Sunday, April 26, 2009
The country's largest metropolitan conglomeration has more beaches, bays, inlets, sensuous curves, crests and cliffs that any other city I've yet visited. The dense, built-up areas between the central business district, from Bennelong Point which supports the magnificent Opera House, through to the rocky and wild cliffs facing the vast Pacific, house the middle and upper class in apartments and houses that take full advantage of the city's natural beauty. And, at least in the eastern stretch of the city, water is everywhere.
The harbour flows out to the Heads, a turbulent neck of water that announces the grand and vast Pacific Ocean, with seas that glisten and waves that smash with unnatural force against the weathered sandstone on which the city is built. The water is alive with a myriad of sea-going vessels, from the thousands of pleasure craft clogging the waterways on the weekend to the green and gold ferry carrying commuters from the centre to the furthest reaches east and west.
The city has magnificent parks and even patches of quasi-wilderness that line the foreshore. The Botanic Gardens are perched on the edge of the business district; many stroll through it on the way home from work.
Sydney is clean, its air fresh. It has sunrises that cast an orange glow across the eastern suburb, sunsets that cause the downtown skyscapers to glint, the bridge standing proud. The quality of life enjoyed by the majority of its inhabitants is unrivalled in many countries, even those of the western world. Access to good food, clean water, transport, health care, social welfare; it makes most people incredibly smug to live in a city like this.
But I just can't settle in.