Friday, 9 December 2016

Around Sydney Part1

The flight from the Gold Coast airport to Sydney did have a window for me this time.
Sydney harbour from the air
Sydney has a nice integrated public transit system. Apparently this is just a recent thing as I saw signs announcing the discontinuation of paper tickets in August this year. You now use an 'Opal' card (a smartcard using near-field communication technology) for all buses, light rail, trains, and ferries. When entering a train station, you tap the card on the reader and it shows you what your balance is on the card. It will warn you if the balance is not sufficient for the most expensive journey. When you leave the train system, no matter how many trains you transferred, you tap the card again and it shows what the fare was and debits the card. The system figures out what the route would be between the start-end and calculates the fare. So to get to Manly Beach, I would take the train to downtown, then a ferry to Manley. Transfers between modes gets a discount for the trip. There is a great smartphone app that lets you put in start and end points, with start or end times, and it gives  you all the choices of how to get there. It even handles service interruptions like track maintenance with alternative bus routes. It's integrated with Google maps and your smartphone GPS so it can do a route from where you are.
Sydney trains (double decker) Sydney ferry with Movember moustache
I did the Hidden Sydney's Little Laneways historical walking tour to get acquainted with the downtown area. It leads you through all the back alleys and hidden old buildings. It also is a bit of a tour of smoking areas. Office workers use these back alleys to feed their habit.
Still old buildings in downtown Some have cafes

Hinchcliffs Woolstore  Obelisk of Distances
(all roads were measured from this spot)
Lots of great architecture, both old and new.
Burns Philp & Co building
one of Sydney’s old shipping firms
Glass blocks in sidewalk for light
Note the St. Pancras Ironworks manufacturer
General Post Office reflected across Martin Place
The Rocks area is full of art galleries and shops. Some Christmas themed 'sculpture' as well.
Santa made from milk crates
I did not do the Bridge Climb. Way too high up in the air. I settled for the view from on top of the south pylon with a good view of the city.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Opera House from the bridge Cruise ship dock from the bridge
The bridge was built from each end supported with tension cables. When the two half arches were complete, the cables were relaxed until the centre pin engaged. Construction took from 1923 to 1932.
Half scale plywood model of Centre Pin
Next was a tour of the Sydney Opera House. No interior pictures of the actual stages as copyrighted sets or acoustic technicians were present. The largest stage is actually the Concert Hall for symphonies and other musical performers. There was LOTS of controversy about who got the bigger space. Original budget was 3 years and $7 million in 1959 when construction started. Opened in 1973 (just a couple of years late!!) costing $102 million. It has become the symbol of Sydney known around the world.
Interior hallway Opera House tiled roof
(2 different colours and finishes)
It can't be all culture and such so I took the train to the Gosford Classic Car Museum. The train takes you right through the middle of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Along the way to Gosford 
The collection is an eclectic mix of old and new. The museum is housed in an old Bunnings store building (local version of Home Depot) so there is lots of space.

Porsches and Ferraris Porsche 356 to 911 progression

From behind the Iron Curtain Twiggy's Lambo Miura
(she didn't own it, just photographed with it)
Triumphs Jack Brabham's BT7A from '64 Tasman Series
From the beautiful to the odd.
1955 Swallow Doretti 1957 Dart by Bill Buckle
based on Goggomobil components
The last tour before racing resumed was of Cockatoo Island. It's modern name should be Seagull Island. Nary a cockatoo did I see, but lots and lots of seagulls. Noisy too since it is nesting season here. It's a place of 2 times, initially as a convict establishment (1839 to 1869), becoming a major shipbuilding facility (1857 to 1991).
Convict side
Shipbuilding side
You could rent a tent and stay here.
Convict building were build from local sandstone.
Yard and cookhouse Guard house
The initial Fitzroy graving dock (dry dock) was dug by the convicts from 1847 to 1857. The part at the bottom of the photo is the floating caisson that would close off the end of the dock before pumping out the water. The dock was lengthened several times to accommodate larger ships.
Fitzroy Graving dock
A second dock was built between 1882 and 1890. Also enlarged several times to handle Navy ships. There are several slipways as well for ship building and/or repair.
Sutherland Dock
I saw a crew working on something at the edge of the cliff. They were disassembling a jib crane to get at the rotation mechanism at the base. The 2 winches were in the way so they were jacking them up (and putting supports underneath) to get at the bottom. This crane had an 11 metre wooden boom and was used to bring things up and down the cliff to the workshops. They have a picture from 1933 bringing a speedboat up for repair. Later, it was used to bring light aircraft up and down for work as well.
Jib crane Jacking up the winch base
The 'Submarine Crane' was used to refit the Oberon class submarines. Although physically large, it only had a 5 ton rating. Contrastly, the Dock Crane was physically small but had a 10 ton capacity for loading and unloading supplies for the island.
Submarine crane (5T) Mort's Dock Crane installed 1891 (10T)
Crane 226, and sister crane 227 were part of a 'Floating Dock' used in Iceland in 1942 for ship repair. The 2750 ton dock was towed all the way to Cockatoo Island in 1945. The dock was scrapped in 1964 and the cranes were transferred to land use.
Crane 226 from Iceland (electric) Sister Iceland crane 227
Volunteers have been restoring a number of the cranes. The two below are steam powered. The first is functioning all but the travel mechanism which soon will be working. The second has just started restoration. It's a challenge to find/make boilers.
Almost finished restoration of steam crane
(travel mechanism still to get working)
Starting restoration of a similar crane
Another wooden-boomed jib crane was under restoration in the shop.
Foundry jib crane restoration
The convicts dug storage chambers into the sandstone to store grain. The chambers were cut into during the expansion of the shipbuilding operations. There are 2 tunnels through the plateau. The straight one was primarily to make access to the other side of the island faster. The dog-leg tunnel was also used as a air raid shelter during WW2.
Grain storage in the rock
(cut open when docks were expanded)
Straight tunnel
There are quite extensive shops that were used for building parts for the ships. There is not many 'small' parts of a ship.
Turbine hall
Electricity, hydraulic power and compressed air was initially produced on site in the Powerhouse from coal. There were three 1000 kW turbo-generators for electricity. Also two 10,000 ton/hour centrifugal pumps for emptying the dry docks. A submarine cable supplied power to the island starting in the 1950s.
Brick powerhouse stack
The ferry stopped at a number of places on the way back to Darling Harbour.
Ferry stop
One of the deckhands on the ferry was obviously used to tourists, and offered to take pictures of passengers with appropriate backdrops.
Harbour Bridge Opera House
Enough of the touring around. Time for more racing, this time at Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek.

No comments:

Post a Comment