Quiet City

As of writing, Sydney hasn’t gone into full lockdown due to Covid-19, but it has become a lot more quiet as many businesses close as a preventative measure. The CBD wasn’t as empty as I was expecting, but it was noticeably less crowded.

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Social distancing guidelines on the floor of my local café.

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Martin Place at 12:20. Usually a lot busier than this.

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Lunchers outside the GPO building in Martin Place.

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New measures for pedestrians.

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Park and George Streets.

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Sydney Town Hall steps. A popular rendezvous point, now virtually empty.

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The gates to Chinatown on Dixon Street.

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An eerily quiet Dixon Street.

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This place usually has a queue of around 15 to 20 people, waiting for cream puffs. Today, only one.

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Safe distance.

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Climate action rally in Sydney

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Ecopella, an a capella music group with a focus on environmental issues, performing outside Sydney Town Hall at the climate action rally.

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Young protesters at the climate action rally.

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Protesters at the climate action rally.

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Nadeena Dixon, a Wiradjuri, Yuin & Gadigal woman & Indigenous activist, addressing the crowd at the climate action rally.

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Protesters at the climate action rally.

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A protester at the climate action rally.

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A protester at the climate action rally.

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Protesters march through the city streets as a part of the climate action rally.

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Protesters march through the city streets as a part of the climate action rally.

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A protester at the climate action rally.

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A protester at the climate action rally.

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A protester at the climate action rally.

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Signing a banner petition at the climate action rally.

School Strike For Climate Rally in Sydney

A huge crowd estimated at 25000 turned up at Town Hall in downtown Sydney today to protest against climate change inaction.

The rally was organised by school students from across Sydney and was part of a global series of protests.

Even though the rally was part of a student strike, people of all ages were in attendance and determined to make known their displeasure over political inaction against climate change.

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Lebanon

The Middle East has interested me for some time. Unfortunately, travel to some countries in the region would be… unwise…

I’ve worked with a few Lebanese-Australians in various jobs and each of them, after hearing my stories of travel in Southeast Asia, said that Lebanon would be my cup of tea.

And so I went.

Because of its location between Europe and the Arabian peninsula, Lebanon is a country with an ancient and turbulent history. It shows a very strong influence from both cultures. I don’t think there are too many cities besides Beirut where you could be enjoying a beer at a rooftop bar while the mosque down the street broadcasts the call to evening prayer.

The people are amazingly friendly and accommodating, exhibiting that famous Mediterranean hospitality.

Lebanon is a country which was until recently at war, and the presence of military patrols and checkpoints as well as bullet-scarred buildings were reminders of the country’s strife in the not-too-distant past. Even now there are tensions at the southern border with Israel, and the presence of Daesh (ISIS) in neighbouring Syria is a constant worry.

I stayed mainly in Beirut but had a couple of days in Baalbek in the east of Lebanon where there are some of the best preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much else of this beautiful country due to becoming ill for about a week. I’m determined to make it back sometime soon to explore more.

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Beirut building damaged by gunfire.

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Beirut building damaged by gunfire.

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French colonial building in Beirut

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French colonial building in Beirut

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French colonial building in Beirut

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Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

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The Mediterranean coast

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Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, Beirut

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Interior of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque

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New residential towers in downtown Beirut

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Roman ruins, Baalbek

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The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek

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Beqaa Valley view from the Roman ruins in Baalbek

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The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek

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Mosque in Baalbek

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What’s left of the Holiday Inn in downtown Beirut. Used as a sniper position during the Lebanese Civil War. The building has been condemned and has been empty for decades.

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French colonial building in Beirut

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Beirut pizza shop in a building damaged by the war.

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A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

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A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

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A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

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A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

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New residential tower in downtown Beirut

Classic Car Show

The 2016 Shannon’s Classic Car Show was held at Sydney Motor Sport Park at Eastern Creek on August 13 and 14.

Almost 2000 vehicles from over 150 clubs were on display, and throughout the day the clubs drove laps of the track.

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Detail from a 1959 Buick

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A line of Chevrolet Camaros

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Chevrolet Camaro

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Ford Mustang