Happy New Year!

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Apr 14, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, December 31, 2005

Today was our shopping day, so we spent most of the afternoon (after a lazy morning) going around the many chain shops like Billabong and Quicksilver, which disappointingly werent much cheaper. The sales were good though. We had some strange bread in a Turkish cafe in one of the food courts and got the monorail back to Darling Harbour. Unfortunately the a/c broke, so we felt like we were sitting in an oven, and it stank too. Nice. But all was forgotten when we stepped out into the fresh air, ready to get changed for our big night out!

We left a bit late (we would never be able to get ready that quickly) and walked all the way up to Botanical gardens. It was a long way! Lots of the roads were closed, and there were thousands and thousands of people just milling towards circular quay. We finally found the entrance after some confusion, and, feeling very exclusive, walked through the Botanical gardens (they were closed to all those who didnt have a ticket) and up to our 'lawn with a view'. We did get a bit sidetracked in the 'Lord Mayor's picnic' after taking a wrong turn, but we quickly right d ourselves and joined about 80 other people sitting on a grassy hill with amazing uninterrupted views of the Harbour Bridge, with the Sydney Opera house to the right. We found a good spot, claimed it with our towel, and went to collect our 'gourmet hampers' that were included in the price of the ticket (thank you mum...) and by the time we'd settled down we only had an hour to wait until the first fireworks (they set them off at 9pm and 12pm in case little kids need to get to bed before midnight). The Opera house was lit up from the inside, which no-one else could see, and it changed colours throughout the night, so that was nice. However come the 9pm fireworks, we didnt even notice it. They had great fireworks- but from where we were sitting they were hidden behind 2 trees! (they set them off on either side of the bridge- saving the bridge for 12pm). So much for lawn with a view- more like lawn with a tree. You could still get the impression, but they werent quite as spectuacular. They lasted about 5 minutes- and then we had the task of waiting 3 hours until the next set of fireworks! What was nice though was all the ships and ferries that were on the harbour lit up at 9pm, and they'd all put big red hearts in lights on their sides, to match the 'theme' this year- which was 'I love NYE' (as a result there were hearts everywhere).

Theres only so much you can do while sitting on a hill in the dark, so I played on my mobile while mum got more and more bored. 12pm finally arrived, and along with the million other people in our area counted down the 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... HAPPY NEW YEAR! They gave us 10 seconds to say our 'happy new years' (and throw streamers in mum and my case) before the fireworks began. They were the best 10 minutes of fireworks I've ever seen- one after the other, never letting up, each more spectuacular than the last. But the best bit had to be the fireworks on the bridge. At one point then had flares shooting down into the water, short fireworks lighting up the bridge itself, and the sky so lit up the bridge looked about twice the height! To go with the theme, there was a big pulsating lit up heart in the centre, that emitted a beam that went round and round, changing colours all the time. The sky got really smokey too! There was a lovely tall ship (which made me think of Grandpa) all lit up with fairy lights seemingly over every single part of it.

We walked back through the crowds (dont get me wrong- these streets were wide and they were still packed completely) to our hotel, before having quite an early night (considering it was NYE) ready for our long day tomorrow.
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