Photogenic Sydney

Sydney Opera House

Sydney is an undeniably photogenic city. The city is bathed in a strong Australian sun that rewards the point-and-shoot camera. It feels easy to point the camera in almost any direction and end up with a vibrant set of photos.

G'day Welcome Home - an emotional banner
G’day Welcome Home – an emotional banner
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
New buildings loom over old in the centre of Sydney
New buildings loom over old in the centre of Sydney
A stunning place for a wedding
A stunning place for a wedding
Fountain in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Fountain in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Flaking and peeling tree bark
Flaking and peeling tree bark
A weather front moves in over Sydney's southern suburbs
A weather front moves in over Sydney’s southern suburbs
Jellyfish in the water at Darling Habour
Jellyfish in the water at Darling Habour
Sculpture of a car crushed by a rock
Sculpture of a car crushed by a rock

Sydney is a massive city. The suburbs stretch for hours from the centre. However, the inner city houses many older residential terraced homes. Over time these properties are being replaced by apartment blocks. Thankfully the transition is slow.

An inner Sydney suburb
An inner Sydney suburb
Looking down a residential street of an inner Sydney suburb
Looking down a residential street of an inner Sydney suburb

The centre of the city focuses on the stunning harbour. A harbour I am delighted to think that I once lived near and could incorporate into my running routes. I doubt I will ever be able to match the feeling of running across the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the experience never failed to boost my flagging energy.

Looking up at Sydney Harbour Bridge
Looking up at Sydney Harbour Bridge
A view across Sydney's harbour
A view across Sydney’s harbour
Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Lyon at Night

Looking across cafe seating at the Hôtel de ville de Lyon

The temperature has soared these last couple of days and is set to reach well above 30°C for the next few days. For Lyon, this is hot. Given the winter we arrived to, the summer is quite a contrast.

Escaping the apartment in the day is not easy. Going out requires slapping on sunscreen and enduring the heat. Air conditioning is not so aggressively used in France and our local shopping centre offers no escape from the temperatures. In Australia, the temperature difference between a shopping centre and outside can be shocking. The difference in Lyon feels less pronounced.

French architects seem to specialise in open spaces with little shade and expanses of concrete; it makes shaded spots sought after and difficult to find in the city. So we typically stay inside during the heat of the day and enjoy the cool tiles of our kitchen underfoot.

Last night we ventured out around ten o’clock. The temperature had dropped to 30°C and the air was absolutely dry with no breeze. I took my camera and we went for an amble.

Statue at Place de Marechal Lyautey
Statue at Place de Marechal Lyautey
Looking out from Pont Morand
Looking out from Pont Morand
Arche of Passerelle de College
Arche of Passerelle de College
Parc Hôtel de Ville with Lyon's opera house on the left
Parc Hôtel de Ville with Lyon’s opera house on the left
Looking across cafe seating at the Hôtel de ville de Lyon
Looking across cafe seating at the Hôtel de ville de Lyon
Close up of Fontaine Bartholdi
Close up of Fontaine Bartholdi
Flowers in window boxes
Flowers in window boxes
Monoprix building on rue Grenette
Monoprix building on rue Grenette

Fireworks and the Crowd

Faces bathed in red light watching the live music

There was little sign of the pushing and shoving of the crowd last night. Getting around in Lyon can often involve moving among crowds of jostling commuters, shoppers, and onlookers.

Last night we joined thousands of Lyonnais to watch the firework display marking la Fête Nationale de la France. This day is France’s national day and a public holiday.

It was on our walk home that we realised how calm, quiet, and easy it had been getting around.

We watched the fireworks from a good vantage point on one of Lyon’s many bridges. People covered the bridge. Many sitting in small groups on the road waiting for the event to begin.

When an ambulance needed to cross the bridge, the crowds parted quickly and with impressive coordination. As the vehicle passed, the small groups reformed and returned to sitting and waiting without fuss.

I managed to film the entire fireworks show and came away with gigabytes of video data. The footage is not ideal with a street light encroaching and the odd bump from others in the crowd moving the frame. The complete show is available in High Definition on YouTube.

After the fireworks we walked along the riverside and enjoyed the live music.

Dusk settling over the waiting crowd
Dusk settling over the waiting crowd
Fourvière sitting high above the city of Lyon
Fourvière sitting high above the city of Lyon
Fourvière illuminated before the fireworks
Fourvière illuminated before the fireworks
Crowd moving back into the city
Crowd moving back into the city
Faces bathed in red light watching the live music
Faces bathed in red light watching the live music
Les Lyonnais passing by
Les Lyonnais passing by

Services Parade

Approaching the route of the parade

We watched the parade near Foch in Lyon yesterday evening. The parade is part of la Fête Nationale celebrations.

I am not a big fan of military parades or standing idly waiting for people to march slowly past me. It does not stir my heart nor motivate me to endeavour to greater things. However, it is fun to watch the crowd’s reactions, mingle among the people lining the street, and join in the general spirit of wondering what is happening next and how long the next delay will be for.

This event was not held for my benefit or the benefit of the general public. The parade began with presentations of medals and awards. It was for the military and civilian services, and focused on a temporary grandstand located in the square near the Foch metro station.

One notable inclusion, that I had not expected, was to see some of the Foreign Legion; their white hats marked them out.

French Foreign Legion wearing the famous white hat
French Foreign Legion wearing the famous white hat

I took photos and have put together a film. The film is long and watching it in its entirety will hopefully make you appreciate what it was like to be there.

A High Definition edition of the Lyon la Fête Nationale parade is available on YouTube.

Approaching the route of the parade
Approaching the route of the parade
Crowds lining the route of the parade
Crowds lining the route of the parade
French flags fluttering overhead
French flags fluttering overhead
Two senior fire fighters with Rhône banner
Two senior fire fighters with Rhône banner
Fire fighters wear shiny helmets in Lyon
Fire fighters wear shiny helmets in Lyon
Fire trucks and crew waiting for their turn
Fire trucks and crew waiting for their turn
Police bikes and riders waiting
Police bikes and riders waiting
Police bikes and riders lined up waiting
Police bikes and riders lined up waiting
Police bike riders
Police bike riders
Soldiers waiting with bayonets fixed
Soldiers waiting with bayonets fixed
Soldiers waiting with weapons in hand
Soldiers waiting with weapons in hand
French Foreign Legion marching through
French Foreign Legion marching through
Faces of members of the French Foreign Legion
Faces of members of the French Foreign Legion

Evening Stroll

We were not the only ones photographing the wild flowers.

I have been neck deep working with pkgbuild and productbuild for DssW. These last weeks have been busy and my work is now increasingly demanding every moment available.

After a long day, I needed to get out of the apartment last night; we opted to walk to the park.

It was first time since moving that we have found the time to walk in the evening.

A section of the Parc de la Tête d’Or has been set aside for wild flowers. This area resembles a meadow and attracts numerous pollinating bees and other insects to the park.

A field of poppies and other wild flowers in Lyons park.
A field of poppies and other wild flowers in Lyons park.
A cluster of poppy flowers in Lyon's main park.
A cluster of poppy flowers in Lyon’s main park.
We were not the only ones photographing the wild flowers.
We were not the only ones photographing the wild flowers.

We run in the mornings and there are always others around exercising in the park. What we experience in the morning is quiet compared to the evening.

During the evening the number of people running is incredible. The running route around the park is busy with all categories of runners making their way around. The main entrance to the park makes for a regular stretching and catching of breath point for many.

Runners stretching or catching their breath by the main gate.
Runners stretching or catching their breath by the main gate.

We stopped and watched the ducks in the main lake.

A mother duck and duckling by the edge of the lake.
A mother duck and duckling by the edge of the lake.

I have no idea what this plant is called but it reminds me of candy floss. The French call candy floss, la barbe à papa – which translates to father’s beard in English.

Candy floss like blooms.
Candy floss like blooms.
Close up of the candy floss like bloom.
Close up of the candy floss like bloom.

I am going to enjoy visiting the Parc de la Tête d’Or as the seasons pass.

No longer frozen solid, a tree branch is reflected in the water.
No longer frozen solid, a tree branch is reflected in the water.

Melbourne at Night

Foot bridge over Melbournes River Yarra

A few recent photos from around central Melbourne. The season is changing and the weather is again turbulent.

Melbourne skyline after light rain
Melbourne skyline after light rain
Art House spire on St Kilda Road
Art House spire on St Kilda Road

During the last two weeks, lights have been fitted to the rows of trees outside of Melbourne’s casino.

Lights adorn the trees outside the casino
Lights adorn the trees outside the casino
Foot bridge over Melbourne's River Yarra
Foot bridge over Melbourne's River Yarra
Foot bridge and cycle way over the River Yarra
Foot bridge and cycle way over the River Yarra
Detail of bridge over River Yarra
Detail of bridge over River Yarra

Melbourne’s Moomba Festival 2011

Ferris wheel, Moomba Festival, Melbourne

During the long weekend in March, Melbourne celebrates Labour Day with the Moomba Festival.

This year many of the same attractions from last year appeared. We had a walk around and I took photos and some film footage. This time last year, Melbourne was being drenched in a sudden hail storm. Thankfully no sign of anything less than sun and blue sky this year.

Ferris wheel, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Ferris wheel, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Big teddy bears as prizes, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Big teddy bears as prizes, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Water skiing, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Water skiing, Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Blue sky and rides at Melbourne's Moomba Festival, Melbourne
Blue sky and rides at Melbourne's Moomba Festival, Melbourne