Sunday, November 17, 2013

a day in Sydney

Hugh and I went to Sydney for a day to see some old family friends who are visiting from the UK. We flew over on Saturday evening, after a busy day of shopping and attending Hugh's coworker's pear cider launch (the cider was pink and very tasty!) Hugh booked the Hilton, claiming that every decent hotel in Sydney would be equally as expensive, and they put us on the top floor with a sliver view of the Harbour Bridge. We were so high up, Hugh had to stand two feet away from the window in order to look out. Haha, wuss!

The weather had been really pretty hot in Sydney for weeks (dry enough to have really awful bush fires in much of NSW), but it went cool and rainy just for us. Gee, thanks Sydney!

Where'd that harbour view go?

On Sunday, we killed some time with shopping while Hugh's mum and her friends attended a Rememberance Day church service (same as Veterans Day). Then we met up and walked down to Darling Harbour for a nice wander. We ended up at the Chinese Garden, which Hugh and I visited when I first arrived in Australia.

I've been to my fair share of Japanese and Chinese gardens, and I've always rushed around them, taken photos from the vistas, and walked out feeling like I wasted an hour. It wasn't until Sundau that I got the point of these kinds of gardens. I realised what's probably obvious to everyone else, that they are designed for you to savour and enjoy. The vistas and pagodas and giant, interesting rocks aren't placed randomly; they're put in certain layouts to maximise peaceful moments. I'm not supposed to rush along the path; I'm supposed to sit and relax, with the sounds and sights of the big city muffled by pretty trees and birdsong.

Of course, we were a group of seven, so we didn't do loads of peaceful relaxing, but we did stop and sit by the lake for a while and notice the wildlife. In a plumeria tree, someone spotted a tiny mama bird nesting in the crook of two branches. Like the last time we were here, I was drawn to the tall, weather-worn rocks arranged upright in various places. I found a sign that explained that a rock should have three interesting faces if it is to be used for decoration. I find the "rules" of art and design, especially photography, really interesting. I wish I had more of a head for seeing them in nature.

1 comment:

  1. I also learned that a Japanese garden is designed to hide the views so that only one new view gets revealed at a time.