Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

The time was 12:40pm. The place was Sydney's Royal Botanical Gardens. The event was the biggest event of the year: the New Year countdown. There we were lining up to GET INTO the park with 22,000 other revelers. Xin Wen's reaction was: I cannot believe I am doing this again.

Just looking at the queue was enough to think: wah, so, how long will it take just to get in?

Some people were smart: they waited under trees while their not-so-smart friends or family members queued under the blazing hot sun.

Seriously, the line went on and on. It went from one end to the other end of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Round this tree, down that hill, past this statue. The Sydney city skyline overlooked us - St. Mary's Cathedral and Sydney Tower were the more outstanding ones.

Even queued right outside the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

By the time we managed to enter the gardens, there were already 8000 over other revelers there. There wasn't an inch of free space available on the grass nor the rocks. Under the trees were a definite no-go zone and even the sunniest and hottest of areas were taken. We had no choice but to walk back out to a spot I spotted earlier that had this view:

Our spot was shady and there was no one there when we arrived. Even after an hour, only a small crowd gathered:

Arif managed to find a spot inside, right under the trees and right at the waterfront. He came out to hang out with us twice because it was 'too cold' with the strong wind blowing. So, there were five of us on the mat: Xin Wen, Justin, Arif, Shaun and I.

For me, I've not seen the fireworks in real life so it was an experience for me. It was all fun, fun and fun for me as there were enough snacks to last me the entire day until midnight. There was also Monopoly to kill time and I brought my book along to read (under the umbrella). Justin preferred to rest while Xin Wen actually dozed off!

And because entrance was free, F&B were expensive - I bought a can of Redbull for $5!! Wah, simtia.

When it gradually became darker, a display of lights appeared. At first, we couldn't figure out what it was. It was when the 'drops of sand' fell that we figured that it was an hourglass, marking time ticking away towards the new year.

This first display was for the 9:00pm family fireworks, which did not have a display of fireworks from the bridge. It was still spectacular nonetheless. I apologise for the poor quality shots...

And it was back to waiting. By that time, boredom and tiredness were kicking in so we ended up taking candid shots of each other and playing with the camera's functions.

After queuing for 1.5 hours and waiting for 10 hours, we finally saw the new year fireworks. Check my YouTube account for more videos:

Ah, so worth the wait and the freaking SUNBURN.

Stay safe and have a blessed new year!

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