These last couple of days have had their ups and downs! Yesterday we went to the Olympic Park where they hosted the Olympics in 2000. This trip, apart from lunch break and a bit of wildlife spotting, was personally a bit of a bummer. The stadiums and park, although still frequently used for sports events and concerts, looked deserted when we got there, and with the cold weather, and concrete landscape I really didn’t like it there. It looked like it had passed it’s glory days (it is 15 years ago remember), and although you could see it was probably spectacular during the event when it was buzzing with people and spirit, it really felt quite hollow and sad now. Also I barely remember the Australian Olympics, I was only 5 at the time! Oh well, can’t win them all!
However, today was good day! We went to the gardens again and enjoyed a coffee at the local café in the park, where we used our treats to hand feed noisy miners! We then headed towards to Opera House to actually go and have a look upfront and inside. Inside reminded me a lot of the inside of Grieg Hallen in Bergen, with the layout dominated with concrete. Both buildings definitely put more effort into the outsides, although obviously the actual concert halls look extravagant (not that I’ve still seen the concert hall at the Sydney Opera House in person, but from photos and postcards). Afterwards we had lunch along circular quay looking out on the opera house and bridge. A bit pricey (we were of course paying for a world famous view) but the food was eeexcellent. I had salmon, avocado, cucumber and salad with mayonnaise sandwich, and a ice tea (proper stuff, not just sugary Lipton) and could not have been happier. Down by the quay we went into an aboriginal art gallery and admired the beautiful, authentic paintings, didgeridoos and other crafts. The time that must go into the dotted artwork, dots and dots, and even dots with more dots inside them! There were also some more tacky shops selling some hilarious and some grotesque stuff like lighter holders made of kangaroo scrotum, or back scratchers made out of kangaroo hands and nails! Not my first pick of a souvenir, but I bet someone would :p Along the quay we were met with our first aboriginal cultural encounter, namely didgeridoo music, but different from the usual. This music was called koomurri music and was a mash of modern upbeat music and the indistinguishable sound of the didgeridoo.
Dad and I finished off the day by popping into the National Opal Museum to admire the beautiful gems, found almost entirely in Australia’s outback, with exception of a few other places around the world. It’s a beautiful type of mineral that shines in beautiful blue, green, red and orange colours, like it’s something from outer space. Mesmerizing.