We set off with plenty of time on our hands to see “Soap” at the Sydney Opera House. This extra time meant we could take plenty of shots around Circular Quay at night. While I was focusing on “Luna Park” on the other side of the harbour, Ann noticed a ferry going past with purple illuminations and entitled “Eve”. So that photo is for you Evie, hope you like it. The Opera Bar was bustling with pre-event revellers and a party of 4 girls were caught taking pictures of each other under the lamplight.
The Soap performance was truly stunning. A cross between athleticism, comedy, musical and dance routines. There were 4 women and 4 men and 6 baths of all sizes and shapes, upon which (or in which) a variety of gymnastic writhing, juggling, balancing acts and interactions took place. The music was great and towards the end, the dry stage became very wet as one guy performed brilliantly with a full bath splashing all over the stage. The rest of the troupe then came on and did their best to get the first couple of rows of audience seriously damp. Fortunately we were in row J.
This morning (30th) we caught the free city shuttle bus (green No 555) again up to Circular Quay. This time our aim was to see the Botanical Gardens, which border the Opera House. After some time we caught the little train, with the temperature rising fast as we could see that we would not be able to do the whole gardens justice if we only walked around. Some stunning views of the harbour can be seen from all around these gardens. When we were at the Rose Garden I noticed that someone had been flying in circles above the bridge. On the road this would be called doughnuts….. any suggestions for a sky version? I finally managed to get some shots of the fruit bats, roosting in the trees. These were a sandy colour as opposed to the very black ones further up country. Still big bats and proving to be bit of a tree killer as their claws strip the bark when roosting. We also managed to find the name of the birds that we first noticed when we arrived here. They are Sacred Ibis and made their way into the city a couple of years ago when their normal inland habitat suffered from a drought. They found water here in abundance in all the fountains and are now here to stay.
From the gardens it was a short walk to the “Art Gallery of NSW” where there was currently an exhibition of the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shihuang. Needless to say photos were not allowed in this gallery, but we saw eight of the soldiers and two horses along with an enormous amount of other artefacts. The soldiers and horses were full size and weigh between 250 and 350 Kgs. How they were fired way back then, and in such numbers, beggars belief. So far there is an estimate of 7,500 of these terracotta figures buried in the ground and only just over 2000 unearthed so far. Qin the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty pronounced “Chin”, is widely regarded as the origin of the English word “China”. As we left I managed to get a couple of shots of a half size chariot.
We also managed to fit in a visit to the Australian Museum for a special showing of “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition. Some stunning work on display here and all shot with stunning equipment. Many photographers had gone to great lengths to get great shots. One guy strapped his 4000 GBP Canon and lens to a log in the jungle along with a laptop to set the camera off every 10 minutes. Then left it for a couple of days. The result was a stunning shot of a croc sunbathing! I think the camera lived to see another day. This is just one example of techniques used. Another included leaving a camera on the ice for a polar bear to play with, a remote trigger was then used from a safe shed.
On our way back to our 555 bus we spotted these girls playing in the fountain. Yes it is hot here!
Tomorrow we catch the ferry to Manly in the morning………. because everyone says it has to be done. The best harbour cruise and a half day at the beach seems very attractive. Also in the evening we are down to see Sting at the Opera House so will not post again until we reach NZ. See you there.