Sydney Harbour is spectacular. It’s easy to become complacent about it, even if you don’t live in Sydney and see it only sporadically. But sail out of it at dusk and you’re whacked in the face with its glory, set off by its triple whammy.
First, that iconic bridge
Then the manic, sparkling grin of the gates of Luna Park – a playground of my teenage years
and, of course, the complete mastery of an Opera House in flight, the realisation of a visionary ahead of his times, Jorn Utzon.
Criss-crossing the bridge week after week as a kid, I grew up watching those white-tiled sails being constructed, and never took much notice – it was just formed quietly there in the background. And if anything when it was completed and I got up close, I thought it had way too much concrete and unforgiveable cracks in the concrete slabs around the foreshore.
The Australian Government did Utzon a great injustice over the years in its attempts to cut budgets and corners and it was only in 2006, two years before he died and 49 years after he had won the prize for designing the Opera House, that he was formally recognised (through Her Majesty). Such a tragedy this inspired but damaged (by the Sydney experience) Dane never got to see his masterpiece in person, lit up in glorious pride of place overlooking such a waterfront, defining a city, but in the words of his son ‘he lives and breathes the Opera House, and as its creator he just has to close his eyes to see it.” Doesn’t seem quite enough though, does it?
I appreciate the harbour now. I love it.
And the colours of the skies you see in the tourist shots? They’re real. Nothing like an Aussie-blue sky, even when it’s being over-written with twilight pinks, as you ease out to the high seas.