I’m starting to appreciate wintertime in Sydney. It rains, and then it drizzles, and then it just barely clears up… and you see the sun coming through. But then the best thing of all is how this leaves behind a smell in the air that I can’t quite place. It’s very sweet and tropical, and honestly reminds me of a perfume on a passing lady. I’ve actually caught myself thinking this is what I’m smelling, perfume coming off a person. And I look, but no one is there. This lingers in the air all day.
Walking in these daily rains, I first set off for the Sydney Opera House, which is just down from my hotel. I got there early, and pretty much had the place to myself. And what struck me about the Opera House is that it definitely fits the mold of those magical places you visit, but then in all honesty you can’t quite say what makes the place so magical in the first place. It more so just has a feel, and even a smell. I was reminded of an old bookstore type of smell, and for some reason the interior felt like a jump back to the 60s, with its orange carpeting, and deep woodwork. I even had a chance to sit in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, where they were changing sets for a Mozart opera that’s opening soon.
But the real magic is on the outside, where you can literally walk around the entire Opera House. It’s here where you can really appreciate the odd and interesting angles of the building, and realize up close that the Opera House isn’t actually completely white. When you get right up close to it you see that the building is covered in white and yellow tiles. Very cool. The appearance of it being white is just an illusion.
After making my way around the Opera House, I set off into the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens right next door. These head south, and as you walk you come upon views of the Opera House and Bridge, and small details, like flowers in bloom, birds yelling overhead, and the strange and annoying crush of tourists streaming off their identical white buses and taking the same pictures with the same looks by the same views. It’s only once you break free from all of this, and just walk in the rain that you start to discover new things. Like the beautiful red flowers blooming below some rock stairs that once you get up to you discover that it has a perfect view of the Opera House.
All of this led to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which has some great paintings hanging on its walls. I spent an hour or two here before I got tired, wandered through downtown, until having a nice coffee by my hotel in the Rocks. Just finished the day now with some rock oysters from just down the way at a restaurant near the harbor. And it’s still raining outside.