Monday, 22 February 2010

More fireworks and even more food

January 26 is an important day in the Australian calender. It marks Australia Day - a celebration of all things Aussie on the anniversary of the First Fleet arriving on Sydney's shores way back in 1788. It is a controversial day in some respects, as indigenous Australians see it as a marking of the day they lost their aboriginal culture. Having said this, most Australians use it as a day to embrace the Australian way of life and embark on traditional activities such as barbies, fireworks and live music.
I had to work during the day (despite it being a public holiday - what's that all about??) so Dan came and met me at the gelato shop and we headed straight into the city. The first stop was The Rocks, just to the left of Circular Quay. The place was heaving with families, all lapping up the sunshine and enjoying the entertainment which was spread over four or five different stages in the area.

As well as plenty of market stalls, there was also quite a bit of random street entertainment. Dan took a particular shine to a large display of red trumpets that were dotted about on the main street through The Rocks!
After treating ourselves to a yummy cake from one of the best bakeries in Sydney we wandered over to Darling Harbour, as we'd heard that was the place to be for nightfall. And they weren't wrong! Again, the whole area was absolutely packed. People were sat all around the edge of the harbour, watching the live music on a stage that was floating on the water! well, I don't know that it was actually floating, but it looked pretty impressive none the less.
We managed to secure a spot to the left of the stage, just in time to hear the speech from the newly appointed Premier for NSW Kristina Keneally. We were then treated to a number of performances from a string of Australian 'celebrities'. I use that word in the loosest possible way, as I had heard of none of them and I'm pretty sure most of the people around me hadn't either! I had, however, vaguely heard of the star of the show - Australian idol winner Stan Walker - and the teenage girls next to me definitely had, judging by the high-pitched wailing in my ear!
The highlight for me, however, was when a fleet of sailing boats started circling the harbour in time with music from Swan Lake. They literally did look just like swans as they glided around, luminated with blue lights.
In keeping with tradition, the night went off with a bang at 9pm when the firework spectacle started. With the reflection of the water they really did look very dramatic. Part of me even thought they might have been better than NYE (am I allowed to say that?)
Although Dan and I have been working hard, we have managed the odd day trip here and there. A couple of weeks ago, on a gloriously sunny day, we decided to check out Bronte Beach. We'd heard so many good things about it, so thought it only right that we pay a visit. We caught the bus to Coogee and decided to do the coastal walk to Bronte, passing through Clovelly on the way.
In Clovelly we were both suffering from the heat a bit, so we tucked in to ice creams to give us some energy for the second part of the walk. After the infamous picture of me eating an Oreo Kit Kat Dan made me take a picture of him munching his Tim Tam Cornetto....!!
After an hour or so we finally reached Bronte. It was smaller than I imagined, but very cute. Dan headed straight for the little seawater pool to cool off while I lounged on the beach reading a mag. I have to say, that's one thing I really miss about England - proper girlie mags!! The Aussie equivalents just aren't the same, plus I have no idea who half the celebs are in the pictures.... where's Cosmo when you need it?!
For Valentine's Day we booked a meal at Chedi Thai, a restaurant in Newtown that had been recommended to us by Dan's boss. I took the pic below mainly to show their speciality (sorry Dan) - the pineapple rice, served in an actual pineapple.
All the food was incredible and, if you ever find yourself in Newtown, I thoroughly recommend you check it out. Yum Yum! (we're not always eating, honest!)


Tryna and John Feesey said...

You are definitely having a great time in Oz. I bet it's fantastic being able to see all the music concerts without having to worry about wellies and macs!

The Aussie's know how to put on a great show and the fireworks look amazing in the photo, we can't imagine what it must have been like to see them exploding in the night sky.

You have certainly packed a lot into your short time down under and we are really pleased you're both having a great time.

Not long to go now before your return to Blighty and the typical English weather!!

On that note ...
Love to you both
Tryna, John, Stephanie and Danielle xx

Jean and Geoff said...

We thoroughly enjoyed this blog that brought out the atmosphere so well. Well done!
It certainly is good to know that you are finding so much enjoyment, and even can find time for coastal walking. We are looking forward to seeing you before many weeks. Take care, and love to you both,
from Gran and Gramp