Saturday, 9 April 2016

#56 - Mrs Macquarie's Chair

If you were to look at a picture of Mrs Macquarie's Chair, you would probably wonder what all the fuss is about.  It's basically some big lumps of sandstone, carved out to make a questionably comfortable bench.  Above the bench is a carving with a slightly strange message commemorating the naming of Mrs Macquarie's Road.  It's really nothing worth shouting about.  If you find yourself standing in front of it thinking exactly this, I have one piece of advice.  Turn around.

A stunning picture of a concrete post - unfortunately caught some random crap in the background
The reason Governor Macquarie's wife had some convicts carve her a bench out of sandstone was not just because they hadn't opened up a branch of Ikea yet.  It was because she spent a lot of time sitting at that exact spot.  The reason for that was the spectacular view that greeted her every time she sat in that spot.

If you ever wonder why Sydney is such a popular city, remember that this was in the 19th century, long before the Opera House and Harbour Bridge had made an appearance.  So, what Sydneysiders did, was take a landscape so beautiful that a Governor's wife was willing to use up some of her convicts' valuable time to create a permanent viewing bench, and then plonked two of the most iconic man made structures on earth right alongside this.

And what a momentous day the 13th June 1816 was, right enough
It's a rare example of people actually finding some natural beauty, and creating some structures that complement it, rather than detract from it.  There are countless viewpoints to admire the beauty of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but Mrs Macquarie's Chair is without doubt one of the best.  The only downside to this is that it can and does get very busy with other tourists looking to get that perfect snap for their holiday album.  Few of them leave disappointed.

Am I bigging the view up more than I should?  Do you have a preferred place to view Sydney's favourite icons?  Please give away your secrets in the comments below

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