DP Photo Challenge: treat

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Playing tourist; Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Travel is a huge treat for me. Unlike my partner, for whom overseas trips are frequent but mostly work-related, my journeys are few but mainly for pleasure.

Sydney isn’t exactly “new” to me, having visited a few times before. But last week was the first time I’d gone there alone, so was free to explore at my own pace. The excuse for my trip was to visit Sculpture by the Sea, an annual exhibition held at Bondi Beach, but I was also able to see some other fabulous art, meet a fellow blogger for lunch, and generally enjoy the luxury of a few days away from the routine of everyday life.

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunday afternoon, Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

I love art, and sculpture in particular, so visiting Sculpture by the Sea was a real treat. I feel very privileged to have seen so many great works in such an amazing setting.

I’ve already shared some photos of the exhibition in these posts below …

Daily Post Photo Challenge: Careful

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… so I’ll only add a couple more.

Ben Fasham, BJF13. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Ben Fasham, ‘BJF13’. Seen at Sculpture by the Sea 2015, Bondi. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

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Michael Purdy, ‘Kings and Queens.’ Seen at Bondi 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015. This shot has been shared by @sculpturebythesea on their Instagram account. An honour — and a treat — for me!

When I told my son I was planning to meet up with fellow blogger, Margaret Rose Stringer (of Adjusting my Background), he (only slightly tongue-in-cheek) repeated back to me all the advice I’ve given him over the years about “real world” meetings with online friends. I guess this is the bit where I have to confess I, um, didn’t take my own advice — unless you consider the door to M-R’s building a “safe, public meeting place”. But I’m happy to report that Margaret Rose is for real; and as cool and interesting as her online persona. We had a delicious lunch, lots of laughs and set the world to rights. Thank you M-R — spending the afternoon with you, Jocie and the beautiful, reclusive Lui Stringer was a treat indeed.

Darling Harbour, Sydney, from Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Late afternoon walk, Darling Harbour, with Piermont Bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

My first trip to Sydney was in 1988, not long after the Queen Victoria Building had reopened. Occupying an entire city block, George McRae’s Romanesque Revival design of 1898 was refurbished in the 1980s and is now home to lots of interesting shops and cafes. Architecturally ornate, I fell in love with its elaborate, luxurious magic on that first trip and always feel the need to revisit.

Queen Victoria Centre, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Interior, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This time around, the building was already decked out for Christmas, with a massive tree occupying the full height of the central atrium.

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Detail, Christmas Tree, Queen Victoria Building. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

However simple, fresh food, prepared with care is always a treat. In the foyer of a city building I was served this folded, toasted flatbread with tomato, and a rocket salad dressed simply with olive oil. Food like this inspires me; simple, thoughtful, visually attractive and delicious to eat.

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Tomato piadina with rocket; perfection. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week the theme is Treat.