Sunday, February 28, 2010

Waiting for the Tsunami

After the Chile earthquake this morning we are on tsunami watch.
'Sydneysiders and people on Australia's east coast are being warned to stay away from beaches on Sunday morning after warnings of a possible tsunami. The alert follows a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of Chile, toppling buildings, cutting power and killing at least 76 people.'
I took this photo this morning and there are no signs yet of any large waves, the surfers are ready for them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend at the beach

Its summer in Sydney and the place to be is at the beach, golden sand and clean water. The water temp is about 26 degrees at the moment which is perfect. There are lots of tropical fish swept down from Queensland in my local pool, just don the googles and pretend you are on the Great Barrier Reef.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Frazer Fountain

One of two Frazer Fountains in Sydney, both erected in the 1880s. This one is at the entrance to the Domain and is behind St Marys Cathedral. They commemorate John Frazer who ran a grocery shop in York Street and did some early philanthropy work with youth, including donating 1000 pounds to the council for these fountains. The water is not connected to it so you cannot drink here, although most people seem to carry a water bottle these days (or a coffee cup). By the way Sydney's water is fine to drink and I think tastes as good as the bottled variety. Most of it comes via our big dam at Warrangamba but we have just switched on our new desalination plant.

seidler building

The horizon building designed by Harry Seidler - I always wonder what the people in the shadow of this building think about it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Henry Moore Sculpture

Outside the Art Gallery of NSW is one of Henry Moore's Sculpture in bronze. Last year when the price of copper went up one of these sculptures was stolen in England, presumably for scrap, hopefully this one will stay where it is. This is called 'Reclining Figure: Angles' and was completed in 1980, it gets a lot of passing traffic as it on the popular lunchtime run for Sydney's office workers who run down to the aptly named Mrs Maquarie's Chair and then through the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Supreme Court of NSW

As I was walking to work this morning the light was being reflected from across the road. This is one of the two Supreme Courts in NSW, the other is at Darlinghurst
According to a court history page It was opened in 1896 and was "bright and pleasant, quiet and comfortable", probably everything the original court house was not." It is worthwhile going inside and listening in to a juicy murder case. Just make sure you bow to the judge on the way in and out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Harry's Cafe de Wheels

I walked past this pie stand this morning down by Wooloomooloo Bay. The pies are very tasty but served only medium hot, I guess they do not want anyone burning their mouth. It has a long history, which you can read about here, been around since 1938 and even classified by the National Trust.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sydney from an office building

A friend let me take this photo from his office just as the sun was rising, if I had a view like this I don't think I would do any work. It was early in the morning so the lights are still on in Hyde Park, St Marys is in the church in the foreground it now has new spires.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Opera Bar - Music by the Harbour

There is usually a big crowd on Friday afternoon down by the Opera House on a glorious summer afternoon, it is good to see those big spaces around the House put to use. The Opera House is built on Bennelong Point - he was an aboriginal who lived in the time of the First Fleet, 1788, and was befriended/ held hostage by Captain Phillip. The new development in Sydney 'Barangaroo' is named after Bennelong's wife.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sydney Harbour Bridge and "Golden Grove"

The ferry 'Golden Grove' is one of the First Fleet class vessels. This workhorse does short trips around the Harbour and is named after one of the First Fleet ships that brought convicts and soldiers to Sydney in 1788. When the First Fleet visited Sydney they anchored in Botany Bay - recommended by Captain Cook. The bay offered little shelter so Captain Phillip rowed round to Sydney Harbour and found a much better place. One of the great coincidences in exploration occurred while he was away - two French ships sailed into Botany Bay - frightening the bejasus out of the rest of the fleet. It was La Perouse a famous French explorer, when he left Botany Bay was never seen again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The coathanger as viewed from The Rocks late yesterday afternoon. If you look closely (or double click on the image) you can see the BridgeClimb people going up the arch. It is one of the great tourist things to do in Sydney. Before the legal climb started people were sneaking up there for years. It was reported that one group used to have barbeques up there!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reading Room

The reading area on the ground level inside Customs House, they have all the latest newspapers both local and overseas, although someone is always reading the one I want. They also have some great photographic exhibits, as you can see on the wall behind. On the floor as you walk in you might get a shock with all the nazi symbols on the floor, don't be alarmed as they are the 'fylfot' a reverse of the swastika which was commonly used as a decorative device - although not so much after World War 2.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fort Denison

This fort was built on a rocky outcrop in Sydney Harbour to defend Sydney against the Russians of all people. It was a prison island for Sydney's worst prisoners from 1841 to 1857 and was often known as Pinchgut. Every day a canon is fired at one o'clock, it used to be a time marker for all Sydney but now I think it is used to frighten tourists, it makes me jump if I am walking along the foreshore.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Centrepoint Tower

This Sydney landmark is just over 1000 feet high (305m) and features a revolving restaurant and viewing skywalk. Lots of cranes surround it as Frank Lowy is refurbishing the Westfields underneath it, so lots of jackhammering, trucks and female Irish traffic controllers (Why are they all Irish at the moment?).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wynyard at War

No not the transit police targeting fare evaders. As I got off the bus this morning in the drizzle there were all these cardboard killers confronting me, a Red Cross awareness campaign 'Even Wars have laws'. Wynyard is a major bus and rail centre in Sydney and in the early days of the colony used to be the parade ground for the regiment - looks like they are back.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Palm Beach pool

Its steamy and warm in Sydney today, just like a tropical island, and the best place to be is the beach. This is another view of Palm Beach. It is the last beach of Sydney's Northern beaches.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sydney Control Tower

On the shores of Botany Bay is Sydney's airport, named after a famous aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, as a boy he was rescued from drowning at Bondi Beach. This is the control tower and the outside spiral is not a slippery slide as you might wish but just the emergency stairs.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sydney Opera House

The back view of the Opera House from the Botanic Gardens, the Eucalyptus tree in the foreground has been around since Captain Cook's time (he visited Sydney in 1770 in his ship Endeavour but never came into Sydney Harbour he stayed further south in Botany Bay). The grass is lush and green after all the rain we have had, the drought is finally breaking and Sydney's Dam is over half full.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Customs House

The Sydney Customs House down at Circular Quay is on the site of the First Fleet Landing in 1788. There has been a Customs House here since 1843. It is the work of three architects Mortimer Lewis, James Barnet and Walter Liberty Vernon. As you can see it is almost time for the Chinese New Year celebration, from Feb 14 it is the year of the Tiger. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lloyd Rees Fountain

Today in Sydney is crisp and sunny, I pass this fountain on my way to work and as I walk past am always struck by the water-laden air around it. The fountain was named after the Australian artist Lloyd Rees, he used to campaign for more public art around Sydney. He was responsible for the dreaded 'silver shish kebab' that used to adorn Martin Place not far from this fountain, it has been moved downtown - I will post a picture when I track down the sculpture.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ferries at Circular Quay

The best way to see Sydney is by one of these ferries. They go all over the harbour, although the best run is to Manly. Pick a day when there is a big swell as the Manly ferry goes past the entrance to the harbour. The 'Lady Northcott' is one of the oldest vessels in the fleet, there are only two of these 'Lady' class ferries left. The 'Queenscliff' and 'Collaroy' are Manly ferries and are two of the biggest vessels in the fleet both can carry 1300 passengers at a time.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens today after all the rain it is refreshing to see the sun. The Opera House designed by Danish architect Utzon was funded by a state lottery. The building behind the bridge is Blues Point tower, designed by Sydney architect Harry Seidler.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Palm Beach Lifesavers

Two female lifesavers from Palm Beach Surf Lifesaving Club keeping watch at the southern end of the beach. They are volunteers who give up their spare time to train and patrol Sydney's beaches on the weekend. Today there was a big surf running and lots of surfers in the water, there is always a rip at this end of the beach, which, if you are not careful, will quickly take you out past the breakers. If you ever visit Sydney make sure you pay a visit to one of our famous beaches, but remember to 'swim between the flags' as this is where the lifesavers watch.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Martin Place

Martin Place is one of the best pedestrian walkways through the city, the GPO is on the left and straight ahead is the famous Cenotaph, the focus for ceremonies commemorating Anzac Day. Again on my way to work, you can see all the other workers starting their day, the weather in Sydney is very warm and humid.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Archibald Fountain

This is a beautiful fountain at the crossroads of Hyde Park, St Marys Cathedral is in the background.
Its dedications says:
"This fountain is the gift of the late JF Archibald to his fellow countrymen and is intended in the terms of his will to commemorate the association with Australia and France in the Great War of 1914-1918. It was erected in 1932 and is the work of Francois Sicard, Sculptor, Paris."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

St James Church

This gets my vote for the windiest spot in Sydney, although not too bad on my way to work today. Thanks to City of Sydney council for the added colour. St James is the oldest church building in Sydney and has been in continuous use from 1824. The building was originally designed to serve as a courthouse and was designed by the convict and architect Francis Greenway - originally sent downunder for forgery. You can see they are recoppering the steeple at the moment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anzac War Memorial - Hyde Park

The most beautiful building in Sydney, completed in 1934 it is located on the central axis of Hyde Park South ( just above the underground railway). It is on my way to work and on a breezy warm summer morning is always a sad reminder of the 60,000 Australians who died in World War 1.