Tuesday, 1 May 2007

A City Not Your Own

I wondered how to present this theme. I'm rather fond of lots of photos of places I've been, ranging from an arty-farty shot of an instantly recognisable icon; to a nice action shot of my lovely son in a beautiful Paris setting; to happy feet dancing in Barcelona; inside a clock; a leaning tower - leaning; another tower that leans, but not where you think; lowering storm skies on the other side of the Pacific; an early morning shot of the Ocean Baths in Newcastle; a man walking through a wall; Christ-the-statue-busker in Barcelona; an upside-down pyramid; my favourite building; a fantastic bridge to walk over (other than Sydney's); a Venetian scene, not in Venice (any guesses?), and a classic Australian/New Zealand bowling green shot far far from either (again, any guesses?)

But in the end I decided to bring you the city that is not mine, but could have been, and the city that isn't that of the Gwyeagal people who lived here before, but were killed, died or moved from their land . So this is the site of the city that isn't Sydney.

Captain James Cook sailed the Barque Endeavour into Botany Bay and made landfall here, at Kurnell, on Sunday April 29, 1770, claimed the land for the British Empire, and spent 8 days at anchor. He and his crew never made camp, but stayed on the boat to sleep. Botanists, most notably, Joseph Banks, collected plants, and wildlife was observed. Fresh water was found in a little stream. Cook named the bay Stingray Harbour ( from sightings of stingrays), and it subsequently became known as Botany Bay, after the botanic specimens collected.

Eighteen years later, the First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, turned up at Botany Bay, looking to establish a British penal colony. Phillip found the fresh water supply inadequate, and the sandy soil unsuitable, so set sail a little further north to explore Port Jackson, which Cook named, but didn't enter.

So, Sydney Town didn't develop here at Kurnell on the shores of Botany Bay. The famous port grew up in Port Jackson.

Today Botany Bay is Sydney's major port, the airport has runways extending into it, and there is a major oil refinery (Caltex) at Kurnell - you can see the pipeline which runs out to fill the oil tankers in the pictures.

On Sunday 29 April, 2007, the replica ship,
HM Bark Endeavour, was at anchor in Botany Bay, and I couldn't help thinking as I wandered aroundthe shore, how this spot is the city that wasn't my own.

Lots of other city photo blogs are taking part in today's theme:
Monte Carlo, Monaco -
Rome, Italy -
Singapore, Singapore -
Tenerife, Spain -
Rotterdam, Netherlands -
London, UK -
Montréal (QC), Canada -
Melbourne, Australia -
Naples (FL), USA -
Bastia, France -
Hong Kong, China -
Mazatlan, Mexico -
Buenos Aeres, Argentina -
Manila, Philippines -
Arradon, France -
Madison (WI), USA -
Evry, France -
Seoul, Korea -
Shanghai, China -
Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia -
Sequim (WA), USA -
Singapore, Singapore -
Budapest, Hungary -
Baziège, France -
Hamburg, Germany -
Toruń, Poland -
Nelson, New Zealand -
Madison (WI), USA -
Vantaa, Finland -
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -
Mainz, Germany -
Dubai, UAE -
Saint Paul (MN), USA -
Cork, Ireland -
Stockholm, Sweden -
Menton, France -
Tel Aviv, Israel -
Albuquerque (NM), USA -
Kitakami, Japan -
Stayton (OR), USA -
Szentes, Hungary -
Stavanger, Norway -
Grenoble, France -
Villigen, Switzerland -
Paris, France -
Hyde, UK -
Moscow, Russia -
Joplin (MO), USA -
Jakarta, Indonesia -
Greenville (SC), USA -
Cape Town, South Africa -
Asheville (NC), USA -
Seattle (WA), USA -
Kyoto, Japan -
Tokyo, Japan -
Madrid, Spain -
Auckland, New Zealand -
Oulu, Finland -
Lubbock (TX), USA -
Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina -
Baton Rouge (LA), USA -
Sydney, Australia -
Maple Ridge (BC), Canada -
Vancouver, Canada -
Seattle (WA), USA -
Selma (AL), USA -
Chandler (AZ), USA -
Sharon (CT), USA -
Manila, Philippines -
Lyon, France -
New York City (NY), USA -
Los Angeles (CA), USA -
Brookville (OH), USA -
Hayle, UK -
Wailea (HI), USA -
Saarbrücken, Germany -
San Diego (CA), USA


  1. well it is still tea-time here but you are the first to post for Mayday and I guess I'm the first to comment. Nice bit of history and some extra images to go and look at so an excellent post. I think the next 48 hours will be busy getting around the world!

  2. You've worked hard for this theme! It's just 6:45pm and still 30th April in France, i don't ever know which shot i could choose fro tomorrow...

  3. That Captain Cook really got around, didn't he? You put a lot of thought into this post. Thanks!

  4. Great stuff Sally ,well worth the effort! A great interpretation.

  5. i felt like reading a very interesting book:) and the ship...ohh so wonderful. You did a great job!!!!!

  6. Well done Sally.

    You must have done lots of research. (as usual I guess hehe..)

    Sydney suddenly visited Singapore and a thunderstorm came! LOL....

  7. Goodness, I hope everyone's theme day post is not this interesting. If so I will never have time to see them all ... Wonderful photos and interpretation of the theme.

  8. Great post, Sally.
    Very interesting to read as well.

  9. Nice photo, interesting history.

  10. Well, I love your choices, Sally.

    My Theme Day is of a city unto itself, with its own zip code, and a portrait of the "Peashooter" at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Hope you like flying.

  11. Saw the refreshing shot of Newcastle Baths and other good ones, nice swimming hole. An ambition of mine is to be there on a Sat afternoon when bridal photos are done -backdrops fall in and out of fashion!

  12. interesting post, Sally!
    I like your photo a lot, and the others from Barcelona and "Venice" ;)

  13. Loved the photo and the write-up.

  14. Wow, you get the prize for putting the most thought and effort in. Good for you!

  15. I agree with Slice of Life - very nice post. I especially liked the happy feet link. :)

  16. wow, what a great post Sally!

  17. Sally, you're such a clever girl - what a great interpretation of the theme.

  18. Very interesting ship. Thanks for the story!

  19. I might be mistaken, Sally, but I'd always thought Cook's first choice of name was Stingray BAY. I am certain, however, because of the excellent primary shool syllabuses NSW once had, that Cook didn't lay claim to anything while at Botany Bay. He left that formality until he was at Possession Island, hence its name. Nor did he SAIL to Port Jackson. He decided [for good reasons] to leave the ship in Botany Bay and they rowed up to what's now Sydney Harbour.

    At the time, I never realised how fortunate we were to have such sound primary school texts.

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