A Travellerspoint blog

Culture, exercise and history

On Saturday T,B and I went into Sydney for dinner and the Opera House. Just getting to the restaurant was an experience because we got off the train to change lines in the city and whilst we were waiting the most impressive cloud bank rolled across the sky above the stationDE68F20B2219AC6817FB8711AE40CB62.jpgand the subsequent downpour meant that Becky had to run off to buy umbrellas before we could venture out into the street. We had dinner at Mr Wong's, a Cantonese restaurant very tastefully converted from a rambling nightclub and with a celebrity chef. The menu was exciting, the service was excellent and the every single mouthful of food was divine.7E073F1A2219AC6817669CFE38DF8C9B.jpgAfter dinner we made our way to the Opera House to listen to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra playing early Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev. It was a very good programme and the acoustics were excellent and from where we were sitting we could see the Soprano breathing and every nuance of the conducter's direction. During the interval we had a glass of bubbly in the glass fronted bar overlooking the harbour. It was a wonderful evening.
On Sunday Becky and I did another three hour coastal hike 7E0A94DA2219AC681759C782FC2E440E.jpg7E092A7E2219AC6817C28A13052F8AB0.jpg7E0C167A2219AC681769CECEA951CDC0.jpg7E0DDDA22219AC68176DCAE08A05869D.jpgand met up with Tom at Wattamolla Beach. We had intended to picnic and to swim in the lagoon but the weather changed and rain came in so it was shopping instead.
I decided to go back into Sydney on Tuesday as there were still things I wanted to see. My first stop was the State Theatre7E10A0232219AC6817B1754D0965F6F6.jpgwhere I was fortunate to have a one to one guided tour of the whole place including the star's dressing room
7E11FBBE2219AC681752A7AF1C674A68.jpgand all the other back, and under, stage areas. Originally built as a cinema with an orchestra pit for the live music before the main cinema event it is a lavish mix of Gothic, Italian and Art Deco. It came perilously close to demolition during the modernisaion of Sydney but is fortunately now a Heritage Listed building with some beautiful features. 7E15AB942219AC6817200EDEDC62C3BE.jpg7E17335D2219AC6817606CFD17608723.jpg7E1902C02219AC68172440162CD09A44.jpg7E1A9ABF2219AC68179359DB14B762C4.jpg7E146B142219AC68175DE0D9A75C5733.jpg7E1D66742219AC681778AEEBD4CFF2A2.jpgAfter the theatre I walked through the Botanic Gardens and saw this memorial, which will please my horse loving friends,7ECDD3FC2219AC681764493ABB683DB3.jpg and this placard which shows how times have changed.7ED240752219AC681781D460523DAD9E.jpgUnfortunately the palm houses were closed for renovations7ECFE1D02219AC68177B979B973D11D7.jpgbut it was lovely just walking around the gardens to the bay where a stage was being erected for several performances of Madame Butterfly with the Opera House and Bridge as a backdrop. 7ED5ADBB2219AC6817315154BF701E2F.jpg7ED7F5882219AC6817BCDBA530D35595.jpg7EDAB9062219AC6817CC64584EF5BBBE.jpg7EDFD96D2219AC6817B2AAD8223BF886.jpgI'm not sure whether there was some kind of charity event being held on that day but the Gardens were full of runners literally stampeding in all directions 7EE384A12219AC68171848CA07BD8136.jpgOutside the Gardens I poked my nose into St Mary's Cathedral 7ECC2E0F2219AC68179C48F0F16E1941.jpgwhich has a lovely interior and some beautiful stained glass windows but no photography allowed and then I went to the Museum of Sydney which is actually a lot smaller than I had expected. One of the galleries there was displaying police crime scene photographs (not too gruesomely graphic) with an interesting film explaining how these are a very honest and true record of life in the city and suburbs during the 1950's and 60's. The main exhibition of these is in the Police and Justice Museum which I had intended to go to but which was only open on Satuday and Sunday. I took a look arouond the old Customs House where you can 'walk on Sydney' 7EE63C992219AC681786B8FDF1B881ED.jpg7EE942B72219AC6817AAA5185205BA1D.jpg and which now houses an extremely good library and a restaurant on the fifth floor. A short walk to The Rocks, the most historic part of the city, and I was in Susannah Place, a row of four working class houses and a shop which have been preserved as a museum recording the life of the area and the story of the families who lived in them from their building in 1844 through to 1990 when the last occupants left. These buildings too only missed demolition thanks to the sustained efforts of a local action group and the support of the labour union who refused to demolish them and they have now become a big tourist attraction. 7EEB7E4D2219AC681709EE17D6893ABC.jpg7EED73B52219AC6817E24172AE783E78.jpg7EEF76F32219AC68171BC4022FC38E86.jpg7EF27ECA2219AC6817EF5B0F8575F55D.jpgIt was a busy but lovely day in the city and tomorrow I am going back to the Blue Mountains for a bit more adrenaline action before I return to the UK.

Posted by busyboots 20:47

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