Sunday, 11 November 2012

The Gardens were Botanical and the Planet was Blue

One of the best things about going to the Botanical Gardens is that Croissant D'Or is on the way and their almond croissants are some of the tastiest things on this earth.  I describe it as walking to a grassy paradise whilst munching on a pastry paradise (even though the pastry paradise is pretty pricey at 5 dollars (i.e. 3 pounds). The walk is great.  Walking along Macleay Street makes me feel like I'm in New York because of all the Art Deco architecture and Spanish Mission style apartments.  The streets are wide and the sun bursts through the overhanging trees.  I make my way down to Woolloomooloo Bay and walk along the wharf which was actually the largest wooden structure in the world in 1911. FACT! If you like a man in uniform then this is the place to come.  There are big naval ships parked up here and the crew are all milling around in their pristine white suits.  I'm pretty sure I saw Blackbeard amongst them. Eventually the wharf leads you to some old steps, along Mrs Maquaries Bushland Walk, past an outdoor swimming pool and an exceptional amount of joggers and finally into the beauty of the Botanical Gardens.

View from Botanical Gardens
As I walk through the entrance gate an old-looking Japanese man asks me if I will take his picture.  He stands in front of a very characterless patch of lawn and I snap him.  I head forward into the gardens and as I'm enjoying the beauty and calming nature of it all I feel a tap on my shoulder.  The same Japanese man is there and asks me to take another picture of him, this time in front of a bulbous and boring looking tree.  I do my duty and hurry off to try to put some space between us.  The gardens are enormous and have absolutely stunning views looking out to Farm Cove and Sydney Harbour.  Just as I'm about to settle down under the shade of a very old looking tree I feel another tap on the shoulder. "Another picture please?" I sigh heavily and tell him that this is the last time. Afterwards he scuttles off looking a little hurt and dejected, until he finds another tourist to help him increase the amount of photos of himself in front of all kinds of different but equally boring foliage. His poor wife.

My second weekend in Sydney is another sunny one and we head to Surrey Hills Festival in the morning for some breakfast.  It's a smallish festival with loads of food stalls and a stage pumping out loud Hip Hop to some enthusiastic teenagers who already look tipsy at 11.00am in the morning.  We watch in amazement as some very muscly girls pole dance and I look down at my pancakes and feel a little guilty. But this is not the main event of the day, this is just the starter.  We make our way to the Sydney Opera House to watch The Blue Planet live in Concert (shouts of "OMG!" were continuously heard throughout the day's proceedings).  This was my first time in the Opera House and it's size is staggering. The orchestra starts playing as we find our seats and local celebrity, The Bondi Vet, comes out to introduce each piece. He's not quite David Attenborough but is quite amusing (and slightly more pleasing to the eye).  The experience is incredible and it's amazing to think that it has been touring since 2006.  The only way to finish off a day like that is to head to karaoke and sing your heart out until 2am, which is what we did!

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