Monday, August 8, 2011
First Day "Down Unda" - Banksia and Sydney Harbor
Here is my spirited host, Catherine at the Banksia train station not far from Sydney airport. Just prior to leaving my friend Don Roden, who has visited Australia, asked me to be on the lookout for Banksia species. Don is a wood turner and described the big cones on some varieties in West Australia near Perth. Well, Catherine is also into native species and right on que, we show up at Banksia station. Named after a famous botanist who traveled with Capt Cook, James Banks per Wiki "13 February 1743 – 19 June 1820, is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa, and the genus named after him, Banksia."
Soon after finding my digs at the Quaker Meeting House 1903, on Devonshire near Central Station in Surrey Hills, we walked to find a bank ATM and passed by this spring blooming Banksia. The whole energy and smells of this continent are quite different. I am writing this at after 3 AM, as my biological clock is still working to get here despite resting and sleeping most of the 16 hr flight here. :-)
Catherine was kind enough to go with me on the train to Circular Quay Stop which is at the harbor where ferries leave and between the iconic bridge and opera house. We walked together past the Opera House and many young people with musical T shirts who were learned were participating in concerts on this lovely spring day. We entered the Royal Botanic Garden that is situated on a couple of peninsulas overlooking the harbor. We shared a lunch at the Garden Shop Restaurtant outside with a chorus of noises and views of ibis and large bats (flying foxes) and later a lot of cockatoo's on this crisp sunny spring greeting day in Sydney.
After Catherine headed back to work, I walked out past the Spring Garden along the Macquarie Wall (sounds very much like Macrorie - wonder if there is a family connection?) to see some of the new whites , pinks and colors of spring here.
Finally one of the iconic image of the harbor, the bridge and opera house, taken on Mrs Macqaurie's point. Many Asia families and students, some of which I shared a casual "Ni hao" with, as I have more confidence in my Putonhua having been tutored by Tian and Ye since February in Minneapolis. Wo hen lei....>Time try a little more sleep to get into this time zone :-)