Posted by Juliane Samara, 7 June 2017
Nice, but not as good as last year.
We were so impressed with last year’s Vivid experience in Sydney that we decided to try it again this year. We booked well in advance, and stayed at The Four Seasons hotel in Circular Quay. In spite of all the light rail roadworks disruptions, this was an ideal location on the edge of The Rocks and just a few steps away from the action. It was expensive, but I figure we work hard and a little luxury every now and then is good for the soul.
We arrived later than planned on Friday evening but were keen to get out and check out the action. It was a bit cloudy but not too cold, there was a reasonable crowd and the atmosphere was great. We started walking around The Rocks waterfront, and there were some very interesting interactive displays, good music and overall a great vibe.
The Opera House, in my opinion, this year was totally underwhelming. Last year it made such an impression with the bold, bright indigenous theme that I am not sure if any future years will be able to satisfy me. The colours were pastels and the images didn’t ‘grab’ me at all. I quickly lost interest in the actual lighting but Anura and I both enjoyed playing with our cameras as the clouds made for a very interesting backdrop. His photos are, of course, much better than mine!
We ate dinner at our favourite little Italian restaurant, Zia Pina in The Rocks. Anura likes to think of it as his “local” as he has been there three or four times. The pizza is great, it’s warm and inviting, but the service leaves a bit to be desired.
Saturday was overcast with showers. We went to Pitt Street Mall, did some shopping – actually I scored well with a lovely new tripod but Anura didn’t buy anything for himself – and then met up in the afternoon with my friend Mel and her husband Imad at The Rocks Cafe for a late lunch and lovely conversation.
We had decided to walk across the Harbour Bridge to Kirribilli in the evening to try some photos from there. Unfortunately half way across it started to rain quite heavily, which really hampered our photography efforts. We took shelter at Thai Fusion and dried out, warmed up and enjoyed some lovely tapas thai for dinner. We walked around to Luna Park which from childhood memories was a fantastic, exciting amusement park and now just looks like a run-down ancient waste of money. We spent quite a bit of time taking some long-exposure photos, then caught a ferry back to Circular Quay.
We finished the night by walking through the Botanic Gardens. The lighting displays here were cute, but not worth setting up the cameras for. Maybe we were just tired and a bit over it all – my fitbit told me we had walked 14.26km and 22,289 steps – so it was time to head back to the rocks for a hot chocolate at Guylian before heading to bed.
Of course it was just our luck that Sunday dawned bright, sunny and reasonably warm. We enjoyed an outdoor coffee and pretty decent (by Anura’s standards that means almost-french-tasting) croissants for breakfast before heading for home. A half-way stop at Eling Forest Winery for lunch was a lovely way to end a very relaxing weekend.