Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menzies, Monet and Holidaying in your own City

Steven was away in Western Australia last week and the oldest two were off at camp - so Claire and I had a little mini-holiday. I checked out and booked a 4 star mystery hotel in the middle of Sydney for the princely sum of $99. Well it turned out to be the Menzies - and definitely 4 star (but most impressive to an 8 year old!) It's in a great location - so we caught the bus down the M2 with our back packs on. They allowed us to check in early so we could dump the bags. A spot of lunch at the MLC Centre (an old stomping ground of mine from my previous high flying corporate life) and then off we went up Martin Place, across Macquarie Street (stopping to rub the nose of the lucky Il Porcino statue outside the Sydney Hospital) and through the Domain to the NSW Art Gallery to see the Monet exhibition. No photos of the actual exhibition - I don't think you were allowed to and I didn't try. The two favourite pictures were two that were posed side by side - one of Rouen Cathedral which was so encrusted with paint and subtle close up that it was difficult to discern what you were actually looking at but increasingly spectacular as you stepped away. The other was an early morning painting of the famous pond in the gardens at Giverny - the brushwork was so smooth - I could imagine that there was an early morning mist on the water. So lovely - his works are just so sublime.
After the exhibition we wandered around the rest of the Art Gallery and looked at some of the permanent displays - here's Claire admiring Fredrick McCubbins. And here's Snowdrop and the seven redcapsI have no idea who painted this one - but I love it! We walked back through the Domain and stopped off to admire the State Library (currently undergoing a renovation of it's exterior) and then down to Circular Quay and hopped on a ferry to Darling Harbour

At Darling Harbour we went to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe and had an Ice Chocolate - this is the chocolate they have in heaven - I'm sure.After some dinner we caught the Monorail back up to the city and walked back to the hotel. ...Stopping to admire the Strand - it's so beautiful I promised to take Claire through it the next day. Back at the hotel Claire swam in the hotel pool and then we had showers and lay on the beds and watched Foxtel till our eyes fell out of our heads (well actually I pulled rank and said lights out). The next day we went and had breakfast out (Little Miss knocked off a full cooked breakfast thanks very much!) We went back to the Strand and stopped to look in an antique jewellry shop on the ground floor - called Victoria and Albert Jewellers I think. Well the lady there was so lovely to Claire - she sat her up on the stool and treated her as though she was her best ever customer - allowing her to try on the most expensive necklace in the shop - a rather large solid opal heart surrounded by a couple of carats worth of diamonds - and only 12,500 dollars! Here she is trying on an 18k gold hair clip that had diamonds in it. We also went past the State Theatre and had a look at it - and walked up to the Queen Victoria Building - but I'll save that for another post because this one is getting too long! But here's a shot of the chocolate shop at the QVB - delish!

All I can say is - having a holiday in your own back yard is great - it helps the local economy and helps you to appreciate where you live. For those who live in other countries you might wonder about the colour of the sky in the shots of the harbour - they are completely untouched - the colour of the sky in Australia is just that colour!

1 comment:

Erica said...

what fabulous time... and Claire is growing up so fast