Sunday, January 02, 2005

After the big night

Photos of fireworks always come out like this

Well here we are in 2005. The other night I walked several miles trying to find a good spot to see the fireworks, or so it seemed. There was a large public area at the top end of King's Cross, in Embarkation Park, so I went there first, at about 8:30. I actually went there at about 1pm and already there were people queueing to get in, so I don't know why I was surprised when it was busy. I managed to get a decent view of the 9pm display - they have an earlier fireworks thing for people who don't want to stay until midnight. They were pretty good, I've got to say.

After that, I really couldn't wait there for three hours, as being King's Cross it was full of drunken Brits. I dunno, am I getting old? Maybe. Anyway, so I left and walked into the city to see if I could squeeze into one of the good spots by the Opera House or Circular Quay. Absolutely not, as it turned out - it was madness. There were dozens of police herding people away from the Opera House area, which had filled to capacity by 5pm. That's 7hours before the midnight display. The bottom of the hill at Macquarie Street was fenced off, with large flashing traffic signs saying things like 'AREA FULL' and 'NO ALCOHOL'.

So I walked around for a bit more, looking at the crowds, and eventually found myself back at King's Cross. The park I was in before, you just couldn't get near it - so I settled for a space on the road with a good view of the bridge. The sheer volume of people had stopped traffic on the road, as everyone waited for midnight. When it came, it was a good display, although I could only see the bridge - the other fireworks were obscured by trees (which is why the best areas had been full for seven hours). Sadly the total lack of wind meant the smoke obscured the finale - a 'disco ball' suspended from the bridge. But it was a good display, and a good way to bring in the new year.