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October 31, 2005 / jnolen

Sightseeing Sydney

As a general rule, I don't like sight-seeing. I don't like feeling like a tourist. (See DFW's book A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again for a fairly illuminating essay on the deeply narcissistic roots of this particular psychological foible.)

But I did do some small amount of sightseeing last weekend, in that I walked down to the water (about 4 blocks from the Atlassian office) on a particularly glorious day. And so I took the obligatory pictures of Sydney's famous landmarks: the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

One thing that impressed me about the Opera House is the multitude on interesting perspectives on it. It's a building that the entire world knows well, but it's almost always photographed from across the harbour or from the air. Walking up to the building from the back, I was able to see it from an unfamiliar vantage. And as I continue to walk around the building, I was impressed by how many different ways there were to see it. And how the outline of the building changed as the arches moved in relation to each other because of the changing vantage point. I also thought the enormous flights of stairs on the back (front?) of the Opera House were particularly powerful in scale as you approached them on foot and then stood at their base. It's a better and more interesting building that I would have realized from the many photographs I've seen.

The picture of the bridge, on the other hand, is just a bridge, though an elegant one. But it does serve to demonstrate just what a fantastic day it was. The harbour is really gorgeous.

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