Sydney Harbour lights (Look up)

View under Sydney Harbour Bridge from Dawes Point at night, 21 Nov 2008

Under Sydney Harbour Bridge, Millers Point

There’s nothing better than a walk along Sydney Harbour shore at night. The crisp, salt tang of the air, the rush and bump of the traffic over the metal bridge, the lapping of the wash from ferries. Solid, grand and an icon of Aussie pride.  ♦

 


 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Look up!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/look-up/

An old photo taken with my Canon Powershot A550.

 

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Off the bench!

Benchseat up the back near the water tank facing the setting sunToday is a big day for me…it’s my 2nd anniversary since What The?! Day. *

Two years ago, something went bung in my brain! I stood frozen still, couldn’t move anything, couldn’t speak. But I could hear everything, although from far away, in a fog of time. They thought I’d had a stroke.

I was very, very lucky, all the scans were clear.

After about two hours my speech was normal, though laboured, and I could walk with support. Huh?!

Now repeat many times. Add alternating wheelchair, wheelie-walker, and walking stick.

Fast forward 2 years…

I’m getting back to normal, only a bit to go. I choose to think of all the gains I’ve made, even the small ones. I’ve learned to adapt and still be me, even if I have to think around obstacles. And I haven’t lost my sense of humour!

But…I’m getting back out there! Yay! You can’t keep a good day tripper down!!

So I’ve put my gumboots near the back door for my goal to bushwalk again. And I have my khaki jacket with pockets for stuff…rocks, camera gear, rubbish, binoculars.

So this afternoon, on the 2nd anniversary, I put on my coat again and we went for a drive as the sun was going down.

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, near Yass, New south Wales, Australia

Taemas bridge over the Murrumbidgee

We parked at Taemas Bridge on Wee Jasper Road, with a coffee and a sandwich.

The bridge of steel and concrete crosses mostly a sandy bed and exposed tree trunks. Red clay gullies slash the impossible near-vertical hillside. Wire fences straddle the climb in mid-air. (How did they build those fences?)

In the hazy shadows at the water’s edge, we spotted a white crane wading. It jumped up on a rock ledge to join a blue crane.

Yep, it’s beautiful out there guys, that’s what really counts!  *18 May 2016. I wasn’t able to take new photos so I’ve recycled one that shows how it looked.

For more information on neurological symptom disorders like mine, these are great resources and support and have helped me so much:

http://www.neurosymptoms.org    and   http://www.fndhope.org

Sydney Harbour Bridge aka (affectionately) ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’

Australians like to poke fun at things*, especially themselves. So it’s with mostly pride and a fair bit of self-deprecation that we nicknamed our wonderfully unique Harbour Bridge in Sydney, ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’!

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

The Giant Coat Hanger

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I don’t know if kids still call it that? But my family did.

And although it was an absolute must for many school excursions and family holidays from ‘the Bush’, and everyone had the obligatory harbour shot with The Bridge front and centre, we still pulled it down a peg* and called it The Coat Hanger.

So I was amused at myself, a couple of weeks ago, when we were on a Sydney Harbour lunch cruise…

Apart from a couple of tables and us the boat was patronised by large groups of older tourists. Cameras on the swaying foredeck was the order of the day.

I resisted.

After all I’d seen The Harbour before, had even lived in Sydney where the harbour was my daily commute, and we had already done a hop-on hop-off harbour cruise a few years before where I wore out my shutter button. And, of course, there was lunch! Well, it wasn’t gourmet but that was part of what we’d come for.

So we were enjoying the harbour, the views and the beautiful day. We ate and drank and reminisced, watched the other boats, a ferry or two, and slipped in and around the coves and bays of blue water gawking at the amazing waterfront real estate.

But when it came to the final promenade up the main basin of Port Jackson, past ‘Pinchgut’ or Fort Denison, and approaching the Opera House and ‘The Giant Coat Hanger’ … I just couldn’t help myself!

Sydney Harbour by lunch cruise, Sydney, Australia

The grand icons of stunning Sydney Harbour

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The cruise would end at Darling Harbour so it meant we would go UNDER The Bridge! I’ve been on, over, around, and at the base of The Bridge for New Year’s Eve, but never UNDER it by water!!

So I scrambled last minute to the top deck, braced myself against the lurching railing, and waited for the money shot!

ZOOOMMMMPP! That was the sound of my camera closing back up again, due to empty batteries!!!

So I laughed at myself for succumbing to the innate tourist urge … and sat and enjoyed the rest of the view!  ♦

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But here are some of my past views of The Giant Coat Hanger.

I like to do things a little differently – being on ‘the road less travelled’ and all that – and as an Aussie I guess I don’t take The Bridge too seriously, so I usually look for oddball angles!

 


Aussie icons series

Photos taken with my old Canon Powershot A550, 2008-2014

* ‘to poke fun at’ – to make fun of in an affectionate, cheeky way.

We often do this with a serious looking face, then a delayed grin or a wink when the person takes you seriously. Some people, like my uncle, always teases with a straight face and I get caught thinking he’s serious just about every time! You think I’d have learnt by now!!

* ‘to pull something/someone down a peg’ – to treat something / someone with a dose of reality so they don’t become too full of vanity at their own greatness.

A weekend of Aussie wonders

Last weekend was a most amazingly diverse kaleidoscope of a few of my very favourite things – from ancient maps and antique ships at two museums…to a light show festival…to the waters of Sydney Harbour…to coffee by a fountain and brunch by a lake!

Ok, they were not all off the beaten track – but sometimes you’ve got to play ‘tourist’ in your own backyard too!

Here is a smattering of the pics I took (although I didn’t take the new camera or tripod, being ‘on the hoof’ and à la backpack).

It was the most wondrous weekend and it looked something like this:

Friday night: Night session at the ‘Mapping Our World’ exhibition at the National Library of Australia in Canberra

Friday night was one of the special event openings of this exhibition. It was great to be able to wander through after hours.

Many of the maps have never been seen in Australia, some have never been out of their home country. They included:

* the maps made by Captain Cook, who charted the east coast of Australia, paving the way for the penal colony of New South Wales * Matthew Flinders’ instruments and charts * Medieval maps of the ‘known world’ and a few guesses at the unknown * Maps from the 9th to 11th centuries, including a reproduction of the work of Ptolemy from the 2nd century AD.

It was so engrossing, two hours flew by. I was awestruck to see artifacts that are so old and to gain insight into how people viewed the world then.

ENLIGHTEN Festival, Canberra

We then wandered outside in the Parliamentary Triangle to see the national buildings illuminated with intricate slides and patterns. There was a food fair, music and performances in the gardens and parks between the monumental buildings of Canberra. Just magical!

Saturday: Lake Burrinjuck picnic via Good Hope Rd, Yass NSW

Cows grazing on Burrinjuck lakebed, Good Hope Road via Yass, NSW, Australia

Just our little old picnic spot down the road!

After the late night we decided on a lazy picnic at one of our favourite spots. Cue meandering cows, a flock of pelicans soaring and landing on the dwindled lake, a sea eagle overhead, (the only faint hum of) wave jumpers and water skiers, all with a backdrop of an ancient rock wall and a purple, swelling storm front.

Sunday: Drive to Sydney via the Southern Highlands detour, to stay at Ultimo

A great Wotif.com discovery of a large double room with balcony, 2 blocks from the Powerhouse Museum and a nice easy walk past terraced houses and converted historic warehouses to Darling Harbour. All for only AUD $130 per night!

Monday: (Canberra long weekend)

Lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour, wander around Darling Harbour

Sydney Harbour on Fusion lunch cruise

Stunning Sydney Harbour

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With some time before our harbour cruise we wandered through the beautiful Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour.

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney

Then after the cruise we strolled around Darling Harbour some more, having coffee at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe by the brolga fountain, browsed the shops at Harbourside, and pottered around the antique ships moored at the National Maritime Museum.

We’ll be back to Darling Harbour some time as I want to explore inside the Onslow submarine and the replica of the ‘Endeavour’, the ship that Captain Cook sailed to Australia and the Pacific in 1770.

Oh and we bought the obligatory tacky souvenir magnet for the fridge!  ♦

The next few posts will feature these destinations with more photos.

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Photos taken with my old Canon Powershot A550, 8-10 March 2014

Bridge to my past (Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned)

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For seven years we lived in Bungendore, New South Wales, a little village about half an hour on the other side of Canberra. We were “blow-ins”, with an unknown surname, not born in the local area. At least we had country credentials but we were still new bloods.

Or so I thought!…

After some family tree discoveries I found I was related to one of the large pioneering families, the Barretts, from a little rural locality just 2o minutes east of our village!!

Boro Creek, Mayfield Road at Lower Boro, New South Wales, Australia

Spanning the generations

My great, great, great grandmother Catherine Doolan and her sister Mary were Irish assisted immigrants and had migrated to Australia together from County Clare in 1841.

On the same ship was a Patrick Barrett. Mary later married Patrick and they took up land on the Boro Creek between the villages of Bungendore and Tarago.

As we do, we had aimlessly driven the crisscrossing dirt roads in the back blocks around our village.

Some of those dirt roads had passed right by the front gates of the Barrett family properties. Boro Creek cut through Barrett land. They held large blocks on either side of the creek between the mid 1840s and the early 1900s.

This is the old disused bridge over Boro Creek, on Mayfield Road at Lower Boro.

I was game and walked its rickety deck – I just had to throw a pebble in the water hole beneath.  

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Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Abandoned’

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/photo-challenge-abandoned/

Photos taken 7 November 2009 with my old Canon Powershot A550

* “a blow-in” – a stranger, or someone who comes from somewhere else

Lower Boro, via Tarago, New South Wales, Australia

http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=19826

 

Rivets on the river (‘One Shot Wonders’)

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Bridge to beyond

The moon was a sliver from full,

the bridge swelled from the darkness, gripping the empty gorge,

solid, rigid, locked in steely embrace.

The river now dwindled to tease the pylons’ toes,

dwarfed by the immense heft of steel and stone.

Silver light floated streamers from the ship

but no passengers except two stealing on board in the dead of night. 

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Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 14 January 2014, with Fuji FinePix S2980

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge crosses the Murrumbidgee arm of Lake Burrinjuck. It was completed in 1931 and cost £60 895. It is 200 metres long with 4 trusses and constructed of steel and concrete.

For more information see:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taemas_Bridge

Heritage and Conservation Register listing:

‘Taemas Bridge over Murrumbidgee River’, Roads and Traffic Authority NSW web page (archived)

1915 photo of the Old Taemas Bridge that was washed away, State Library of New South Wales:

http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=205147#

Like a bridge over trickled water

Taemas Bridge, Wee Jasper Road, near Yass, New south Wales, Australia

Taemas Bridge on Wee Jasper Road

(a short drive from Yass, New south Wales, Australia)

Taemas Bridge crosses the Murrumbidgee arm of Lake Burrinjuck.

It’s normally a very good place for kayaking, fishing and swimming as it’s quiet, away from the main basins of the Lake (and the motor boats and jet skis).

The bridge is an old and interesting build of steel and concrete.

It might be a bit tricky getting our kayak up and over the wire fence and then down the embankment (definitely a two-person job) but we’re going to give it a go sometime. Good thing the water is low enough, you can see where the submerged trees are. (Lake Burrinjuck is 49% and falling*.)

And the road out to the bridge from Yass (only 10 minutes) has a pretty spectacular view from winding drop-sided hills. Just our sort of thing, I’ll have to show you one day.  ♦

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Water, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 14 January 2014, with Fuji FinePix S2980

* Lake Burrinjuck water level – For real-time water storage data of the lake see the NSW Water Information website (http://waterinfo.nsw.gov.au/)

Real-time storage data – Mobile version: http://realtimedata.water.nsw.gov.au/mobile/#LatestValues

Taemas Bridge on Lake Burrinjuck, via Yass, New South Wales, Australia

To see the lake here at ‘high tide’ have a look at this photo by Conquimbo from 2011, on Wikipedia:Taemas Bridge,NSW, across the Murrumbidgee River’