Tuesday, December 14, 2010

16 Nov 2010: The spontaneous tourist

16 Nov 2010 (Tue):

The day was set to be a day when I would be a spontaneous tourist and be where my heart would ask me to. The challenge that was set was to hear clearly what my heart wanted to go. That took practice.

I set off for Central station and purchased a MyMulti Day Pass for myself. The Day Pass allowed me unlimited rides on government buses, ferries and trains for the day. Then I set off for Circular Quay station, the train station that was nearest to Sydney Opera House. My intention was to collect tickets at the Sydney Opera House. On hindsight, after knowing a bit more about the transport system in Sydney and knowing that I would be spending eight days in Sydney, I could have purchased a weekly ticket instead. Whatever it was, I was happy that I had a great time in Sydney, irregardless of the type of ticket that I chose to use.

When I got there, I saw many people at the Sydney Opera House. I might have brushed shoulders with musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra without realising. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was to perform their first concert at the Sydney Opera House that very night. Being inquisitive, I subsequently realised that there was a rehearsal of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Invited guests could attend the rehearsal.

While I had other plans for the day, I decided to ask what it would take to attend the rehearsal. Afterall, it was the rehearsal of Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world! I politely asked one of the staff at the entrance of the walk-way to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. She told me that the tickets to the rehearsal could not be purchased in any way. Admission to the rehearsal is by invitation. The invited guests were people who were in some ways associated with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. I wished that I could sit in the rehearsal if I were to tell her "I am associated with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra because 'I like' it on my Facebook account!".

Anyway, I spent a much longer time at the Sydney Opera House and its vicinity than I had initially planned. My heart seemed to wish to sketch, and I spent about 30 minutes doing a sketch of the Harbour Bridge. Before doing the sketch, a gentleman from South America, I think, initiated a conversation about tertiary education in Singapore with me. I shared with him what little I knew, and was waiting for my chance to start my sketch after the conversation. Anyway, the weather was so wonderful for sketching that I did a sketch that was pretty decent considering that I took only about 30 minutes.

While I was sketching, I took time to enjoy the beauty of the Sydney harbour and the seagulls. Perhaps it was because I do not get to see seagulls as often in Singapore, the sights of them delighted me. The seagulls also brought back fond memories of my visit to Scotland many years ago.

I walked about the vicinity of the Sydney Opera House for a while before I decided I would travel to Rose Bay and Watsons Bay. However, there was no ferry to Rose Bay after 11.00 a.m. that day, and I decided to take a ferry to Watsons Bay. I was thinking of visiting Rose Bay later that evening when ferry services to Rose Bay resumes.

Before I board the ferry to Watsons Bay, I got myself a slice of pizza for my lunch. Off I went.

People and moments that I am grateful for:
1) The weather was good.
2) I had the inspiration to do a sketch of Harbour Bridge. The last time when I visited Scotland, I brought my sketchbook along but none of the pages were filled when I was back from the trip. I think it was good luck and a blessing that I felt inspired to sketch in Sydney.
3) I saw beautiful seagulls.
4) A nice lady volunteered to help me take a few photo with Sydney Opera House as the background.

New things that I did:
1) I learnt to read the schedules for the ferries. It became an important part of my travel as it ensured that I could catch the ferry in time.
2) I travelled to Watsons Bay by ferry for the first time in my life.



Richard Yap said...

I love your sketch...the last time I have been to Sydney opera house was a Friday evening. It was so crowded that I give up on the Q.
Love your write up on yr travel exp in Aust...awaiting more eagarly.

oceanskies79 said...

Richard, thank you very much for your compliments about my sketch.

I will be writing about my visit to the Sydney Opera House on a Friday evening. I was glad that I collected my ticket well in advance more than three days before the concert.

Richard, I will be performing in a free Christmas concert (secular, orchestral music concert) this coming Friday. The details are up on my latest post. If you are free and interested in it, please do come and support. Thank you.