They say there’s nothing like a quick dash away to recharge the inner vibe or infuse a little light into the humdrums which was exactly what the ‘SpannerMan’ and I did just recently when we grabbed a super cheap hang-onto-the-wing flight to Sydney for the weekend and delved into the beautiful lights and sounds of the Vivid Sydney Festival. Originally Vivid Sydney – the festival of light, sounds and ideas - began as a Smart light festival for energy efficiency back in 2009 and quickly grew in size with the 2015 festival drawing more than 1.5mil crowds to wow at the light spectacular. Over the last couple of years I'd been aiming to come, but always found myself at other ends of the country - like in Darwin or Townsville, or one year, out of the country in Turkey.
So eager to visit Sydney after almost 8years of last being there and in true form of my bravura style of plan-nothing travel, we -or I should say I - didn’t check the calendar when booking, and being a dutiful little worker-bee, clicked on the sparrow-fart return flight only to discover after paying for it, it was a public holiday that day.
We arrived to brilliant sunshine with a hint of balmy summer in June, a big difference to the previous weekend end that had seen Sydney smashed by a wild storm and practically washed out and I could have cried when I saw the 5th floor room in our eleventh-hour reservation at the sweet little hotel The Rendezvous in The Rocks. It was every long-weekenders dream – big beautiful suite with private balcony overlooking not just the gorgeous Rocks precinct, but the harbour, the bridge, and with full views of the Opera House! Although right at that moment of arrival, the Opera House was obscured by a whopping great cruise ship.
“I’m heading down to the harbour to find the plug” quipped Mal when he saw the ship. And we did trot off down to the Cruise Terminal to take a look at the big boat up close. As we arrived we noticed that busses were pulling up with passengers loaded with bags and unable to help himself, Mal popped over to one and asked, when does your cruise go – Tonight, 6pm.
A little jig and clap later and with the delighted knowledge in knowing the sparkling lit-up sails we’d be seeing tonight will be that of a masterpiece of late modern architecture and not of an oversized floating hotel we wandered off to the Foodies Market back in The Rocks to devour an okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) and momo’s and soak up some hipster atmosphere.
6pm came and the cruise ship left, leaving a wide open harbour bursting into a glowing radiance of art and light. The Quay and foreshore of the harbour quickly filled to capacity and more as the crowds descended, at one stage becoming a bit of a squash as we all tried to garner the best viewing spots.
It was hard to decide what to stare at first– the stunning Museum of Contemporary Art where the artist palette is poured over the sandstone magnificence.
Or at the animated creations of the indigenous artists : Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Reko Rennie, Donny Woolagoodja, and the late Gulumbu Yunupingu as they danced across the sails of the Opera House.
We’re blown away by the witches, wizards and a cute little gecko, or perhaps it was a blue tongue lizard with a tan, that zipped about on the Customs House in giant 3D.
The squash became extremely squishy – to be truthful, it did become quite a dangerous crush! – when the crowds flowed to the stunning Cathedral of Light in the Royal Botanic Gardens. The flow soon banked up into an enormous ball and it looked like we weren’t going to roll anywhere as we all tried to enter the 70metre glowing tunnel. Once inside it was obvious why the flow had stopped – what is it with photoshopping the pics there and then and not waiting until get home. . . or at least somewhere with a bit more elbow room!?
The tunnel lead to more light delight with wanderings through the gardens. Beautiful old trees become a fusion of artworks with such installations of Synthesis
and the devilish Will o the Wisps.
We were transported from floating nature to techno vibrancy when we carried our sore tootsies to Martin Place and oohed and arhed at the human droplets of the infinity fountain, and held mesmerised by the lines of Geometrics.
By 11pm we were so dazzled out we were needing sunnies and dragged our walked off feet back to our beautiful room with its private balcony of incredible views that were just perfect for sipping a sav and savouring the days end curtain call.
We would be doing it all again the next night, though this time from the water – a dinner cruise from the sky deck.
Va Va Voom
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book.
Follow and Like on Facebook
Follow on Instagram