As a strong advocate of dreaming, whether one hopes to realize the dream or not, I have had a number of dreams over the years. In time, the list grows longer. Sometimes they get archived in the head until they are recalled by a trigger of some sort. Sometimes, they drop off the edge, never to be realized or remembered. Then there are those dreams that are fresh and oozing with hope. Not to forget the ones that are on the list and go crash boom with fireworks as one sparks them off, bringing happiness at having come true.
On my first day in Sydney last weekend, I picked up a map at the concierge of my hotel and made a random sketch of my day, while I had coffee and banana toast with butter. The plan was to walk through Hyde Park, The Domain and The Royal Botanical Gardens, soaking in the sights and sounds of the roads that ran alongside them, at the same time experiencing the bountiful freshness nature accorded me. It worked to perfection, as I saw lush green around me, dancing fountains, sculptures, old and new buildings juxtaposed in a contest of grandeur. Interspersed with these visuals were the occasional road crossing, bridges, traffic signals and, of course, the traffic itself in terms of people and vehicles. A good blend of quiet and noise. In other words, beautiful and lively.
The Royal Botanical Garden is a splendid park, with plenty to see. The variety of birds, flowers, trees and life in so many forms bewildered me. The cacophony of scores of flying foxes, the other quiet varieties of birds looking for a feed, majestic trees, endless carpets of grass and the assortment of local flora I had never known about left me marvelling. After having spent a fair amount of time in the garden, I kept moving forward to see where it would lead me. I arrived at what looked like a castle in fairy tales. Like a 5-year old, I wondered what princess lived in there. Suddenly, I heard music flowing from the side of the castle. I walked towards it, to find a man in suit, playing for his lady in white. It truly looked like a scene from an old movie. I was almost disappointed to know that it was The Government House. I believe I could have gone inside but I was not sure and it did not hold my interest for I had another place to be, very soon.
I walked along the sea-side, to find out where it would end. Imagine my astonishment when I stumbled upon a structure I had only until then dreamed about! It was one of my dreams that had long been archived and migrated to the recesses of my dreamland. I used to watch it on TV and wonder if I could ever visit the place. Even when I made my weekend plans for Sydney, I had not comprehended the awe that this structure would inspire in me. Nothing had prepared me for the heart-stopping reaction that comes when one's long-forgotten, unexpectedly realized dreams come true! I nearly took a step back at the jolt I got from stumbling upon this structure. I stood there, the sea on my right, the lovely garden on my left staring at this magnificent structure that lay ahead of me. I walked slowly towards it, afraid the bubble would burst, if I rushed towards it. Just before I arrived at the stairs that led up to the building, I chanced upon a pontoon to my right. A wooden bridge, gently swaying to the breeze, that led straight into the sea.
I needed a moment to gather myself. What better than walking towards the enormous body of water, with it's amiable waves and soothing sound? At the edge of the pontoon I stood, taking pleasure in the cradling of the floating bridge. I took a picture of myself, with one of Australia's icons in the background, before finally arriving at it's base. I ascended the stairs, excited with each step. I walked all around it. The sea goes around The Opera House in a semi-circle, disappearing into infinity.
On the opposite side to where I started off, I saw The Harbour Bridge. That was my final destination for the day. I was going to be climbing the bridge shortly. In a short while, the awe of stumbling upon the mighty Opera House was subsiding. I had my fill. I made my way towards the next of Australia's greatest icon. To see what the beautiful world around me looked like at 134metres above the Sydney Harbour.
The Bridge Climb itself is another experience to write home about. Standing on the top of The Harbour Bridge, with a 360 view of Sydney - The Opera House and beaches on one side, The Harbour below, Blue Mountains on the other and the vast Sky above that changed colours rapidly as dusk set in. It was magical! Much more beautiful than any dream might have been. It was like seeking a bar of chocolate and finding a chocolate-laden 7-course meal that is sinfully delightful!