Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Long Sydney Weekend - Sights and Sounds

This was the first time in a long time that a long weekend was coming up in Sydney.So we made fantastic plans as all of us usually do.Saturday was reserved for Flemington Market for the weekly vegetable shopping, Sunday for sight seeing at the Royal Botanical Gardens and eating out and Monday for relaxation at home.As it always happens, the best laid plans seldom come to pass and this was so true in our case.With Saturday around the corner, I was feeling so tired and weak on Friday.However, despite my weakness or otherwise, work needs to get done during the week , so as not to upset the cycle.And so Saturday came, with me running a fever and aching all over.

Resting And Wondering: This was a day, when I was feeling very down, physically and emotionally after a very long time.It was also time spent in bed contemplating my foolishness in trying to plan every moment of my life, where there is  no guarantee of the next minute from this one.After a lot of rest, a dose of Paracetamol and a good nights sleep, everything came to normal on Sunday.By the way, Flemington plans got cancelled, as I was too weak to look after my daughter on my own.

Sunday - Man Proposes, God Disposes: Every outing requires enormous planning, especially with regard to the food.Since we are vegetarians by choice, there is not much by the way of food options.Having a kid who is fussy about what she eats, has a way of keeping you overly cautious and prepared with food options to satisfy her.So there was rice, rasam and beetroot for her and me as well, since I still had throat pain.There was Dosai and Kurma for my husband.All the food preparations and house cleaning done, we started out at about 11:30 AM as opposed to 10- 10:30AM, which had been the plan.By the time we had reached Central, it was almost 12/12:30.Since there was a bit of shopping to do for odd things like a hat, shorts etc we visited the Haymarket and loitered around for an hour or so.This place can be called the Ranganathan Street of Sydney.It is one of those shopping stops, where you find a variety of stuff  cheap and can shop for the odd souvenirs to give to your family and friends, after a visit to Sydney.

Haymarket At Noon

Inside Haymarket

It was almost 1:30/2:00, when we came out and  deciding to eat, went hunting for a place to do just that.With the sun burning over out heads, the best option was my husband's work place in the CBD, near  Darling Harbour.We went in and had food.My daughter did not eat much, having slept on the way.This was the first time, I had experienced the proper Sydney sun.Everyone was walking around with caps and hats to escape the blazing sunlight, accompanied by a hot breeze.By the time, the food sat in our stomachs, it was already 3:30, and with the sun still shining bright overhead, we did not have the heart to walk around to the Royal Botanical Gardens.
A View Of The Harbor From Above

Change of Plans to Hyde Park  : We decided to change our plans and pay a visit to the Hyde Park and relax.With beautiful statues gracing a sparkling fountain, big yellow snails and lush green lawns, surrounded by aged majestic trees, giving that much needed shade, this seemed like our small piece of heaven to chill out and unwind.There was also the view of the Saint Mary cathedral Church, with age old architecture preserved so beautifully, that it gave the place a feel of Europe.This park was so fantastic with couples, families and lovers gracing the lawn all over and having a good time.After lying in the grass, and staring at the skies for a long while, all that sleeping energy, came back in full force, and it seemed that we would be able to conquer the world, having rejuvenated the body and mind.
Hyde Park Entrance

Water Fountain At The Hyde Park

Saint Mary's Cathedral:Since we seemed to have abundant time in our hands, with  no plans to visit the Gardens, we decided to go in and look around the church.I do not know much about architecture and nor am I a Christian.But the church was this one beautiful construction with tall ceilings, beautifully stained glass with drawings depicting various scenes from the bible and life of Jesus.The statues of Lord Jesus and Mother Mary were so realistic and evoked emotions of the pain and suffering, as well as love and compassion that Christianity preaches.With Organ music in the back ground and lovely yellow light filtering through the windows, it was almost so easy to believe that we were loved and there was a savior , to listen to our troubles and shoulder our burdens.This was one of the times, when it felt that I was just a small dot in the vast universe filled with numerous fellow beings.

For any tourist visiting Sydney, I would recommend The Church as well as Hyde Park among the top ten places to visit and enjoy.

A Walk Along Darling Harbor : Its strange how a change of plan can leave you with so much free time.We decided to take a small walk along the harbor through the wharf.With a view of the Opera House, surrounded by food, drink and entertainment, and the vast blue sea on the side, Darling harbor was a sight to behold.The best thing for us though was that there were various events going on in different parts of the sidewalk, absolutely free.

And Finally Some Fun: Our first stop was near the  entrance of the walkway where a gentleman was playing a Didgeridoo.We got ourselves some ice cream and settled down to enjoy this uniquely Australian experience.Just as each and every place has its speciality,  listening to the Didgeridoo is great fun.The best part was watching the awe and contagious excitement of the young ones around, who seemed fascinated by the sight and sound of a strange looking man playing a strange instrument.
Didgeridoo Player In Action

On various corners of the sidewalk, there were talented musicians playing their instruments.You could get a CD of their music if you were impressed for a cheap 10$.I got a CD of Sax music played by one of the gentlemen along the shore.I have a sample here, if you would like to enjoy.

Then , there was the air juggler, who attracted quite a crowd for his performance.Stand on a bicycle fixed in a stand held in place by three ropes held by three men, the juggler entertained the crowd with his humor and performance.

The Juggler: " Please watch my show and contribute something.If you are an American, please contribute a 100$. I love America.No seriously, I request you to spare me 50$ or 20$. If you do not wish to spend that much, please give me 10$ or even 5$. I know that you will all leave me something for being stupid enough to stand in the air, because you are all Angels."
The Juggler

The act started with the gentleman standing/ balancing on the bike and juggling a stick of fire, a knife and an apple.
In the end, when some of  us started leaving, he even humorously added - " Please don't leave without contributing something, like that lady over there.Please Please, I am tired of eating apples.I love you for your kindness.Please leave a little something for enjoying my show."

By the time we had walked around for a while, it was 6:30 and we had to catch a train back home to Parramatta.It had been a fun and exciting day and since our daughter had not eaten properly, we cancelled our eating out plans and came home early to make something for everyone for the night.

 What We Missed: It was around this time that Parramasala, a cultural event was taking place in Alfred Park near Church Street from 4th October to 7th October.Though I started out on Monday evening to see what it was, unfortunately it ended just that afternoon by 4:30.So we missed out on that.There would have been delicious food and cultural events such as songs and dance. Though the weekend did not pass according to our plans, we enjoyed those unplanned moments more, and became more acquainted with the fine sights and sounds of the Darling Harbor.There are still many more attractions along the harbor side like the Maritime Museum, Madam Tussauds Wax Museum, Water life Aquarium and many more, which we have kept aside for another day, along with the Royal Botanical Gardens.
For anyone planning to visit Sydney, a visit to the Darling harbor is a must to see the city in all its nighttime glory.

Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions.

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