Day 1,798 of Traveling the World | Sydney and Bondi Beach, Australia | January 8, 2023

We never try to do “everything” when we visit a large city. First, we know we will never get to “everything.” Second, being old, we regularly schedule days of rest – as we tell people, when you are in your own home, you don’t try to go sightseeing every day! And third, we know we will return to our favorite cities, so there has to be something left for future visits!

Some people were surprised that we never had been to Bondi Beach, even though we have visited Sydney several times. Now that we have experienced it, we will certainly return every time we are in Sydney! It was so beautiful, and warm, with gloriously blue water. It is a magnet for surfers, and we watched them for a while, riding waves all the way onto the beach. There were a few ice cream and coffee places, but the main street, up above the beach, is just filled with shopping and dining venues, so the beach is fine without adding more.

The Sydney Festival of the Arts began this week, and we attended two very interesting theater offerings. One was a drama, “Boys & Girls,” which was a one-woman play that took a devastating turn. The playwright, Dennis Kelly, apparently is known for introducing dark turns in his writing. This did not disappoint! The other show we saw was a contemporary opera, “Sun & Sea,” in Town Hall. The hall, where we saw the Christmas Concert when we first arrived, was transformed into a beach! Tons of sand were brought in, and the staging was set up – lots of beach towels for lounging, and people playing beach games, eating, reading, and talking. A dog was walking around, and several children were crawling in the sand. The entire time, elegies were being sung, sometimes solos, and sometimes in chorus, about the environment and personal relationships. The audience entered the space in the balcony, and we kept moving until we had circled the action – then, people left whenever they felt like leaving! Tickets were spaced 30 minutes apart, and when the last song was finished (as we followed along in the program), they started with the first song again. It was just a lazy afternoon at the beach! It was fascinating to see staging as we had never before seen.

Below, there are some other, random photos from around Sydney. We like walking around and seeing what happens! Tonight we are attending “Amadeus” at the Sydney Opera House to round out our weekend theater-going. We have loved traveling now that the Covid scare has been somewhat mitigated through our being fully vaccinated and boostered, and now that theaters have opened up again. We always have to search for what is on in any city (and some make it very difficult!), but we love anything that is out of the ordinary, out of the box, as our two shows so far this weekend have been.

Bondi Beach. Utterly gorgeous. Utterly HUGE! Its name is taken from the aboriginal word “Boondi,” which means – water breaking over rocks (or – surf).
Photo taken from up on the cliffs.
We walked this path, all the way to the other side, which you can’t even see.
Sydney has preserved so many old buildings, like this one, the Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club, opened in February 1907. It claims to be the world’s first surf lifesaving club.
As you can see in the middle-left, those folks have their own, clear, wading pool – in the Pacific Ocean!
Bondi Icebergs…the home of winter swimming since 1929. The club has two swimming pools, as you can see, and it sits just above the ocean. Its purpose is to encourage swimming by all ages.
A bit of the walkway along the beach…Bondi produces world-class waves, so there were many surfers out.
There was all kinds of street art as we walked along the beach.
Hmmmm. The “door to the future” looks a little sketchy, a little dilapidated, maybe in need of some paint? We wonder who comes if you do, indeed, “Queue here.”
In downtown Sydney, this is the outside…
…and this is the glorious interior of the Strand Arcade, a shopping center dating to 1891.
UTS…the University of Technology, Sydney. It has some interesting buildings. This hulking monster is on Broadway in Sydney.

This one-woman play, Girls & Boys, by Dennis Kelly, was gut-wrenching. He is a British writer, one of the screenwriters for the Brad Pitt movie, World War Z. The role was first played by Carey Mulligan, but Justine Clarke was amazing – alone on stage, she memorized two hours of dialogue. It was incredible. Mike said he didn’t think he could memorize that much dialogue even if given infinite time to do so.
The stage setting for the drama, and the props, were very simple. It unfolded like an onion, in layers, and the end was devastasting.
These glorious “deconstructed” birds were all you noticed in this retail store in the Queen Victoria Building – so much so, that they completely overshadowed the purses that the store was trying to sell!
THIS contemporary opera is “Sun & Sea,” by three Lithuanian artists. It won the Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The audience watched from the balcony, and we were encouraged to walk around the entire scene.
Elegies about their lives and the world were sung constantly as the performers sunbathed, played badminton, ate, read, played ball, and walked around.
The “beach” area is where we sat for the Town Hall Christmas Concert on December 20, but there was no sand at that time. Quite the transformation!
The audience mostly stood, and moved around, although some people sat and followed the libretto, which was printed in the program.
In this apocalypse story, the world doesn’t end with a bang, but with a long, lazy afternoon at the beach!
Here is a short video of the music….
…and another!
Darling Harbour in Sydney. Many ferries go in and out to other destinations from here.
Looking the other way, it is also a marina, with the far side dominated by the dramatic W Hotel.
…and every city has its Ferris wheel, as we have noted before. The fare for adults for the “Star of the Show” is only $10 Australian ($6.88 US). In comparison, the London Eye is £32.50 ($39.30 US).

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