Wednesday, January 25, 2017

To the North of Sydney Harbour

Once again I crossed Sydney Harbour Bridge.

But this time was different. Instead of going to the west side of the bridge like I did before, I went to the east side to Kiribilli and I was not alone! My man was in town!

Kirribilli is located at the lower north shore of Sydney Harbour and is one of the most city most established neighbourhood. Kiarabilli is Aborigin, means good fishing spot. Clearly Kirribilli is derived from this very word. Kirribilli started its major development following the completion of Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.


One of the restaurant in Kirribilli

The walkway in front of Church by the Bridge

The town is simply serene

It was the noon of Christmas Eve and we reached there past lunch time. Many restaurants and cafes were closed already, but I could see that this area had many eateries to offer, from seafood to meat to Italian. Everything.

We finally chose Small Bar & Kitchen, located at Fitzroy Road. It is a small cafe with quirky interior design. The cafe was quite full during our visit. This place is actually small and kind of cramp. We were seated in front of the bar and it was actually at the doorstep of the cafe already.

However, no complaint! The foods got me happy and delighted. It was goooood and worth for your money in this part of the world, I guess. For less than 20 bucks, we got our tummy satisfied.

The outside of the cafe
This was exactly in front of our face where we were seated

Those things made a great wall decoration, right?
FOOOOOOD

After we were finished with the lunch, we went to buy coffee at the only cafe which was still open which is  and brought ourselves to Bradfield Park. This is neat grassy park overlooking Sydney Harbour from the north. This is a nice place to bring the kids out to play, to get a picnic gathering or just simply to lay around doing nothing. There are many shady spots in this park, so don't worry if you are afraid of the sun, you can always hide beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge is literally inside Bradfield Park

Coffee and picnic blanket, with Sydney Opera House in view. Not anything more to ask for.

Overlooking Southern side of Sydney Harbour

We sat for quite some time before we decided to move down the slope towards Milsons Point, at the southern tip of this park. The walk is easy and beautiful with stony footpath, many lush trees, and sandstone fort-like canopy.

Walking along Milsons Point

Getting nearer to Sydney Opera House

Both Opera House and Harbour Bridge!
This is somehow at the tip already

There is a memorial of one of the war fleet displayed here

Through this park, we walked along and reached Luna Park Sydney. Luna Park is the oldest amusement park in Sydney that was constructed and operated since 1935 on 9-month season. Since 1972, the park ran all year round until a fire incident in mid 1979 that killed 6 children and 1 man. After that, the park was reconstructed.

Throughout the years, Luna Park has undergone many ups and downs but it is still standing tall and proud today. Now, there are more than 10 rides in Luna Park. Entry to the park is free, tickets are only needed to enjoy the ride.

We did not know about the free entry so we just stopped in front of the gate to take some pictures and turned back. What a waste.

Welcome to Luna Park

The view of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House from Luna Park

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hyde Park, The Emerald of Sydney CBD

Hyde Park, named after the same magnificent park in London, is the oldest people Parkland in Sydney. It is a rectangular shaped park spanning from St. James Train Station to Museum Station. The total area of this city centre parkland is 16.2 hectare.

Since the colonial time, this is the communal area for the people of Sydney. It was well-known as sport and recreation area. On 13 October 1810, Governor Macquarie officially named it Hyde Park.

The park is surrounded by St. James Church, Supreme Court of New South Wales and Hyde Park Barracks Museum at the north, St. Mary Cathedral and Australian Museum at the east, Downing Centre to the south, and Sydney CBD to the west.

Hyde Park can be accessed from various directions. From the direction of Pitt Street Mall, turn to Market Street and pass through Westfield and David Jones Building towards Elizabeth Street. Cross the road and taa-daa, there you are!

St. James Station from across the road

Hello Hyde Park!

The first thing to notice when entering Hyde Park from this direction is the Archibald Fountain with the magnificent St. Mary Cathedral at the background. Archibald Fountain was donated by J.F. Archibald in 1932 for Australia's contribution in World War I in France. The designer of this fountain was also a French named Francois-Leon Sicard who completed it in 1926 but never saw it being placed in Sydney.

Archibald Fountain, inspired from the artist's study of Greek and Roman art literature
The Apollo of Archibald Fountain
With that magnificent background, it's just perfect

The present St. Mary Cathedral is a newly built structure after the former building was caught on fire and destroyed. Initially, it was just a simple crucifix shape church facing the barren land (long before Hyde Park was there).

Now, St. Mary Cathedral is one of the longest English gothic Catholic church in Australia. It is of course a mixture of European gothic style architecture and Sydney yellow sandstone. An architect, William Wardell, after his success in designing St. John's College at the University of Sydney, was tasked by the first archbishop of Australia, Polding,  to design the church in any plan, any style, anything that is beautiful and grand.

The foundation stone was laid in 1868, but the construction faced a long period and finally gets completed in the year 2000 when the spires were built as originally proposed by Wardell. During the construction period, the church was still in operation in its temporary building.

The yellow sandstones are kinda shining, aren't they?

The flower bed to enchant the photo

A pose or two is compulsory

At the north of Hyde Park, other two prominent buildings are Hyde Park Barracks Museum and St. James Church. Hyde Park Barracks Museum was built to house male convicts that worked under government employment from 1819 to 1848. Since than, it was used as female immigrants depot, female asylum, law court, and finally a museum. St. James Church is an named after St. James the Great. The church was originally intended to be a courthouse in 1819 but the plan changed in February 1820. It was then constructed between 1820 and 1824, consecrated in 1824 and turned to parish church since 1835.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Walking towards the south, you will find Hyde Park offering you the beauty of lush green trees and colourful flower beds along the way. Many benches are provided for the visitors for just sit back or relax. If you are not a bench person, just pull out your picnic blanket to be nearer to the earth, or simply just touch your back to the ground. No one will judge you!

The shady corridor with trees all over

Just keep walking and keep admiring the beauty of this earth

At the end of the first half of Hyde Park, one little garden can be found. It is called a Sandringham Garden. It is a tiered circular garden with a bronze gate that marks the territory. This garden is so called the latest addition to Hyde Park as a combined memorial for both King George V and King George VI. The project was started in 1951 when the royal visit was scheduled but cancelled due to the sudden death of King George VI. The project was completed by Sydney sculptor Lyndon Dadswell and architect Dr. H. Epstein and the gate was unlocked by Queen Elizabeth II on 05 February 1954.

The bronze gate of Sandringham Garden

The tiered garden circling a fountain

The look from the other side
Colorful!

This is literally bed of flowers, who will not be in love???

Let me act cute for once :)

There is place to sit too

Keep walking to the second half of the park and find another monument at the far south, Anzac War Memorial. This is a monument created by the people of New South Wales to reminisce the impact of World War I. The fund raising to make this project come true was started in 1916 and a competition to design the monument was held in 1929. Bruce Dellit was the winner and had the honour to design this historical monument.

The exterior of the monument is made of concrete and pink granite. The interior is marble with gold stars and bronze sculptures. There is a rectangular pond in front of the monument, which is The Lake of Reflection.

Keep walking

View of Sydney Tower Eye from Hyde Park

Lake of Reflection, supposedly built at four sides of the monument but it never happened

The squarish Anzac War Memorial

Entering from Market Street (St. James Station) and exiting from Liverpool Street (Museum Station) means you have walked at least 850m, depending on the route that you choose. So, enjoying life while exercising, why not?

Love is in the air,
Little Feet 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Down Under

Christmas is coming and this year I am celebrating Christmas at a special place. Not a white Christmas, but a sunny one!

In the Land Down Under, Christmas falls in the midst of summer, there is no snow covering the Christmas tree, nobody using the chimney, no snowman, but nothing can beat the spirit of it.

The start of festive season was started back in the third week of November, exactly 1 month before Christmas. Someone once told me that, "Chinese can be crazy about firecrackers but Australian are crazy about fireworks."

And really, there was fireworks at Darling Harbour to initiate the start of festive season. I was just lazing around when I heard the 'boom boom boom' sound. I was not there to watch the fireworks, but Darling Harbour gave me time to make up, from 13 December to 24 December 2016, the fireworks come daily at 9 p.m. for free!

I was walking home when I saw this

Green

No shape ::(

Decided to take a boomerang of it

Other than the fireworks, Christmas here is celebrated by loads of shopping! There is no excessive decoration but there is indeed excessive sales and discounts everywhere. Leading up to Christmas, there is Black Friday that falls on the last Friday of November followed by Super Sale Weekend that falls on the first weekend of December.

After that, the stores just continue their Christmas sale until Christmas eve. Boxing Day on 26 December will close off the spending season with a smile on people's face but a lot of tears on the wallet.

Who can resist big 'SALE' signs at all shops? Even the groceries.

Santa's House in QVB


Lighting in Pitt Street Mall

Small Christmas tree at George Street
You can personalise the nutella jar with name for gift

The decorations are sure losing up to what I usually had in Singapore, but the atmosphere here is different! People here really look forward to Christmas as we Chinese look forward to Chinese new year.

Another great thing about summer Christmas is to have Christmas market popping up everywhere. I enjoyed walking around Christmas markets and find homemade stuffs being sold. I just love pop-up markets generally!

One of the market in Pyrmont Bay Park

Another one in Hyde Park Barrack Museum

Even though it rains, people still come in a very high spirits to shop!
Christmas pie!

One more thing relating to Christmas that I reckon here is that people will use Christmas as the ultimate excuse to feast! I started to get invited to various Christmas parties and gatherings two weeks prior to Christmas.

Team briefing

Turned to Christmas Celebration

And FEAST!

Ground Engineering team's Yum Cha

AECOM Sydney's Christmas Party

Mr. White Rabbit won the best costume!

The office Christmas party was held today, just before the office shuts down for more than two weeks for Christmas break. This is another thing very different with Singapore. Although this kind of office shutdown consumes the leaves as well, having everybody taking the break together with you feels kind of thrilling. It feels like school break where you need not bother about getting a call from office because the office is empty! Oh my.

I am really really grateful of what 2016 has brought me. I have a new opportunity in Sydney, I get advancement in my career, I passed another professional engineering exam in Singapore, I get more settled in my relationship, I crossed Europe from my bucket list.

I am so blessed!

Thanks, Universe! I hope the blessing will follow for 2017 and the years ahead.

Cheers to 2016. Cheers to life.

Love is in the air,
Little Feet