Category Archives: Holidays

Short and Tense Holiday in Oz — Opera House and Harbour Bridge

If the years of unplanned holidays has taught us anything, it is that we are always ready to leave at a moment’s notice. However, travelling by car to the nearest holiday destination is one thing but travelling out of the country to provide solace to a close relative is entirely different. And we realized that soon enough. The trip was anything but a holiday but we were together and we were not working.  To most ppl, that is a holiday!  Anyway, not being a typical holiday, we did not do our usual big-time touristy stuff. However, when I noticed the Arien get all cranky after a week, I suggested a short trip to the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens.

We took the train as we were quite comfortable travelling in it. We had figured out the routes and found that it was a lot cheaper than hiring a taxi. The first thing we noticed when we stepped off the station was Hungry Jacks. Its a burger place that serves veggie burgers as well. When we first visited the place, I thought I had to order only the finger chips or french fries. It was a delight to know that they served veggie burgers as well. So after a quick lunch of burgers, we realized we were not in a mood to do anything but walk and laze the afternoon away. As we started walking towards the opera house, we saw the Australian aborigines. They had an entertainement routine and were inviting tourists to sit next to them and were open to being photographed. We spent some time staring as were most of the ppl and then moved on.

It was a warm, sunny day and we were quite surprised at the number of cafes that served food outside. I was quite suprised at the prices they were quoting – hardly cheap! I also walked into a souvenier shop to buy smthng but it was quite expensive. Jes as we stepped out of the shop, we saw this cute pigeon or dove that was walking near the sidewalk, having a go at all the crumbs that had fallen from folks who were eating. It had such a proud air that the Arien stopped to take a picture. The Arien informed me later that it was a seagull and not really a pigeon. Somehow I had pictured seagulls as big birds and so I refused to believe him until I googled it later in the room. Well, he was right and wrong. It was a type of seagull known as the silvergull.

We continued walking as the Arien shot pictures of the place. It was such a lovely photo-op. For a few minutes we totally forgot everything but ourselves and enjoyed it.

The sydney harbour bridge looked lovely and the Arien took several shots before he got the shot that I am using as the banner. Because we were at a distance, we always ended up getting a part of the gigantic ship that was moored near the bridge whenever we tried to take a picture of the bridge. From the snap, you may not notice that there people who are atop the bridge.

That is one of key entertainments at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its supposed to be a 3 hour slow climb that most folks can attempt but from the reviews, most folks consider it expensive. I would have loved to do it but we were not doing it this time. So, I did the next best thing. Took a picture of the folks who were going to climb the bridge. Iassume that they were going to climb the bridge. It was probably some dress code 😦

Anyway, we kept on walking. Australians are a friendly bunch. As the Arien took pics, an old couple asked us to stand together while the husband offered to take a picture of us. I think we were zapped. I recovered first and said Thank you. Our first snap together in Australia. Yeah!! That was so sweet! Australians perform these random acts of kindness all the time. When we first reached Australia, I was lugging 2 huge suitcases and a small one while the Arien was paying the taxi fare. Along comes a guy and hefts the suitcases – all of them – into the lift and asks me if I needed anything else. My mouth was open – ready to scream for help and I had difficulty saying “Thank you” but I managed it. The guy left with a smile. It was ob. to me that it was not a big deal for him. He saw that I needed help and he helped. I was left with a very pleasant feeling about Australians and once again after the photo, I was left with the pleasant feeling re-inforced. 

Moving on, at the far distance, we could make out the Luna Amusement park. You can just see the clown’s face and teeth at this distance. The Arien was not in a mood for the amusement park rides and neither was I. We were happy to take a snap of the place and moved on towards the opera house. I know it sounds like the Opera house is a zillion miles from the station but it is not. You get so distracted by all that you see that it takes forever to reach the Opera House. So, blame it on the distractions 🙂

We were finally a lot closer to the opera house. Almost everyone who is going there is a tourist and so you will end up with a snap of the place and a tourist posing in another corner — it was a challenge to take a decent shot. The Arien did his best. In some pics, the tourists add life to the place as this one did. The place was crowded but not disorderly. We also visited the Botanical Gardens. More on that in another post.

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Kodai Sight-Seeing — Bryant Park

It was a brrrr.. day. Woke up at 4 am, shivering. Noticed that the Arien had wrapped himself entirely in the double Razai leaving me shivering in the cold. Grrr… Wrestled with the snoring Arien for the Razai, managed to some extent before I fell asleep listening to the rain. Woke up finally @ 8 am. We decided to go out for breakfast – it was still drizzling. We stuffed ourselves with typical South Indian fare – Idli, vadai, pongal etc. (If you stay at Bangalore, you probably have the sooji idli that does not taste as good.)  While we waited for the waiter to get our order, we spent some time planning our sight-seeing day. The first place we were going to visit was Bryant Park. We hoped that it would stop raining by the time we reached there. I had a call ~12 and so we had to be back in the cottage. The Arien’s server issue was resolved yesterday and so he was all set to enjoy the holiday!

When we reached Bryant Park, it had stopped raining. However, there was a mist and most of our snaps came out blurry. Of course, the Arien managed to take quite a few good snaps – as always! I tried to take some but they looked so bad – I deleted it 😀 I am sure the park would be a great photo op in better weather conditions but we were stuck with the mist. I guess I should be thankful that we did not have the rain!

This holiday reminded me of our Coorg holiday in July two years ago – thanks to the incessant rain and the mist. The Arien is intent on taking snaps in all weather conditions. 

 However, I did break into a giggle when I saw him taking a snap of a cob-web. Yes.. a cob-web. It was amazing that the cob-web existed inspite of the mist and the rain. We were quite surprised that we could get such a clear shot of the cob-web with almost no sunlight. The Arien walked around smiling and taking more snaps.

I wanted to take a snap of the mist and the path. You have no idea how difficult it is to pry the camera from the Arien. (I really need to get myself a camera). I usually do not try especially not in this weather when everything comes out blurry. So, I was real glad that one of them was good enough to post. Yeah!!! It was quite cold as we walked around. We saw a temporary structure inside the park where some of the employees were working, chatting, etc. All that stopped the moment we went closer. It felt so rude to take a snap that I decided against taking a snap though I really wanted to.

Meanwhile the Arien had seen the Emblem. It stood all by itself and the swirling mist all around gave it quite a romantic as well as scary touch. Scary because the trees in the background looked like giants because of the mist. We took snaps of each other on the bench placed near the Emblem. I have never seen the Emblem this close and so we went a lil crazy with the camera.

The bench also had this very quirky wooden log look which we both liked. I guess the Emblem was part of the Independence Day, Republic Day celebrations. They probably had added these benches for folks to sit and watch the celebrations. Today it was wet – thanks to the rain and the mist and we were the only folks at the place.

It was time to go. I had the call to attend and so we started moving towards the exist. We suddenly came in contact with a host of honeymooning couples under shared umbrellas either taking snaps or giggling. I was glad we were leaving because we would have been asked to take their pictures 😀 I am so mean! While I was walking away full speed, I realized tht the Arien was missing. I hoped that he was not caught by the honeymooning couples. I saw him taking pics of the flowers. After some trouble he was able to get a shot that he was satisfied with and we were ready to go. 

Because it was almost time for me to take the call, we rushed back to the cottage. I got ready to attend my first ever ofc call on a vacation while the Arien spent time shooting pics of the cottage we were staying in.  At that time, both of us were clueless ’bout the beeg mess ahead of us. We had left the headlights of our car switched on as we ran helter-skelter to the cottage so I could attend the call. We had not received any alert from our car that the headlights were on. Because of the mist and the rain, we had been driving with our headlights on for most part of the day. Thats for the next post – Tada!