Long ago, when I was in standard V, we were taken to see Madras harbour and actually explore a huge ship, in single file of course. The day happened to be my birthday and it was so complete. And then, in another November, on another sunny day I get to see another great harbour. An unforgettable day of new sights, high spirits and happiness radiating within.
We took the river ferry from Paramatta to Sydney Harbour. To promote tours, tickets or just family togetherness, Sunday is Family Fun Day when the same half price ticket can be used on the ferry, train or bus; provided you have one child in the group. And families made full use of the discount. The ferry, the wharfs, the buses and trains were crowded.; which Dharshini said was unusual. Maybe because it was the first sunny days after a couple of weeks of rain.
I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually in Sydney Harbour, at the Opera House. Such a long cherished dream. The opera house is an engineering marvel, which reminds one of the Bahai temple in Delhi, without the gardens. The flying away sails, the vistas of sea and garden and tall towers and of course, the bridge. Two things made an impact. One was the attention to design everywhere, the exposed ferro concrete ribs, the ceilings, the lift without a ceiling, even the toilets and wash basins were different. Other was watching a young man dance for a camera. He was not particularly tall ; dressed in shorts and T, wore a cap and what looked like canvas shoes, was muscular and tattooed. He twirled and moved on his toes, swooped and held poses; for two minutes at a time while a man and a woman with him shot the video. It was marvellous. I did not have the camera with me then, but I was glad because I could watch rather than think .
the wharf is a little park, where people feed the doves and take photographs. And families bring packed lunches to eat. There is the National Art Centre too. We chose not to enter any museums or shows. Watching people is action packed enough for me.
The railway station is right there and a large plaza behind where people can sit on benches, eat, play or just relax and wait for buses. Scattered around are entertainers, juggling or cycling or playing music and occasionally lying junked out. I wish we had such plazas back home, a breathing space which is not covered with pedlars.
The bridge was mammoth and although we wished to walk across, that will just have to happen some day. And maybe some day, we will be able to join the intrepid band who actually climb over the arch.
After lunch we took the ferry across to Darling Harbour, which is actually another point across. But more happening. The Maritime Museum is here and Cockle Bay, where Master chef Australia is shot. We couldnt actually locate the building, but just being on the same turf is a high. The whole marina is lined with restaurants and bars and people are just sitting outside under trees or umbrellas sipping their wine and enjoying the play of sunshine on the blue waters.
By then, it was time to take the ferry home. The crowd was large and so we took the bus to the main station and the train back home. On the bus, one girl got up to give me and Advaith a seat. She turned out to be a Nepali girl , Jothi, studying accountancy and with her was her friend Susheela! It took 3 of us to stop Advaith pressing the STOP button for the bus which was nearby. They said they work part time at the Zoo. I didnt ask doing what because it is much better to imagine them feeding the birds instead of the more probable giving out tickets.
Prashanth came to get us happily at Westmead station and we wound up a lovely day watching ‘Theiva thirumagan’ a wonderful movie about a wonderful person.