Australia :: Sydney Opera House

“One of the most wonderful memories in my life was when I sang at the Opera House in Sydney. I will never forget that. It is one of the most beautiful houses I have ever sung in my life” – Nana Mouskouri

Sydney Opera House was another “UNESCO Heritage Site bucket list”-item… for some reason. Who knows why places like this get stuck in peoples’ minds, I certainly can’t tell.

But it was beautiful. When I got to Sydney I took the metro down towards wherever I found out the harbour was and decided to poke around. My only plan for this day was to see the opera house and possibly the Harbour Bridge, as it is right “next door”.

At this point in my trip I was getting a bit weary again… I wasn’t interested in having full days of exploring everything under the sun, but I had to get in my bucket list items. This is why I gave Bondi Beach a miss – I prioritized meeting friends and having some downtime.

Seeing the opera house though… It was marvellous. It was another one of those “I am finally RIGHT HERE”-moments, and I do love them. So many things I’ve been seeing on screens thinking I wanted to go there and be there, and now I was. Again.

The opera house took 14 years to build and there was a massive amount of drama concerning firing the original architect (Jørn Utzon, Danish), not inviting him to the opening ceremony and basically not bothering with him until he got the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2003.

Utzon received architecture’s highest honour in 2003. The Pritzker Prize citation read:
“There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city but a whole country and continent.”

Sydney Opera House is famous today for its roof comprised of “shells” – not shells at all of course, but concrete panels supported by concrete ribs (2,194 pre-cast concrete sections, weighing up to 15 tonnes each!). They are covered by ceramic tiles that create a fantastic pattern beautiful up close and from far away. I was truly impressed by the structure and I haven’t even been to an opera (yet). But then, I am moreoften interested in the structures rather than what goes on inside…

Trusting your camera to other tourists, 2019

 

 

Australia :: Alice Springs & Uluru (Ayer’s Rock)

“Those who lose dreaming are lost”
– Aborignal Proverb

Another bucket list item – Ayer’s Rock or Uluru, as the aboriginals named it (stress on the first and third syllable, “OO-loo-ROO”).
I had no intention of climbing it as I had heard the native peoples found that offensive, but I wanted to go see it preferably as up close as I could get. And if I could get one of my “I slapped my hands on it!”-pictures I would be ecstatic.

Continue reading

Indonesia :: Komodo Dragons

Victoria: Is there anything these things won’t eat?
Denby: Yeah, anything faster than they are, I guess.

– Komodo (1999)

The komodo dragon varanus komodoensis also known as the komodo monitor is a species of lizard found in the indonesian islands of komodo rinca flores and gili motang. Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. They have long flat heads with rounded snouts scaly skin bowed legs and huge muscular tails. The komodo dragon is an all purpose killing machine.

Needless to say this was a bucket list item.

Continue reading

Indonesia :: Borobudur Temple

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.
– Buddha

Yet another bucket list item (getting tired of them yet?). In the beginning the temple of Borobudur kept propping up in pictures and I wondered what this marvelous thing was. Then I read up about it and realized that if I ever had the chance I had to go see it for myself.

Continue reading