I reckon I can just post this sunset shot I took of two famous constructions and you will instantly know where I am (well maybe the title gave it away)
Sydney. Good old Sydney. Home to more than 4½ million people (you could almost fit the population of Denmark in here). What could I possibly write about the Harbour City with the famous Opera House and coat-hanger bridge that hasn’t already been written? As always Sydney is busy and chaotic, very tall glass and metal highrise monster buildings on very narrow streets blocks out the sun and leads to an almost claustrophobic feel and there are just too many cars, buses and people on the streets. You’re constantly either walking into people or almost getting run over by cars. Pedestrians here do not know a red light from a green one and are justifiably hated by drivers. Sydney is an actual mega-city experience, this is not Brisbane or Perth (or Copenhagen for that matter), this is more like London. The outback has never seemed further away.
But…it is also an extremely gorgeous melting pot of a multi-cultural city with a great climate, lovely parks and gardens and that harbour with that Opera House is just so spectacular and there are so many places to go, see, experience and photograph. Sydney is very hilly and from a lot of streets you will have a great view of either the harbour or one of the parks or gardens. You’d be hard pressed to find a greater spot to place a city, it is surely one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.
During the day I prefer the parks and gardens but at dusk the city lights up with a million lights (don’t wanna think about the energy consumption, oh well) and it is indeed very pretty (again a bit sci-fi looking to Scandinavian eyes). As gorgeous as all the lights are though, I still believe they should have kept the building height limit (like Copenhagen) and tried to restore more of the old buildings. In the brilliant Museum of Sydney they display some fantastic panorama photos of Sydney from around 1920-30 and it looks incredible, see here. Maybe it wasn’t possible, I know many of the old buildings were of appalling quality. Anyway, nowadays the highrises rule most of Sydney and here’s some of my shots of the light show that is Sydney at dusk, many more at my gallery and many yet to come in the following days. Click picture for larger size:
Sydney skyline, Opera House and Bridge
Darling Harbour at night
Fortunately big lovely parks such as Hyde Park, The Domain and Botanical Gardens still take up quite a bit of central Sydney. This is from Ms Maquaries Point in The Domain, I reckon my favorite spot in Sydney with an outstanding 270 degree view of the harbour and no traffic:
One very sad part of the areas history is that Sydney is the spot of the original British First Fleet settlement (a lot of people would rather use the word invasion ‘cos that’s what it actually was). As a direct result the several thousand (maybe up to 10 000) aboriginal people living here took the very brunt of the invasion and were practically wiped out leaving very little of their history. Makes me incredibly sad when I read the stories of some 40-50 thousand years of aboriginal life here and how it was ended in no time. Sigh. Never underestimate stupid people in large numbers (or in this case – stupid people with guns).
Warning – biblical plague ahead, keep mouth closed!
A little word of advice if you visit Sydney during October – try and keep your mouth closed to prevent eating too many moths! Presently Mother Nature is having a go and fighting back – in biblical plague style! We’re apparently in the middle of the annual moth migration, where moths migrate to the Southern mountains. This year it is much worse than normal and there may be at least 4 and a half million people here but presently the moths have the humans outnumbered! They’re absolutely everywhere and some buildings (for some reason they particularly go after Government buildings near Circular Quay!) have practically been eaten by the moths! It is unreal, you walk past some buildings near Circular Quay and the buildings are just covered in 1½-2 centimeter large moths. See this news article for a picture and more explanation. Unless you actually like moths – keep your mouth closed as you walk the street or you will definitely taste quite a few!
- I don’t do any jogging in Sydney I must admit. I am so exhausted, the city is too big! To get around to all the spots I want to shoot I end up walking 15-20 kilometers every day in the hilly steep streets of Sydney (with heavy camera bag) and my feet and legs kill me every night!
- My energy level is back to normal after a weird Monday where I was so tired I actually fell asleep sitting in Hyde Park.
- Turns out an acquaintance of mine from Copenhagen is living here at the moment, so catching up with him will be fun.
- Weather here in Sydney has generally been good, sunny and 21-25 degrees most days. It’s Spring though so you have to expect everything. A thunderstorm can appear super quickly as it did Friday and Saturday. Tuesday it was 33 degrees and so warm, then the cold wind came in from the South in the afternoon and the temperature dropped like a rock. Today it has been a very chilly bloody freezing cold 19 degrees but it’s supposed to get warm again tomorrow.
- Here’s a question for you: Would you have done it? Let’s backtrack: I sit in Brisbane airport, a guy approaches me, he wears boots and work clothes and he has an envelope with some papers and this small metal registration plate with some text and license numbers. It’s for a delivery truck and he really needs this on the plane to Sydney and delivered to a guy waiting at the Hertz counter, he’ll pay me 20 bucks to bring it to Sydney. I chat with him, he seems cool and there’s no way the envelope can contain anything (visible anyway, I examine it, it’s a letter, a metal plate and an envelope, that’s it). I think about it and I say no. I simply cannot bring anything on a plane that isn’t mine I tell him. He understands and tries his luck with some other passengers. I felt a little overly paranoid saying no to him, but on the other hand it’s not a good idea to carry stuff that isn’t yours.
Would you have helped him, was I super paranoid saying no?