Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ferryboat weather

Under today's cloudless skies, grandson Dean and I rode the ferryboat out of Circular Quay.
We passed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Opera House is especially beautiful seen from the water.
The boat made a short stop at the Luna Park.
Dean and I disembarked at Darling Harbour and had a wander and a picnic.
Here we saw the tallship James Craig and the old lighthouse boat that is part of the Maritime Museum, as well as a huge cruise ship and two paddlewheel tourist boats.
On the return journey Dean chose to sit inside the cabin, out of reach of the hot sun.
Australia is having record high temperatures this January.
For this week's new blogger skies visit SkyWatch, starting anew each Thursday night.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some Australia Day events

Australians are celebrating their national day today. Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia.
Several blocks of streets were blocked to traffic and were lined with vintage cars on display.
Many people carried little flags and some even WORE the flag as a cape. Even in the Cathedral, no less. St. Mary's offered a free organ concert, a special Mass, and tours of the crypt, the church, and the bell tower.
The picture is from yesterday, when ABC was setting up their exhibition trailer.
The Australia Day website explains what would happen inside it:
"There’s the chance for budding radio broadcasters and TV stars to perform in a mini ABC TV and ABC Radio studio. Kids - and adults too - can present the news just like the professionals, or have a go at showing an invention on New Inventors, or interviewing your favourite ABC personality. Or you can sing along with your favourite ABC Kids characters and take home your free recording on CD and plenty of ABC giveaways."
Also in Hyde Park, "Sydney's biggest back yard," was a photographer who was shooting portraits with a pinhole camera.
You can click on this photo to read about he connects his subjects with Hyde Park's disappearing huge old fig trees.
Everyone I saw today appeared to be having a good time together. I was happy to be in this country for Australia Day.

Advance Australia Fair

Happy Australia Day!
National Anthem

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free,
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare,
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We'll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share:
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The simple pleasures

Another sweltering hot day in Bondi, Australia, on Saturday.
Their apartment building has a swimming pool but today little grandson Eyal preferred to play with big brother Dean in their old baby bathtub instead.
When no one is out in the yard to bother them, ibis, pigeons, and big black birds come and make themselves at home. The hungry ravens are very vocal at breakfast time. Sometimes myna birds, cockatoos, and rainbow lorikeets come by too.
Often we hear a kookaburra laughing up in the trees.
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More birds and creatures this weekend await your visit at the Camera-Critters meme.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hot summer sky

Thursday's sky over a sizzling Sydney.

Some young Sydneysiders took refuge from the 34-degree heat (93 F) by splashing in a Hyde Park fountain.
I'm here in Australia visiting the family. In two weeks I will be heading back to Jerusalem winter.
Other skies on view today over at SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pioneer women

Shalom to all from my temporary home in Sydney.
I identify with this pioneer woman of Australia.
Complete with pigeons on her head.
It's about how I look taking care of my grandsons, ages five and one. Dean and Eyal are wonderful, bright, good boys; but, being little boys, they are a handful. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Gothic cathedral in sandstone

My visit to Australia will be ending in a few weeks. I want to share my favorite building in Sydney--St. Mary's Cathedral.
Here she is on a cloudy day, with Archibald Fountain and Hyde Park in the foreground.
And here she is in the warm sun of last Sunday.

The many stained glass windows are glorious.
There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of a Gothic cathedral.
But this new addition has to be the most unusual altar I have ever seen.
Join the That's My World community of bloggers every Monday night. Your personal guides from all over the globe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday at St. Mary's Cathedral

You don't have to be Catholic to love organ music and Gregorian chant.
So when in Sydney, I always like to come to Solemn High Mass at the splendid old Gothic cathedral. St. Mary's is full of the "smells and bells" and the drama of the Roman Catholic Church.
Nice, too, to see the pews filled with thousands of the faithful.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Born free

My two young Australian-born grandsons (shown here) take it for granted that colorful parrots fly free in the wild in Australia. For me it is something new and wonderful and I am still thrilled every time I see or hear these beautiful birds in the trees.
The Crimson Rosellas at the Jenolan Caves cafes and picnic areas have a lot of chutspah. Hoping to share your meal they will even sit on your finger if you let them.
Many more bird and animal photos can be found this (and every) weekend over at Camera-Critters.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bridge climbers in the sky

The blue summer sky of Sydney, the lovely city where I am visiting my family this month.
Click to enlarge the photo and you'll see people way up there!
Lots of locals and tourists spend lots of money to join guided groups that climb on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. In 3 1/2 hours they go up to the summit, 134 meters above Sydney Harbour.
For me, seeing "The Coathanger" from the bottom is plenty good.
Enjoy the panoramic view at the BridgeClimb website.
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SkyWatch will be hosting many skies starting Thursday night. Pay a visit or join us.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Southern skies

Friday afternoon's big sky over Sydney's big Centennial Park.
For days now the gray skies have tried their best to let down some rain, but they can't seem to squeeze out more than a few droplets for a few minutes.
The energetic runners are my grandson Dean and son-in-law, Guy.
I'm enjoying a good visit with my family.
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More world skies to be seen at Sky Watch Friday.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Eve with marsupials

The best New Year's Eve (in my daughter and son-in-law's eyes) was to be deep underground on a Jenolan Caves tour that night. We all stayed in a spartan cottage in the bush and drank rainwater from the tap (after boiling it), as a toast to a good 2009.
The young kangaroo had milk from Mama.
What a cutie, the little joey!
A dozen fearless, friendly kangaroos were always hanging around the several cottages, hoping in vain for a hand-out.
So amazing to watch them bounding along on their hind legs! Kangaroos are so, well, Australian! Gotta love them.
Lots more animals from around the world over at Camera-Critters this weekend.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sydney sky

Crossing the graceful Anzac Bridge, heading into Sydney, just before noon today.
Greetings from Australia and best wishes to all for a good 2009.
Other skies await you at SkyWatch Friday.