The arrival in Sydney was mid-morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur
The airport looks old. There are many people coming and border police is slow.
Australia, UK, USA and NZ to one side. The other side to people from another countries, that is to say for a long queue.
The security is little friend of cameras and mobile phones. With aggressiveness he order an Asian young male to not make use of the device.
Instead, the taxi driver is friendly. Cozy, he lamented the showers and made useful recommendations, where to eat, attractions close to the Ibis ... The taxi cost 47 AuD.
The cost of living is more expensive than in Kuala Lumpur. Ibis costs more than 100 euros per night and it's no big deal. Below average and does not even have free internet access. Forget the breakfast. It's well situated in Pitt Street, in the central area. Near Chinatown and central railway station and there are many restaurants and entertainment. One of the restaurants, next door, is the Tiamo, has free internet, which could cause embarrassment to the Ibis.
To kill the jet lag, after a relaxing bath, i went to the street. With a sandwich and a coffee at Tiamo, the day dawned and i was moving forward by Pitt to the port.
The avenues are wide and long. Geometric, little or nothing to do with Asia.
The British influence with the Victorian architecture is evident. Tall buildings, many metallic skyscrapers that sometimes do neighborhood with old buildings of brown brick.
This variety is also observed in people, multicultural, of various shades of skin and size. Sydney has the seventh largest percentage of foreign individuals in the world.
Australians, hat Crocodile Dundee give in even more views because they are high. I think even do it on purpose, to mark their identity, "are genuine." A significant part of the inhabitants of Sydney are of Asian origin.
As we approach the port increases the frequency of white persons. Executive style. All full of hurry, especially women, perhaps because of tight dresses to the body that seems to give greater anxiety when walking.
It is the financial center of Sydney, with many offices, banking and law. Most notably Western, with restaurants and pubs that are common in London.
After crossing the Alfred Street, radically changes the environment.
Enter the old port area at Sydney Cove and the world relax. In front of the bay, the left, the bridge and the Opera House on the right.
The environment today is relax but its foundation was the opposite. It was here that the foundation of Australia, with the arrival in 1788 of Captain Arthur Phillip and a few more to create a British penal colony.
It was tough. During 22 years many Britons were subjected to conditions of great deprivation and almost forced labor.
Not today, it is one of the picture postcards and pride of Australians.
When I arrived I was cold and the clouds hid the sun. The brightness was replaced by the romantic atmosphere.
Shortly after, when the bridge went through the showers passed from threat to reality.
Acceded to the point through The Rocks, then there is a staircase in a tunnel, two floors, nothing more.
Access to the Sydney Harbour Bridge is guarded by cameras and is written on a board that the road is safe. It is a very popular route. The pedestrian zone is next to the highway and there are tourists and locals walking in both directions. The metal frame has a "wall" network and hinders the photos with the prospect of the bay.
The view is fantastic. Bars, walkways and green areas on land. In the port is anchored a huge boat cruises, many ferries to rip the bay, ferries and newer vessels that serve for tours or taxi.
Across the bay, the building of the Opera, is fascinating.
Towards the end of the trip it started to rain insistently. Some vigilant refuge in a tower. I did the same. It is an access point to a lookout tower type.
Shortly after the rain eased slightly metallic gray and had a little more brightness.
On top of the bridge, the central arches, half a dozen groups of people make the ascent in the metal structure. Can you get to the top, in the central area, where there are two flags.
People have own equipment, are protected, but it takes some courage to fly the route with the wind and the cold that is felt.
The Bridge took eight years to build, has more than 53,000 tons of steel and was inaugurated in March 1932. It was the conduct of a dream that took half a century. However, the climb on the bridge was only allowed from 1998. It reports those who have been in the central area, the highest point that a day of good visibility, the view of the bay is unforgettable.
You can make reservations.
The return was also the The Rocks.
The convicts, barely began arriving in Sydney, left stone and made a lot of labor in this area. Most buildings have been built with the excavated rocks in this zone, near the bay.
Very early on that reputation was associated with prostitution and delinquency. Even came to be dominated by a gang called Rocks Push.
The path of nurses leads to a very narrow street where some wall glued to the figures describe the characteristics of the inhabitants and the marginal figures who stayed in the history of the neighborhood.
After a sharp deterioration several buildings were subsequently demolished and made new construction. However, it was only at the end of the last century that the whole area has been transformed with a variety of spaces, private art galleries.
It is one of the most tourist sites and walking spot for those who will dine at restaurants along the bay.
It is therefore a route to do at night, along the pier, Campbell's Cove until around the end of the city under the Harbour Bridge.
There are many people circulating. They go to restaurants and pubs. Particularly the restored Campbell's Cove, a urban complex created in the end of the century XVIII by Scotsman who gave name to this area.
The stone buildings are facing the bay, have spectacular and terraces on the ground floor with a very soft light view. Almost the whole area is in this tone. Soft. There are couples strolling, one should be newlyweds and are accompanied by a photographer.
The view is not to forget. The Opera House, the bay, the lights of the ferries, the bridge ... After spending the Hyatt, following the Hickson Road, the most interesting perspective is to the other side of the bridge. On the left side of the pillar, is Luna Park Sydney.
A huge leisure space that night stands out due to the intense light and bright colors of wheels, roller coasters ... reaching into the river. Under the bridge, fortuitously, they spend large cruise ships that will dock in another part of the bay.
The right side of the pillar, the view takes refuge in the lights of the residential area of Kirribilli.
Another very exciting area from the late afternoon is the financial area between Georges and Sydney Cove.
The night begins to cheer on Thursday. Many pubs, some of them huge. Again I can not understand how they manage to talk because of the deafening volume of the music.
By late afternoon the women - most of European origin but there are also Asian - use black skirt with a slight crack ago. Just the body. It appears seamless. evening wear black dresses. Younger alternate with mini skirt, high heels and multicolored hair. As in Hong Kong, many couples are strictly upright. Classic outfit, gala and are on the verge of the street waiting for a taxi.
Next chinatown area of the environment is different. Lots of new people to wander. Fast food restaurants are full, small groups of young people near the entrance of cinemas and convenience stores with Asian vendors are a must in every block. In the inner part of the chinatown trade remains active at night.
During the day it is also higher bustle in this part of town.
Starting with the Central Market, right next to Chinatown. The upper floor is full of clothes galleries, crafts and jewelry. On the ground floor are sold vegetables, meat, fish and fruit.
The market is policed, it is large with several entrances and is divided into sections. Not just Asian vendors, here too multiculturalism.
It is a time to move to the center of chinatown from the central market. One of the main streets are all adorned with red and gold materials.
Many food street vendors in competition with restaurants which is almost door yes yes door. Gastronomy is not just Chinese. There are restaurants that stand out in their food menu of Korea, Vietnam ... generally in Southeast Asia.
Down the street, a beautiful tourist kiosk. All red and cut combined with light cause silhouettes of Chinese figures.
It is this area which is one of the most popular restaurants in Chinatown: the Mother Chu's Vegetarian Kitchen. It is at 367 Pitt St, just above the Ibis. I had dinner there. The food is well prepared, the service is fast and the service is "frendly". A good dinner for 25 Aud.
Next to Chinatown, on the way to Darling Harbour, there is the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
We entered the room opposite this area. Calm, contact with nature, the soft sound of water dripping, traditional houses and involved in greenery and reflected in the lakes ... The opposite of the hustle and bustle of Chinatown and other neighboring space: the Darling Harbour.
It is an entertainment center, all new, with cafes, ice cream parlors, restaurants, shops, hotels, tours, pavilions, aquarium, zoo ... pedestrian streets, all around the bay.
It is here that are the most luxurious hotels, restaurants with fine cuisine and also several casinos.
Tall buildings, modern materials and night that are by decorated with lights to reflect in the water surrounding the space that is more like a shell.
The shell closes with the Pyrmont Bridge. A pedestrian walkway marking the entertainment territory. Beyond the bridge, across the bay is a common port area with several military vessels.
The Pyrmont Bridge is very crowded. Even with immense heat there are people doing walking, running ... and many tourists. The site gives very interesting urban photos and night is fantastic with huge reflections in the water.
After the bridge there is another interesting route. A little long but we can make it easy.
One block off the bridge output is the Sydney Tower. It is not easy to visit because it often has queues. The view is beautiful but nothing more. 268 meters above the ground to bridge booking another experience: Skywalk.
Moving on, after the Hyde Park we passed to Street Hospital, where we find buildings with colonial architecture, and enter the Botanical Garden, called Royal Botanic Gardens.
The garden is huge, has 34 hectares and has a great location. Wide green space, gardens, places of entertainment and recreation, spaces for cultural and sporting activities on land and water and in the end, the road ends at the Opera.
The day I visited the Garden was immense heat. All seats were occupied with shadow. In a large lawn I enjoyed the shade and stretched me on the grass. Relax. In the same open space two women picked sun and a couple paused in the shade. In the middle of the park there is an information center with restaurant and cafe. Can you take a break and isolate the urban environment. Everything around is green.
Part of the path is done beside the water. Refreshes. More relaxed, the pedestrian route, follow many more people. All to look ahead. The Opera crushes.
The Sydney Opera House is very beautiful indeed.
The construction was a long mishap but the result is fantastic.
The cost overruns, look for instant ... everything can serve as a mitigating but transfer to myself the bitterness that must have felt Jørn Utzon, the Danish architect who created an unforgettable work and that he never got to see directly. Jørn Utzon left the project in 1966 due to financial problems posed by the Australian government, he returned to Denmark and refused to go to the inauguration in 1973. Three decades later, already reconciled with the Sydney Opera House Foundation, received a Pritzker Prize.
The Nordic architect profile sit in the materials and the simplicity of decorative structures.
The genius goes from small details to the set where the shells protrude, white spherical who formed a puzzle to the engineers.
Surrounded by the Pacific, the opera house overlooks the bridge. On the other hand, the huge botanical garden is opposed to the towers that serve as walls to the dock where ferries leave.
At night the view is also spectacular. The light reflected in the water. The opera is more discreet, simple, with a slight reflection in the water that is slightly overshadowed by the intense light of the ferries.
Always lots of people. Many tourists, many GoPro and many selfies.
Several restaurants and bars are increasing in frequency with the emergence of the night.
A deck in the pedestrian area is full of young executive.
Inside the Opera is time for a concert. You begin to reach many people. Most of them are old people. I share dinner with some of these people at a table bistro Mozart.
Many know each other and exchange greetings and asides. They have a more relaxed air. They rejuvenated a few years. It seems the Gulbenkian.
I participated in a guided tour of the Opera House. I had great expectations but the results did not match. It costs 34 AuD, took about an hour and the most interesting is the history of the building we can also consult the Wikipedia. Nothing much.
The route does not reveal new elements, particular sensations. There is access to placeholders, boxes or other places of interest. Just ride for three hallways and entry into three concert halls very reserved way because there was assembly work in progress. No pictures, nothing out of line, out materials, perspectives ...
In the end one is left with an uneasy feeling in some frustration with the expectation of discovering the history of the protagonists, engineering, manual workers' effort ... there is nothing left.
To compensate, who enjoy dark room with photographs and the bay.
Hundreds of people wander around. Some go have a drink, some dinner, and many other contemplate the Opera. As the building is very large and surrounds the bay, you can ride, walk and not feel the initial discomfort of noise and concentration of people.
The look at the building captivates attention, according to walk, because it changes the perspective, the colors, the discovery of the interior.
But look at the other side of the bay, it is also a seductive exercise.
Ferries come and go, the bridge reflected in the water and Circular Quay high buildings decorate the view with huge and varied lights.
From here, the pier Circular Quay, we can make an interesting route (and cheap) that gives us a different perspective of the city and in particular the Opera.
It is a journey on one of the ferries departing from Circular Quay. There are many destinations and options.
My priority was to photograph the bay, the Opera House and the bridge at dusk. I asked at the point of sale of the pier a path next to the Opera. He suggested Neutral Bay.
The ticket round trip costs 12 AuD and the distance is about 1.5 kilometers north of Sydney. Left at 18.25, the tone was softer light and shadows offered more relief .. The prospect was also very different. City with river or sea has to be photographed from the water.
The boat docked at various piers and reached Neutral Bay 15 minutes later.
I was just in the dock area. The view from here is interesting. Neutral Bay, this area has some buildings by the sea, a marina with private dock and expansive views of Sydney and other islands and isthmuses. The site is the name: Neutral, because here the foreign ships anchored in the colonial era. I decided to return a little later. The next vessel. We made quick stops in Kurraba Point and Kirribilli.
New photos to the bridge, the Opera, the bay, the ferries, the tracery lights in the urban area, the reflections in the water ... it will be difficult to choose and lengthy, time-consuming editing of photos.
It is unforgettable. The first perspective focuses on the bridge and Opera House. Then, as we approached, the boat passes relatively close to the Opera House. The edge of the trip changes the perspective, the colors, the light, the relief. The dark background, dirty white and soft lighting make the structure a shell to open.
Here is where the day begins. Europe sleeps and America still works. Like everything that happened once was "yesterday" or fancy to see the news.
The sun rises early and goes away at around 19.30h. Spring time. However, it's like in Cape Town. In one day fit all seasons. On a day that started cloudy, rain threatened and soon the sun became domineering, I opted for a hop on hop off. In Georges bought the ticket for the Explorer who has two routes. One in town, another goes to Bondi Beach.
I started in order to stop Sydney and the Australian Museum transferring me to Bondi Beach. Well worth the investment 40 AuD.
Kings Cross and follows towards the east side. Residential areas of above average value, garden houses, private parking ... In Asia almost all houses of this type have protective walls, nets and bars on the windows and doors. Not here.
After the residential area begins to dominate the green, high slopes and across the sea.
A bit far longer sees Bondi Beach.
It is just about 10 km from the center of Sydney but the change of environment is radical.
A descent towards the town center you can already see the beach.
By the very trade road with fast food and beach clothing. Some of the tallest buildings serving housing, in the case of Bondi hotel which stands out for tower with clock and in the most protected areas find luxury villas.
At the other end of the beach further concentration of houses which spread the hill by the sea.
Access to the beach can be done through a park and a lot of people takes advantage of the shade to rest or enjoy a drink and fast food. The gulls also take advantage of the crumbs.
There are walking paths and there are many places that do jogging. I always go to and fro. Indifferent to the routine of visitors. The beach is about one kilometer long, white sand and the sea with good wave for surfing. There were, in fact, more people to surf than the beach.
It is one of the most popular beaches in Australia and visited by thousands of tourists. They appear in droves in excursions. Many Asians. Pose for selfies with green sea on the horizon. The guides say the water is cold but did not seem. If the benchmark is the Atlantic, is not it cold. The flag was in two colors, yellow and red. I was near the lifeguard. On a motorcycle emitted sounds and esbracejava towards the surfers. I wanted them further back and to the right.
In return from Bondi Beach Sydney there are two points that must not be lost. One is in Rose Bay. There is a magnificent view of the harbor with the Opera House and the bridge in the same perspective.
Another point is Double Bay is a heavily forested area with many buildings with traditional style, wood as well as luxury homes with docks for the marina trade for wealthy people ...
A bit the opposite of urban density and in some tourist routes between Potts Point and the former working Millers Point.
Much is built, particularly in Darling Harbour.
It must be due to the profits of casinos. More remains to build. Some areas are in deep renovation with many construction jobs.
I was a little surprised, there are many people of Western origin in the works. Large and small contracts. Taxi drivers and bus drivers are mostly Asians. Breaks a little the idea common to many cities in Asia that the crafts are occupied almost exclusively by Asians, with lower wages.
On the streets of Sydney it is also common to see mixed couples. Does not look like chance encounters in other cities in Southeast Asia.
One of the places frequented the very beginning of the night is Georges. I went there several times. After a coffee in a 7Eleven to smoke a cigarette on the street. There are many people walking around here or take public transport, particularly the metro at Town Hall station.
The station is right opposite the city hall, a Victorian building built in the late nineteenth century.
It has a very high tower and is almost always illuminated.
In this area, as in many other of the city, particularly at night, there are street musicians. Common point; Heavy sound. One sees the success of the Australian hard rock bands.
Sydney is a city with a great cultural activity. Overnight we find street musicians, theater, cinema ... during the day the cultural agenda is also very diverse.
There are many galleries as well as public spaces, the municipality or the regional government.
For example, in the area of the National Museum there is a great variety on offer. Starting with the museum itself has immense spaces with permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. It is very popular and is well located.
Next Tower and Hyde Park whose tours are almost always crowded, is the ANZAC, the memorial to the number of military forces from Australia and New Zealand who participated in the First World War.
It is a building in concrete, with a pond and a long staircase.
Sit on the stairs is offensive. Australians have inherited many of British values. Very proud. All they do is amazing. It is the memorial of the message, the museum, the Opera. In almost all we have to show. It's all great.
Forgetting this british pride should be recognized, at least, that the Sacrifice sculpture is interesting. The piece is in bronze, made by Rayner Hoff and nudity soldier not met the applause of the local society when the inauguration of the memorial in 1934.
In Sydney Cove there are also many cultural places to visit. In addition to the Opera and galleries in The Rocks, at the entrance we have the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Is not very large, it has two floors and the entrance is free. The exterior architecture is interesting and the interior is unpretentious. Simple and effective.
I was fascinated with exposure Martu Art from the Far Western Desert. Martu are an aboriginal community, according to the curator of the exhibition the painting is part of a social activity and what fascinated me most were the colors and the absence of stroke.
They are elaborate paintings. spaces, elements, dreams and vision of the world by Aboriginal artists to tell us your story, your look with an overwhelming simplicity. No trace. There linear or sequential pigmentation with a fantastic aesthetic effect. Bright colors, variable geometry, points that contradict lines.
Some paintings have more than one author.
In another room, the works exhibited have a more critical stance. Cold. Towards the military and the British colonists about what they did to the Aborigines. There is a great diversity of work and result from a selection of young artists. The display name Spring is well done.
Upstairs is the permanent collection. Photographs, paintings, installations ... A wide variety of jobs. Two memories were in my memory.
An installation with cardboard boxes, around the picture of a man. For each bin there is a handpiece. They are all yellow.
The second recall is the museum's bar.
It has a fantastic view of the bridge, the bay and the opera. No problem: a coffee (if you want great dessert) and minutes of contemplation. Sometimes silence is broken by a more expansive group, the whistle of a boat or the didgeridoo that is used by a musical group of Aboriginal origin. They are usually just outside the Sydney Cove, next to a green zone.
They are the Animistix and were promoting the album Transmutation.
One Aboriginal is good at marketing. Poses for photos, particularly when bought a cd. But also makes for tourists, invites children to sit in front of the parents capture the moment on camera or film while it is changing the pose. All this with music in the background. Another Aboriginal sits beside her and blow into the didgeridoo and the third element, with western air, sets the pace with two sticks hitting the metal frame that separates the street ride.
This group belongs to a community of artists and cultural agents with Aboriginal roots.
Near here, right in front of the ferry ticket, another group also promotes Aboriginal culture with music and crafts. Sydney (and in the other cities we visited) is not frequent. There are many shops with Aboriginal products but belong to distribution and retail chains. Aboriginal ownership or management is very rare. In fact, it is more common to see Aboriginal people sleeping on the street, homeless or lonely.
They are not the only ones. There are many homeless, most of Western origin. I did not see a single of Asian origin.
One of the places with the highest concentration is in the Sydney Central train station
Not far from the Ibis, the building is identified quickly because of its old building, a metal arch and a very high tower (75 meters high) with a clock.
When you arrive at the station the film changes. Becomes black and white.
In the Darling Harbour Bay I noticed that there was a single plastic bag, a can or any other type of waste in the water. The station is different.
At the entrance of cigarettes remains.
A homeless man is lying on the corner of a card covering his face.
A man smokes chin up to keep the smoke infuses a green bird that hangs in the collar of his shirt. Quite often stroking the bird.
Shortly after I am approached by a man who says anything. Just realized coffee, I nodded no. Him, eye to eye, comments: "seriously". I did not answer, though he gave few steps back and jabbed a cigarette a woman who had just rolling tobacco.
Shortly after they arrived three relatively young men. One of them appeared to be drunk. It looked like the mast of a small boat days Gale. I do not know how to not fall. However leaned against a post and slowly slid down to sit. He had a hand in the mouth or nose and said nothing. Unlike one of the other men, only he cried "you are crazy, crazy." The third had to relieve himself. He had a bandage in one hand, was to smoke and do not know how, the bandage began to burn. She screamed, waving his arm (which was the flame increase). The faster troubled the fastest hand ligation was destroyed. With the other hand had to remove the pieces that fell apart and cover the rest of the bandage with clothing. Finally managed to stop the flames.
I went back into the station. Few tourists, few young, a few backpackers. People with older and poorer.
A man with two bags, fat, balding, took an apple and a cloth. She passed the cloth over his forehead and for baldness and then cleared his apple. Still did more cleaning operations with the cloth ....
But the man with the bird hanging on the collar in and out several times. Some people smile and he greets them.
I'm sitting at the station to make time to take the fast train to Melbourne which has a beautiful name: the XPT train
It makes the journey overnight, part of Sydney to 20.30h, reaches Melbourne to 07.25h
A ticket costs 130 economic AudD. Of the line 1.
It is toward this line that followed a woman all folded. I was talking to a mobile phone. Oscillated almost falls to the side where the phone is.
See you later when the XPT is about to leave. Carrying several bags and he was accompanied by a young man. It is also relatively young. Two employees approached and asked questions. She became very agitated. I am looking for anything in his pockets, bags, wallet. Unceasingly. The boy spelled a name, one of the employees went through a list but, nothing. The boy returned to spell, W, O, I ... He joined a woman, also an official of the railways. He was dismayed to see the girl on the floor rummaging in the bags. She took plastic, wallet, paper cups, put his hands on his head ... He shouted to the boy who however pulled away. Woman give you an indication she replies with a question, then with a gesture. The woman nodded to say yes. I deduce that the dialogue will have been: to find the ticket can travel on the train? Yes. But ultimately, find the missing ticket. She returned the revolver bags and soon will have insinuated that will enter the train. She was right, it was time departure. The employee, since less condescending air, waved to say no and pulled a walkie talkie. The train departed, the girl started screaming and passengers who were watching the scene in the carriage in front, comment almost in unison: Oh, no!
While all this unfolds, passes next half stature of man, dressed all in black with a hat too dark, bearded and two hair braids dragged across the floor.
As for the trip, it is best to ever forget that sleep is not possible.
A man snoring like a pig. Wretched woman who was at his side. His friend followed behind the bench next to me. I kept. I had a fetish for empty seats. Sometimes they spoke aloud, especially when neighbors made effort to fall asleep. A family with two children also got into conversation with an Australian and decided to update the meeting time, even with closed lights.
The trip has 17 stops. The employee agrees with ten minutes in advance the people who will leave. He is very friendly but does not prevent other passengers also agree.
The route was almost all night.
He could tell that Australia is a rural country. Huge expanses with no one, small villages with creeping housing, gas station, pharmacy, hamburgers ..
In some places they are visible utility vehicles and flat areas with cattle, cows sheep and llamas.
They did well to preserve the old stations. Are wooden, yellow or red and all have banks where it is written the name of the village.
Only when we come to Melbourne it is changing the landscape. Are larger urban concentrations, the houses are more floors and are built with other materials.