Birthday Fest

Sydney Travel Blog

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Me in front of the Opera House while on the ferry cruise
This year my birthday happened to land on a Saturday, also known as: the Festival First Night!  This year, the 2-week Sydney Festival kicked off with Festival First Night, a city-wide free festival full of music, dancing, and food.  FREE.

"All this for me?" I thought. 

What an awesome birthday treat!  We decided to make it an "experience Sydney" kind of birthday since I'm still new to the city.  We started off on a ferry cruise around Sydney Harbour.  The 90 minute cruise highlighted different historic points of interest along the harbour.  Don't ask me to repeat any of them, but it was very informative.  And it was so wonderful to begin such a beautiful day out on the water. 

After a lazy lunch and iced coffee at Circular Quay, we spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the CBD checking out the lingering post holiday sales.
The building where Summit Restaurant sits at the 47th floor.
  Really, we were just killing time and trying to work up an appetite.  As part of the Sydney Festival, we were taking advantage of Fast Festival Feasts: cheap set menus at pricey restaurants usually out of my price range.

So for dinner we ended up at my first choice from the Festival list of participating restaurants:  Summit Restaurant.  Aptly named by the original propriety, Sir Edmund Hillary (first person known to have climbed Mt. Everest along with Tenzing Norgay), the Summit sat 47 floors above the CBD.  It's main highlight: the fact that it is the largest rotating restaurant in the world. 

It pretty much goes without saying that the view was spectacular.  We watched the sun go down across the city above the festival crowds quietly sipping white wine.
The view of the Opera House from our table from the Summit Restaurant.

After a sumptuous meal, we headed to the Domain where a free outdoor concert rounded out our evening.  We got there while the Cat Empire was playing their set and the place was rammed with people.  Everyone was drinking and laughing and dancing and singing.  Too bad I didn't know who the Cat Empire was.  A terrible omission on my part apparently.  Offering a range of sounds from wailing brass instruments, to pummeling bongo drums, to mad keyboarding skills, they were awesome to see live and I'd love to hear them again sometime soon. 

The finale for the show was Grace Jones, whom I only recognized from her Bond Girl fame.  The sound for her vocals wasn't the best from where I was standing so unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy her music to its fullest.
The Cat Empire playing at the Domain

Instead, I will always remember her for her insanely, outrageous, diva-licious, costume hats.  One for every number.  At the end of every song she would saunter off stage with a no-nonsense I'm-done-with-that-song attitude barely after finishing the final note of each number.  But then she would reappear topped with yet another theatrical creation deftly demonstrating her phenomenal gravity defying acts of balancing her newest chapeau atop her head while strutting around in 4 inch heels in front of a wind machine and billowing smoke.

I will also remember Grace Jones for her gorgeous legs.  And ass.  Mighty impressive for a 60 year old broad.
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Me in front of the Opera House whi…
Me in front of the Opera House wh…
The building where Summit Restaura…
The building where Summit Restaur…
The view of the Opera House from o…
The view of the Opera House from …
The Cat Empire playing at the Doma…
The Cat Empire playing at the Dom…
photo by: Sunflower300