Sydney, part 1: Opera House obsession

Sydney Opera HouseThere are few images more iconic than Sydney Opera House, and so I was slightly blown away when I glimpsed it from the train as I travelled into the city from the airport.  At about this point, I realised just how far I had come – on a plane, you get fed, watch some films, sleep a bit, occasionally marvel at the landscape below; but really, you don’t get any real sense of flying right across the world.

My friend Pete (a fellow PhD-er at Nottingham, but Australian) met me at Wynward station, and then I somehow ended up on the 15th floor of his work building, joining the tail end of a celebratory dinner for some project they’d just completed – a dinner that had apparently included copious amounts of wine, so everyone was extremely jolly and welcoming.  A great way to start, looking out at the beautiful skyline from a tall building (very different from the Tower of Doom), but the weather!  Torrential rain, and really a bit cold – reminiscent of England, except that at home I wouldn’t be running through the streets wearing ballet pumps and sans raincoat or umbrella, as we did after the wine extravaganza.  We ended up in a club called the Ivy, apparently very exclusive, but again much like England, and I began to feel the long flight catching up with me.  Didn’t stop me having a little drink, though – you know, just to join in… We eventually got back to Pete’s at about 1.30am, but then we had to pop out again (still raining, but now with sensible shoes and raincoat) to look at the view from the bottom of Pete’s road:

view from Pete's street

The next morning – I say morning, but actually I slept until midday (thanks, jetlag) – Pete was at work, so I was going exploring.  It was still raining, but only intermittently, and decidedly warmer.  I decided to walk across the Harbour Bridge and get up close and personal with the Opera House, my new favourite building.  I felt like embracing my inner tourist, so took loads of photos.  There were also plenty of photobombing opportunities, and I like to think of my gurning face appearing in a number of Chinese tourists’ holiday snaps…

The Opera House is a remarkably beautiful building, and the surrounding Circular Quay and Rocks areas are worth exploring, too.  Also the botanic gardens – I met my first ibis (what a funny design that beak is!) and lots of his friends.  And all the time, I kept turning round and marvelling at the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge views – I was still finding it difficult to believe I was really here!

image

So I’ve taken numerous pictures of the Opera House: by day, by night, from the quayside, the bridge, the north side, even from a ferry… I could produce an album simply called ‘My obsession with the Opera House’, but for now I’ve chosen this as my favourite: Sydney Opera House, just showing off its photogenic self, really…

the Opera House showing off

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