Saturday, January 7, 2012

Around the World: Sydney

January 7, 1992

I don't know if I'm ready for Australia and it's legendary snakes and spiders after experiencing Fiji's indestructible "little black animals", but here I am, in Sydney getting the tourist overview on how to avoid unwanted nibbling.  Basically, the rule is look before you... well, do anything, really.

Sydney is quite a beautiful city.  I get the sense, as I wander around the city that every constructed building, every tree lining the streets, every little nuance was built with the utmost care and attention to the finest of details.

A trip to the Art Gallery was just the treat I needed.  The displays in the main gallery were somewhat typical of standard art gallery art.  Beautifully done, but nothing that really stood out to me, although some of the paintings dated back to the 1400's.  What really settled my soul were the high school art presentations on display in the basement.  There was an interesting piece in comic strip style.  One display was a piece on a flat board with little framed pictures of 3D scenes; one frame had a young girl sitting on a bed, another frame had an unfinished painting sitting amongst brushes, paints and newspaper.  The amount of detail in this work was intense.  Another display was a painting of a road that led to a city; the road, called Eternity Street, led straight to a brightly back-lit cathedral on a bridge, however the road continued into a dark tunnel underneath.

My favourite piece among this display was a painting of a spiral staircase.  Each stair was so slightly a different shade from the previous, to focus in on two stairs side by side, the difference in colour was barely perceptible, but looking at the painting as a whole, the staircase spanned the whole of the colour spectrum.

Photo courtesy of Australian National Botanical Gardens

A beautiful day was all the inspiration I needed for a picnic, and the Royal Botanical Gardens was the perfect location to enjoy one.  Here, plants from all over the world are available for viewing, flowers and ferns native to distant rain forests to cactus' of the desserts.  The fragrance was as exquisite as the view, which included the Opera House.

Sydney Opera House

The tour of Sydney took me to Darling Harbour and a spiral wading pool, perfect for soaking my feet after a day of exploring.

Darling Harbour wading pool

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The appearance of things change according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
~Kahlil Gibran