We planned a full day today to make the most of the last few days we will be in Sydney. It is a vibrant city and there are many places we haven’t been. So we set off with Frances for a mini-adventure which revolved around the waterfront at Circular Quay (Sydney Cove) where the ferries depart.
First stop was the Museum of Contemporary Art which has been redeveloped in recent years. There were several pieces that I just didn’t understand but some very colourful displays and moving personal portraits. The most disturbing (and art is good at doing that!) was a collection of pieces using all types of media called “Taboo”. The popular subject was Australia’s approach to the aborigines and their own cultural issues; there seemed to a preponderance of pictures and cartoons of golliwogs.
We stopped for lunch in a German restaurant in the Rocks near the harbour: wonderful comfort food and lively beer. We took a long walk (!) around the harbour to the Sydney Opera House where we went on an hour-long tour of the building and the performance areas (no photography allowed due to privacy and copyright issues). It was fascinating to hear the chequered history of the building which went many millions of dollars over budget and well beyond the three year timescale originally set for construction. The technical engineering challenges associated with the construction were eventually overcome so that 4 out of 6 billion people in the world recognise the iconic building.
Next we went to the Dendy Cinema to see ‘Hitchcock’ with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren – a great insight into the relationship of the director and his wife and the making of ‘Psycho’. We ended the day with a cocktail at the summer bar at the Opera House overlooking the coming and goings in the harbour watching the sun go down over the massive cruise liner parked there.