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Posts Tagged ‘Endeavour’

The first thing I wanted to do in Sydney was visit the Welcome Wall. A few years back I paid for my great-great grandfather’s name to be added to the wall of immigrants to Sydney. It’s only his name, not the name of his wife and surviving children (that cost extra). Still, I thought it was worth doing and was my tribute to him.

It was a sunny day. I had brought a light jacket but only needed it first thing. I walked via Hyde Park. The war memorial had some works going on around it so it was fenced off. What I did see was a sculpture of giant bullets commemorating fallen soldiers. I thought it was pretty shit, having a monument of symbols of their death. Turns out it was for indigenous soldiers, which is fine, but I still think it’s fucking ugly.

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Onward to the Maritime museum. I wandered round to the wall while waiting for the museum to open. It’s a pity that they didn’t add dates next to names. It would have added meaning to the long list of names most people will never look at. Details are on the computer at the Maritime Museum (but I forgot to look).

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I paid for entry into the museum (had never been there before). The person at the counter recommended I do the ship tours first as a school group was about to arrive and I didn’t want to get in amongst them on the ships – good plan. While waiting for the ships to open up, I had a look at the photos of Wildlife Photographer of the year on display in the museum (a strange venue for it).

Anyway, first I went to visit the replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour.

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There were several volunteer guides dotted around the ship to explain each section. It was very good. I imagine it was pretty cramped aboard for the 70-odd crew – it would have been hot and smelly.

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(Love the cat.)

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While hammocks were set up for the masses, the officers, of course, had their own cabins, but they weren’t large!

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The captain had a larger cabin with natural light.

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He was a big man so he would have been stooping a lot. Joseph Banks was also tall – too tall to actually sleep in his cabin.

The nicest area was at the bow of the ship.

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Cramped but pleasant quarters for the officers.

The guides were knowledgeable and informative. I think I spent an hour on the ship. I would recommend it!

Next on the plan before the hoards of kids (who just arrived as I left the Endeavour) was the 1960s submarine, even more cramped. You would not want to be claustrophobic (or big).

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Imagine cooking in this tiny space (the heat! Yegods!)

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The first guide, by the torpedoes, was good. The others didn’t even interact. They were sitting around looking bored and were sort of there if you wanted to ask something. So I zoomed through it and was out again. I only had time to visit the museum itself briefly before my rendezvous with a cousin (who I hadn’t seen since the late 70s).

I walked towards Circular Quay and got my first glimpse of the Opera House before continuing to the Museum of Contemporary Art, where my cousin had said there was a good cafe.

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She was running late, so I just sat and absorbed the atmosphere of Circular Quay, probably my favourite place anywhere. (I’m not a huge fan of contemporary art, so I didn’t bother looking around inside.)

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View of the quay from Museum of Contemporary Art

The view from the cafe was amazing.

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The cafe was no more expensive than anywhere else and cousin and I got a seat outside. Nice food. It was great to catch up, although this cousin is from the side of the family who are not sentimental at all. Very matter of fact.

After lunch I wandered round to the Botanic gardens via the opera house.

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It was pleasant in the gardens, with a view of Pinchgut island (or Fort Denison as it is properly known).

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I headed up to Mrs Macquarie’s seat, which I’d never done before.

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I had to wait some time for groups of Asian visitors taking photos of each other sitting there (of course). Above is about a split second between them. I continued on.

Naturally, there were some obligatory bird photos to be taken as well.

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I slowly headed back to the hotel, via the Art Gallery.

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Impressive building, but I was rather disappointed inside. Australian paintings were mixed in with European from all eras. It seemed muddled and quite small compared to the NGV in Melbourne (a place I never tire of). I had wanted to stop for a coffee but the queue was so long and unmoving that I didn’t bother.

So ended day one. I  had not intended for another day-by-day description of this trip, but I don’t want to make it extra long either. And it’s difficult to choose just one photo out of hundreds that I took (and that no-one will ever get to see).

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