Thursday, 12 March 2009

Luna Mission

One of the sights I particularly wanted to see in Sydney was Luna Park - a fairground built a stone's throw from the far end of the Harbour Bridge (in fact this was the builder's yard used during the construction of the bridge - when they'd finished they built a theme park on top of it. I'd seen pictures in a book at our B&B of the demonic face which lights up at night and forms the entrance to the park. I wanted to take some photographs of an old fashioned multicoloured fairground at night.

So we studied the ferry timetables and at around 7:30pm, chugged out into the harbour, under the bridge (giving me yet another angle to take far too many photos which to the untrained eye will look identical) and drew up at the little jetty, beyond which was the serial-killer smile of Luna Park's entrance.

As we walked up to the gate we were confronted with a sign which informed us that the fairground was closed (it seems that it only opens on certain days of the week). Disappointed only for a brief moment, we realised that we could still walk in through the psychotic man's mouth and have a bit of a look around. We'd both fired off numerous "interesting" shots from our cameras when we were approached by a burly looking lady with a US Marines crew-cut dressed in a dangerous looking blazer who told us in no uncertain terms that we couldn't take photographs of the park. I wasn't going to argue with her (she was a big lad, not tall, but stocky... think "Wayne Rooney in a skirt"... but not as pretty). We muttered pretend apologies (we'd taken as many as we wanted anyway) and headed back towards the jetty.

As we waited for the next ferry to take us away from the unimaginable delights of a closed fairground we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by young ladies from the top cricket playing nations (and England) some of whom looked as if they may have indulged in one more Babycham than you would expect of an elite sportswoman. Then we noticed a sign and realised that we'd gatecrashed the ICC Womens World Cup welcome party and press conference (the tournament kicks off here in a couple of days). Given the events in Pakistan which we'd read about yesterday, you'd have expected security to be tight, but other than Wayne (the photo-preventer) there were just a couple of local police officers and they obviously didn't consider us to be a great threat to the safety of the teams.

The evening's event had obviously just finished and the teams were milling about on the jetty waiting for their private boat to pick them up. Everyone was dressed in team suits (some better fitting than others). We recognised the girls from the England team in their dark blue blazers with their "three lion" badges, and it has to be said that if the outcome of this tournament is decided by quality of tailoring and sartorial elegance then the trophy is as good as ours... if it's down to sporting prowess, then I guess the Aussies will probably win, as usual, but we'll still be able to take the fashion high-ground!

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