Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Vivid Sydney 2019

I hate to write this, but it's been a while since the last time I updated this blog. Apologies, but I was too preoccupied about a lot of things lately–my plans for next year, new work environment, and a whole lot more. I was feeling anxious that I've lost my writing mojo. So not me. But I just realized that I am too blessed to be stressed! Last May, my mom and I went to Sydney, Australia. My fourth time, her first time. Thus, I became her tour guide.

It was cold the moment we stepped outside Wynyard Station in Sydney. With a temperature of 14 degrees, I couldn't complain. Australian winter, particularly in New South Wales, is not that harsh, unlike what I have experienced in Seoul, Toronto, and Montréal where it plunged to -15 degrees. Months after I booked this flight, I realized that we were going to catch the ultimate light show of Sydney–Vivid Sydney! Vivid Sydney is an annual festival of lights, arts, and music. Since we were both first-timers, we can't hide our excitement. After our late lunch at Hurricane's grill and freshening up at our hotel near Wynwayd, we walked from Circular Quay to Royal Botanical Gardens. It was quite a long walk, but we didn't mind because of the cold. We decided to catch Sydney's famous sunset at Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. There were a lot of people waiting nearby. We were blessed to have great weather during that time. As the sun sets, the sky began to glow crimson, tangerine, and aubergine for ten minutes or so. As it got darker, the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the CBD skyline started to light as if it has a life of its own. In the far distance, the silhouette of the skyline pierced through the warm glow like a jagged mountain ridge. Millions of lights caused the dense mass of skyscrapers glitter.

Beautiful sunset.

How can you not love this city?

The light show.

Sydney CBD at night.

The downtown area was full of crowd, mostly tourists. When I went here last March and October, only a few people were walking around at around 10 in the evening. At that same time frame during the Vivid Sydney, it felt like the entire population of Sydney was there at the Circular Quay and The Rocks. People were needle points, and cars were blood cells flowing through the veins of the city. Despite the time, the hustle and bustle never came to a halt.

The show lasted for two weeks. Visitors are free to watch, and they have a 10-min fireworks display at Darling Harbour every Friday and Saturday night. We enjoyed our first Vivid Sydney experience, and I wouldn't mind visiting this city again. You know, I consider Sydney as my second home. If only this city is not that far, I might be here almost every month.

Most of my peers are puzzled why I always keep on coming back to Sydney. Perhaps, it's the mild weather or the perfect balance of urban and nature. Sydney is even on top of my list should I decide to live outside my home country. Although, the only thing that's stopping me from doing it is that it is very far from everything. Other than that, it is a very beautiful city. Eight years ago, my mindset about traveling wasn't complicated, and visiting a country is already enough. But, as I explored more cities, it became apparent. I didn't mind if I revisit a country or city countless times. What matters most is the experience.

A paradigm shift, they say.

Obligatory OOTD shot at the Grounds of Alexandria.

Watching the sunset.

Sydney CBD at dusk.

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