Friday, February 02, 2007

Australia Day

Australian flags aflutter
January 26th is Australia Day, commemorating the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney on that day in 1788. (Oddly enough, it is also Republic Day in India, an odd coincidence.)

Sydney marks the occasion in style, with a month of concerts and outdoor plays and other events building up to it. On the day, Sydney harbour comes alive with a parade of boats of all sorts, all the way from tall sailing ships to party boats. Fluttering flags, teeming throngs of viewers, excitement in the air...


More from the parade of boats
The ferrython was one of the highlights of the celebration: four ferry boats, decked out in different colors and loaded up with people, competed in a race. The Sydney ferry corporation handed out different colored visors to the crowds so that everyone could cheer for "their" boat, and the boats lined up and waited for the starting gun. Unfortunately, the event was so popular that a swarm of boats, big and small, gathered around to watch, and the course seemed more like an obstacle race than a sprint! Us viewers on the shore could barely even see the ferries, but it was still an impressive sight.

At the Ferrython finish line

There was yet more excitement as aircraft and helicopters from the RAAF did fly-bys and the Red Berets parachuted into Sydney harbour, and as dusk came, fireworks lit up the city again. We enjoyed our day out, even though parts of it were a bit of a yawn... :)

The Red Berets descend on Sydney harbour
Yawwww . . . . wn

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