Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SydFest Notes For Walking

The Sydney Festival Notes For Walking was a lovely day out seeped in history, prose and wonderful panoramic views exploring the old naval Middle Harbour fortifications. I had downloaded the Notes For Walking app [screen-shot above], which list four locations The Gate, Outer Fort, Inner Fort and The Cabin arranged in order, with the 'notes' and a short video.

When I arrived, the place seemed deserted. I was wondering if this was due to the fact it was mid-afternoon and everyone had arrived early, completed the walk and had gone home. Strange that it didnt alarm me. In fact, I felt a eerie sense of ease almost as if the area welcomed me and was offering her riches to explore.

Contrary to the apps instruction of having it running as you walk, I made my own way. The Outer Fort was just incredible. An old run down fortress, it echoed of time past with a maze of sandstone and grey stone block underground and semi-underground tunnels, pathways and darkened rooms. Some tunnels went deeper, but were closed to the public with heavy iron gates. Still, one can imagine the extensive labyrinth, from the many grated vent openings that allowed a fascinating peek into the hidden fortress below.

The view from the top of the fort was amazing! Directly opposite the Heads with Manly visible to your left and the many other beautiful Harbour beaches to your right, the view was expansive and breathtaking.

The walk to the Inner Fort was a twisty narrow trek through thick bushland. I switched on the video to capture the adventure, sure to encounter some wildlife. lol [do massive spider webs count?] When I reached the clearing there was a long, slightly descending path leading into a semi underground tunnel with several rooms. I was alone, I realised, a mixture of excitement and disquietness was creating a strange sense of belonging, of seeking a recount of its past experiences.

It was here I sat and wrote my own prose.. the attraction I felt to this special place:

your mystery is such a vast depth of secrets
the rich stony land tells a story
green upon greys incredibly rich explorations
where azure skys meets the sea
intriguing rugged pathways offering mere simple beauty
a sanctuary that echoes of a time past
what will you find?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sydfest Summer Sounds at the Domain

AWESOME! what a gorgeous evening it was for a outdoor concert too. The weatherman had us bracing for a repeat of Jan 8 heatwave, but it managed to stay mild all day thank goody!

So we packed a blanket and headed to the Domain for the Sydney Festival Summer Sounds, which was hosting a brilliant evening of funk, soul, gospel and jazz with the superb 'Sing the Truth' trio of Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves and Lizzie Wright.

A memerizing experience for music lovers, the trio immersed the crowd in deep soul and sang a range of covers that utterly captivated. We ended up catching the last hour amongst what looked to be thousands, pausing on the walkway for a video and a few pictures, enthralled by their powerful magnetic singing.

The strawberry stand was just delicious! This stand was made out of strawberries haha.. Jeans and I just had to indulge in strawberries and ice cream, we couldnt resist.

When the show was over, this hillarious drunk guy randomly came over and serenaded us with a made-up-on-the-spot rap lol! [see video below] That topped off a really great evening.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Years Eve 2012


We spent a lovely New Years on the beach at Manly watching the spectacular 9pm fireworks [see video below]. Family friendly and with much less of the chaos that accompanies mass gatherings celebrating the New Year, Manly was the perfect setting.

We took up residence on the hilly grass area overlooking the beach, spread out our picnic blanket and lapped up the atmosphere. We had shade, could stretch out, go for a swim, take in the entertainment and really enjoy ourselves. Looking around, I actually felt sorry for all those squeezing into the popular viewing spots and how uncomfy they would have been. I was keeping up to date with the #NYESYD twiiter feed and it seemed most of the viewing area statuses had become "full and closed".

The light faded, and the wind picked up but it was keeping things cool and pleasant. People were still in the water coming up to 9pm and it looked as if it would have been a great place to watch it from.

With 5 mins to go, phone in hand, Jeans and I stood on the edge of the promenade ready to capture the action up close and WOW! how spectacular they were. A beautiful mix of colours and designs, they went on for over 15 mins, shooting into the sky and spilling into the sea, surpassing the Sydney based 9pm fireworks which were visible too from our position.

The crowds started dispersing soon after the fireworks ended being families with kids so we started packing up and decided to go to view the midnight fireworks from North Head [Sydney National Park]. I hadnt been there ever, but we all decided that would be an absolute awesome spot to view from.

When we arrived at the gates, we found that no vehicles were allowed in but walking through was. LOL! I dont know if any of you have ever been, but at night, the place is pitch black surrounded in bushland, so it was quite the adventure. Bandicoots live there and it seems quite a wide variety of wildlife that comes alive at night lol

We walked for at least 1 klm to get to the North Head viewing area!

By this time my battery was depleting rather quickly but I was hoping it would hang on for at least a few more pics and if I was lucky, a short video.

When we arrived at the clearing, there were people laying on blankets, music blaring from ipods, BYO drinking and the FD and police were on hand to assist if needed. With plenty of space to move around and a lovely fresh breeze coming off the expanse, it was almost time. I chose what I thought was the perfect spot to capture some awesome pictures, when with 3 mins to go, BAM!! my phone dies. AAARG!

But WOW to watch Sydney come alive for the NEW YEAR is quite the experience. They dont say its one of the worlds greatest New Years displays for nothing. The whole of the city was lit up including the buildings in spectacular fashion.

Everyone was hugging, kissing, WOO HOO-ing loudly and cracking open bottles of champers. The mood was happy and fun! The crowd were mainly young people in groups, with several couples thrown in the mix, cuddling and holding each other as they greeted the New Year.

The walk back to the car was a crack up. This group of hillarious, happy drunk girls decided to sing "Cant Take My Eyes Off You" which started everyone off lol. So much fun I missed that I could have captured, damn you iphone!

The drive home was a nighmare, as soon as we hit Mosman, it was gridlocked and that was even the back streets. Not to mention being tormented by the biggest mfking huntsman spider that proceeded to crawl all over our car. lol. The windows stayed wound up until a particular long traffic delay, I got out and whacked him to the ground which sent him crawling into the gutter. EWW! On a positive note, I was hoping the spider was a sign that 2013 will get off to a good start.

I do hope your welcome to the New Year went well. Happy 2013 everyone!