We had a nice little run of guests from Australia over the last many months and here are four different recommendations from four different guests.
“If you get the chance, do the bridge.” It was a wonderfully clear day with absolutely no wind and you could see for a hundred miles. Add a lovely sunset and a large cruise ship setting sail from the harbor dock below and you have what it was like for us to climb the open span of the Sydney Bridge to it’s center high point. There could be no better time to be up there.
Amazingly, neither of us experienced much in the way of vertigo or cold sweats. Yeah, we had nothing between us and the world below but a waist high railing, but somehow it felt secure and safe. Being tethered to a continuous safety cable seemed to take away the fear of falling, tripping, or having a crazed person shove you over the edge in a fit of panic.
The Opera House
“If there’s something on, You should take in a show at the Sydney Opera House!” As it worked out, the 60th anniversary revival of My Fair Lady was playing in the Joan Sutherland Theater at the Sydney Opera House. We managed a couple of tickets for a matinee and tremendously enjoyed the venue and the familiar songs. The stage direction and costumes were enhanced by a talented cast.
Being at the Sydney Opera House overlooking the harbor with the bridge to one side and the Sydney skyline surrounding you is even more impressive. The Opera House itself is a multi-venue facility that can hosts anything from intimate settings to the massive concert hall or even the occasional use of the entire open outside area.
“I’d like to put you in touch with a friend of mine.” We ended up connecting with an Aboriginal elder in our efforts to get an indigenous perspective of what and how they fit into the current situation in Australia. It was our hope to compare where Hawai’i is today and see what those common or uncommon parallels were, if any.
Les Bursill met us at the train station and took us into the Royal National Park and into the bush within the park to see Dreaming sights that were significant to the native people. One area was a place that had rock paintings/carvings of an orca with a seal in its mouth and a shark. Another depicted the story of two sisters – the Pleiades and another constellation having had a forbidden relationship. This was the aboriginal creation story of how land and man came into the world.
We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to see these sights given the extremely limited presence of aboriginal culture in the life of an Australian. Les gave us insight into where Aboriginal peoples stand within the current population of a predominantly white western view. Their situation is far more dire that the current Native Hawaiian circumstances today. Hawai’i has done a far better job of allowing what is uniquely and culturally Hawaiian prosper with language playing a major role in its’ success.
“Let us know what day you arrive” Sadly, it was the night of the big AFL game, too late to join in on the fun. Australian Rules Football is a big thing and we would have loved to be able to catch a game. We thought we might be able to see a game in Melbourne during the first week of the Finals Series, but they implemented a bye week, so the first games will happen after we have gone. “No worries mate. The Storms at Amy.” Which is how we ended up attending our first professional rugby game featuring the Melbourne Storm at Melbourne’s AAMI park.