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Down in Down Under - Diary - 26/01/03

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australia day

It is quite unexpected but really okay that I finally can experience Australia Day here in Sydney. The fireworks were cancelled though due to the big fires around here in New South Wales and Canberra. There is a total fire ban in the state and even if there cannot happen anything during a firework it is still necessary to observe this.
It was still a big day for the city. When we finally managed to get to Circular Quay around two - originally twelve o'clock was planned - we were right in the middle of the big celebrations. From there we went on to the opera and to Hyde Park through the botanical gardens later on, where the NRMA hosted a big show. There had several stages with different styles of music and members presented their vintage cars along Maquarie Street. When the program finished at five, we went on to Darling Harbour. There we were lucky and finally arrived somewhere in time. We had already missed out on Australia Parade - a parade of many small and big ships through the whole harbour.
At Darling Harbour several of these ships took part in a competition. After redevelopment during the eighties Darling Harbour somehow became a touristic spot. However if there is not something like a yacht exhibition or something similar going on there, it seems a little bit desolate. Today in contrast it somehow was revived - people everywhere. Later they even opened Pyrmont Bridge and the so called Tall Ships went into Cockle Bay. One of these Tall Ships - really big sailing vessels - was the reproduction of the Bounty, which was built for the movie with Mel Gibson and meanwhile even has covered more distance then the original. This whole spectacle was put into the limelight by several spotlights around the whole bay. Afterwards the Australian national anthem was performed. This unfortunately was the end as well, as the fireworks could not take place. It actually was the first time that I heard the anthem and even now I cannot really remember it - just like a soundtrack. Of course nobody started to sing, but this peaceful atmosphere all over Darling Harbour was enough.
After this we went to a stage in Tumbalong Park, where a band finished the celebrations. Unfortunately not so amazing - I have experienced better concerts.
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these strange japanese people

one, two, three, ... minis

an old volvo

e-type - big ship in the city

a rolls

andreas, stuart, locu, yuwa, diana, elisa

nice fountains

millions of flags and a little ship

another ship

cam wars

and another one

australia day is nearly over

darling harbour

sunset

a tall ship

stage & skyline

nice show

colors

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