A Travellerspoint blog

A magical day

Took an early train into Sydney yesterday to try to beat the crowds and went straight to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The exterior of the building is nothing particularly special but the lobby is absolutely lovely and the galleries are modern, light and spacious. EAB703912219AC68176A63D900A5CAB2.jpgEAE8F1592219AC681761F5509F2E1247.jpgEAE4259F2219AC681724EBC67555EDAB.jpg There are some impressive artworks here and some of the installations are quite amazing. EACEDE1D2219AC68174FE06182E28B47.jpgEACA00112219AC681703D2636FD09D8A.jpgEAD72B912219AC6817318D6AF4C6E42A.jpg These are not real flying foxes a la Damien Hirst, they are carved from wood and the detail is extraordinary.
I spent a wonderful couple of hours there and then went around the corner to Hyde Park Barracks where the first convicts were held and which later became an immigration centre for young female Irish orphans who were sent here to find work and/or husbands. EAAEDCA52219AC6817C58E0B7A4246B6.jpgEA9C74A72219AC6817754DEA9532E729.jpg There is an enormous amount of information in this museum about the beginnings of the colony and the lives of the first settlers. EAA512602219AC6817C05D0A3C2CA5C9.jpg I love this kind of stuff so I spent much more time here than I had originally intended. Some of my friends would call me a 'spotter' (you know who you are Clare) but I am like blotting paper when it comes to history and I make no apology for this!
The brilliant thing about this part of Sydney is that you can literally walk out of one museum/gallery and go next door straight into another one...so I did. The mint museum was the next stop and that was fascinating not least because the original building and workings have been excavated right back to bare stone in places and the new museum reception area has been built inside it as a room within a room. It is obvious that a lot of historical buildings have been lost but those that are now under Heritage protection, which means the facade must be kept in the original form but the interiors can be changed, are beautifully managed. There has been a lot of 'peeling back' in these old buildings so that you can literally view the different layers of history within them. They are definitely worth visiting and many of them are competely free of charge.
Next door to the Mint Museum is the Sydney Hospital. The original building is still in use as a hospital and outside is this statue of a wild boar. It seems that if you rub his nose it will bring you good luck and you can see where the brass on his nose is really shiny from so many hands. You have to wonder what rubbing his penis brings since so many people have done it? image


Parliament House was next and although the house wont be sitting again until 25th February (when apparently question time is a 'must attend' event so I will have to go back) it is open to the pubic and was definitely worth checking out. EA7BF7EB2219AC68173C812BC2562AE8.jpg The Assembly Chamber EA9505B82219AC6817F6D956F87776FD.jpgEA8EE8632219AC681719E6E2CD029CD5.jpg may not be as opulent as the Council Chamber EA86B1842219AC6817B76617DE3C279A.jpg but I think it's members carry more clout.
Last on my list for the day was the State Library which has wonderful facilities for research and study, a lovely little coffee shop and a small but impressive bookshop. There is an exhibition of winning photo journalism pictures on the ground floor and some of these are shockingly evocative.
Tom and I finished the day with Pizza, a film and a bottle of wine. Yum! Unfortunately Becky was working shift last night but we will make it up to her tonight ?.
Today is a book and beach day (apologies to famiy and friends in the UK who are under water and those in the US who are freezing, I am not tryng to rub it in) and tomorrow I have been invited to bbq with some of T and B's friends so it should be a really relaxing weekend.
Monday I am flying to Adelaide for four days to explore that city. For a body acclimatised to the Northern Hemisphere it may not be one of the best decisions I have ever made given that it is forecast to be 41c ?. Hey ho! Lot's of water and sunscreen. Watch this space...

Posted by busyboots 12:44

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A wonderfully arty day, the installations are fabulous. Good luck in Adelaide - hope you've got your purple hat . . .

by suelloyd

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