed in and had to walk further down to the other gate! Someone at the door had a click counter so I wonder if there were more than the 450 thousand visitors they had in 2017!
The lights didn't disappoint of course, you can see some of these photos I took on my morning walk without the lights on my previous post.

The 8 metre wide crocheted Hyperweb 6 metres up in the air, the sails of the Opera House, the city buildings...

The Nautilus Forest with 24 "trees" and 40 thousand lights came alive with the changing colours.

A lot of families were walking around with kids who were having a great time interacting with some of the displays, like the Aqueous (bottom right) where they could jump on the pathways and enjoy the changing colours and light intensity.
The 5 metre wide Bloom  (top left) illuminated with over 1000 bulbs could also be used to take a photo with your face in the middle, and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the May Gibbs book characters were also present.

Government House was the highlight for me, with the facade constantly changing with various motifs that celebrated Australia's art and cultural iconography. Sadly my photos don't do it justice.

When we left the Botanic Gardens at the other end we walked towards the Rocks area to have dinner.
On the way, just behind Circular Quay was Customs House where we stopped briefly to see the story of "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" unfold on the facade. Written by Australian artist and illustrator May Gibbs about 100 years ago, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are two little gumnut brothers who set off on an adventure to see a human, and on the way encounter other creatures.
If you have 10 spare minutes you can watch the whole show that a very patient person posted on youtube 😉.

Customs House and the story of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

The Rocks also had buildings on the main street lit up, plus other fun installations and a few trees with either white, purple or blue lights - magical.

We decided to have dinner at Shiki Japanese restaurant, on the Clocktower building and were given a great table right by the window, from where we had the view below.
The food was fabulous, the service very good and professional, prices were above average but in keeping with the suburb.

Our various dishes

View from our table at the Japanese restaurant
The Clocktower building - with Shiki restaurant on the first floor, where the two arches are, and our table was the one on the left.
A short Youtube video of the Vivid Sydney Lights festival of 2018.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Sydney - The Botanic Gardens and Museums - day 2

Thursday 14th of June, the day after I arrived in Sydney, my husband left for work and I waited until after rush hour to leave home.  I walked 4 minutes to the bus stop to catch the 207 bus from Middle Cove into the city.
The bus drivers aren't probably as friendly or corteous as the ones in Perth, and if you don't stick your hand out to stop the bus they just don't stop like it happened to me, even though the 207 bus was the only bus stopping at that specific stop!!   
From a previous visit I knew that the stop before has a lot more buses stopping, and as I had to wait another half an hour for the next bus, I decided to walk 15 minutes uphill and caught the next bus that came by as they all go into the city. It saved me 15 minutes and I managed to walk my anger/disbelief away 😡 too.

I got off at Bridge St. in the city and walked to the Royal Botanic Gardens through the entry next to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious music schools, operating on this site since 1916.
The building was originally commissioned as stables for the original Government House - described as "a palace for horses" it was completed in 1820 in Gothic style, and designed by convict architect Francis Greenway, as per Governor Lachlan Macquarie's vision.
The Governor was later recalled to Britain regarding the cost and extravagance of this construction.  
I wasn't aware then, but it can be visited and there are free public concerts throughout the year.
Sydney Music Conservatorium, statues in the Botanic gardens and views of the city buildings
Because the Botanic gardens are right next to the Central Business District, you get views of Sydney's high-rises, the Sydney tower, etc.
A new addition to the park is the Calyx - opened in June 2016 to commemorate the park's 200th anniversary. It took 11 months to build and houses the largest green wall in Australia, 50mt wide (164ft) and 6mt high (19,68ft), containing over 18000 plants.
The plants are watered with a drip irrigation system with over 2000 drippers, and the plant wall was designed with the help of an excel spreadsheet, with each spot numbered to assist the 6 horticulturalists with the 3 day installation.
The Calyx outside and inside
The green wall of the Calyx
The various methods of plant pollination are explained and I was thrilled to see a Honeyeater bird in the enclosed space sucking pollen from flowers.
It was difficult to photograph him as he fleeted from flower to flower and then quickly flew away as someone approached me.
Beautiful flowers inside the Calyx
The honeyeater bird sucking nectar from the flowers

 Leaving the Calyx I walked to the other end of the park and came out the gate across from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and walked along the bay. 

Here on the Finger Wharf in the suburb of Woolloomooloo sits a development where Russell Crowe bought a 3400  penthouse (originally 4 apartments) for Aud $14,35 million in 2003, which was then the most expensive apartment sold in Sydney!
From the net I understand that since his divorce a few years ago 2 of the lots have been sold to a Perth business man, the son of a former Western Australian premier.
The wharf is the longest timbered wharf in the world. Formerly a working dock it is now home to fine restaurants, fancy apartments, a marina and the 4.5 star Ovolo Sydney hotel.

The top floor of this building was owned by Russell Crowe
On the walk I saw some statues with motives linked to the sea, the magnificently located Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool and Mrs Macquarie's chair.
The chair - a sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench was hand carved by convicts in 1810 for the Governor's wife Elizabeth Macquarie, and it's apparently where she used to sit watching the ships from Great Britain sailing into the harbour.

Lots of younger people were running or walking along the footpaths around the harbour and I wondered if all those people just didn't work... they couldn't all be tourists I think!

Rustic statues, Andrew Boy Charlton pool, Mrs Macquarie's chair, views to the Indian ocean
The inscription on the chair reads:
Be it thus Recorded that the Road
Round the inside of the Government Domain Called
Mrs. Macquarie's Road
So named by the Governor on account of her having Originally
Planned it Measuring 3 Miles, and 377 Yards
Was finally Completed on the 13th Day of June 1816

Strangely enough the date I visited Mrs Macquarie's chair was 202 years and 1 day from the inscription date.

The view from near Mrs Macquarie's chair, the Andrew Boy Charlton pool, an Indian miner bird, views of the park

I walked back to my starting point to visit the Art Gallery of NSW. Entry is free, coin donations are appreciated, but they sometimes have exhibitions that are paid for.
I didn't spend too much time looking at art, just walking around the rooms quickly, until I came to an amazing piece of art.

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Some of the exhibition rooms

The Museum guide was explaining it to some of her followers and I stuck around listening 
 - called "The English Channel 2015" the larger than life 800kg polished steel sculpture of Captain James Cook was made by New Zealander Michael Parekowhai. The captain seems to be reflecting on his legacy while looking out the window to the harbour past which he sailed in 1770. Sitting on a sculptor's working table, feet not touching the floor, with topcoat and ponytail, the shiny metal catches the reflections of the harbour and the visitors.

Captain Cook looking out to the bay
After leaving the Museum I started walking towards Harry's Cafe de Wheels with the intention of buying lunch.
Famous for its pies and peas, the business was started by Harry Edwards in 1938 as a caravan outside the Woolloomooloo naval dockyard serving the sailors, soldiers, starlets, etc.
Originally just called "Harry's" the phrase "Cafe de Wheels" was added when back then the local Council insisted that mobile food caravans move a minimum of 12 inches a day.

I got a bit lost and actually went into the direction of the city and just bought some lunch along the way. Eventually I followed the map, got back on track and found Harry's! 

Harry's Cafe de Wheels - full of memorabilia
The other side of the building at Finger Wharf, the shipyard, statues and the front of the building with Hotel Ovo
St. Mary's Catholic church, lovely Victorian terraced cottages with iron lace balconies and even a vintage car are all part of this inner city suburb. And I found a lot of murals under a railway bridge too.

St Mary's church, Victorian terraced houses, a vintage car

I returned to the Circular Quay area walking back via the Botanic Gardens, this time having a look at the "Succulent gardens" area, the big pond area and past the Vivid lights displays near the Opera House that would light up from 6pm.

The Succulent garden area of the Botanic gardnes

                               Botanic Gardens - city views, the big pond, rose garden


Opera house, someone was feeding pigeons on the steps and they were all over him, the Bridge and the P&O cruise ship
Jose called to say he was running late at work so I had time to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.
A nice mural in the foyer, but otherwise inside the two floors I saw, apart from the massive clock and a nice red and yellow carpet there wasn't much that I fancied, the art was just too abstract for my liking. There is an outdoor Cafe on the top floor with views over the harbour.

Museum of Contemporary Art building and Today/Tomorrow/Yesterday exhibtion
Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Back outside, the sun was setting and I sat on a bench looking at the P&O cruise ship Pacific Eden, leaving Sydney harbour until it disappeared just behind the Opera House.
It had arrived in the morning and sadly the passengers wouldn't get to see the Vivid Lights show. The temperature had also dropped a bit and I wished I had brought something warmer to throw over my two layers of clothes.

The P&O cruise ship leaving harbour
And finally Jose arrived at wharf 5 in Circular Quay (ferry and train terminal), where we had agreed to meet up and we set off towards the Botanic Gardens, my third visit his day, to see the Vivid light show.

And here you can see on the map all the walking I did until this point starting at Bridge St, and ending at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Monday 25 June 2018

Monday Mural - Jenny Munro

On the walls of the Novotel on the corner of Harbour and Goulburn streets near the Chinese Gardens in Sydney is a 10 storey high portrait of Aboriginal elder Jenny Munro commissioned by the ANZ bank.
Painted by Matt Adnate, who is known for his murals of Indigenous children, it took 5 days to paint this mural. The artist says he spends a lot of time painting the eyes, with a lot of detail and power to enable them to communicate.
Jenny Munro, is the founder of the Redfern Aboriginal tent embassy who has been fighting for Aboriginal housing rights for over 40 years.

Jenny Munro with artist Matt Adnate in front his mural in Sydney CBD
Photo from the net - the artist Matt Adnate with the subject Jenny Munro

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you; just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks

Thursday 21 June 2018

Visiting Sydney and the Vivid Lights Festival - day 1

I've just returned from a 5 day visit to Sydney to spend time with hubby who's working over there and also to visit the Vivid Sydney Lights Festival that ended on Saturday 16th June.
The sun setting on the way to Sydney
I flew out on Wednesday afternoon after work, landed at 8,30pm, and managed to catch the 9pm train to Circular Quay, (a 17 minute trip) where Jose was waiting for me.
We decided that since we were right there where the action was we would see the lights around the harbour. 
It was a dazzling spectacle and of course my favourite show was the Opera House and the dozens of projections on it's sails.

The amount of people walking around was phenomenal, we were almost bumping into people as we walked around the harbour - families with young kids, elderly people, etc., all were out having a good time even though the night temperature was around 10C.
It was difficult to hear, but a lot or probably all of the shows were accompanied to music, such as the one on the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Cadmans's Cottage, built in 1816 in the suburb of "The Rocks"and one of the oldest buildings in Sydney, was illuminated with thousands of colourful balls and creatures popping out of the sea of balls - Ballpit.

On the 1885 heritage ASN Co Building on "The Rocks", the Mystery Gateau celebrated the 10th anniversary of Vivid Sydney as well as the 10th season of the well known cooking show - Masterchef Australia from Channel 10.  Here mini construction chefs undertook a cooking journey working against the clock as it ticks down to the final reveal.

Next to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, this suspended Earth globe measuring 3,75mt in diameter had detailed images from NASA.

Luna Park in the distance, even some boats were decked out in lights, illuminated trees in the Rocks
On the other side of the bay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was fully visible, and the city centre buildings could be seen bathed in their bright colours.

A few random works of art caught my attention - Visible dynamics - a structure made up from different geometric shapes like a kid's stacking toy, Come fly with mea series of airplanes in a flight trajectory drifting up into sky, changing angles and colour , or Fragmented - a rotating 2,4 x 2,4 cube made of steel and stained glass. 

Visible dynamics, Come fly with me and Fragmented

In between one side of the harbour and the other we stopped for a snack at one of the restaurants  - it was already 10,30pm and we didn't want to risk the kitchens closing before we went home -  I had a very fresh and tasty plate of fish and chips.

It was almost midnight when we finally got home, after an half an hour bus ride from the city.  
We really enjoyed our first Vivid Lights festival!  Which projections did you most enjoy?