Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sydney, part 1

We took the train from the Blue Mountains back to Sydney after purchasing a transit pass for the week, which was pretty exciting. We could use any bus, any train, any ferry so planned to go on lots of mini-cruises! Our hostel in Sydney was not nice at all, so we planned to try and spend as much time away from it as possible. On our first day, we wandered around the city a bit, and eventually made our way down to the harbour, where we realized we were looking right at the famous Harbour Bridge and the even more famous Opera House. Wow! The harbour area had a really nice, relaxed feel, with a lot of buskers playing didgeridoos and a nice park area and places to sit. We thought about going to the aquarium, and promptly hopped on the first ferry, which did not take us there. We knew that, but we were going with the flow, being spontaneous. About 40 minutes later, we began to worry that we were going to go all the way to the edge of town! So much for spontaneity etc. However the ferry did turn around soon after that, but it was a no go for the aquarium that day. However, it was nice to be out on the water, and even nicer almost that the ferries had internet access – score!
From the bridge

Wednesday was supposed to be a sunny day, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to head out the legendary Bondi Beach. However, the sun was hiding by the time we got there. It was still warm though and we promptly jumped into the water. Actually were sucked in; the waves there were massive. Andrew had a lot of fun jumping them, or diving under and all that, but the salt water really irritated my eyes so I stood on the sidelines. However, I still got plenty soaked, as I could be standing about five feet from the edge of the water, and then suddenly be in over my knees. Big waves! They would drag you in further too. Crazy.

All of a sudden the lifeguards put up a sign about bluebottle jellyfish, and I was not having so much fun in the water any more. I ended up going for a bit of a walk, and we both had a nice time just taking it easy on the sand. Other people were also relaxing, at one point we looked over and there was a woman’s chest, just out there for the world to see. No top, no nothing. Umm, don’t look that way again!

After doing a little shopping, we got some kebabs for supper and ate along the water. I don’t know where the day went, but it was good! And to top it off, we headed back down to the harbour for an evening cruise (on the ferry!). It was so beautiful to see the city lights from the water.

Thursday we had plans to go see the symphony at the famous Opera House. It was cool to go inside and look out over the water, but I think it could use a bit of an update. Everything was a bit of an older style and not as plush as you would expect. They symphony was fantastic, so clear and precise, with a young violist who soloed by memory and was crazy good. However, that was probably enough symphony to last us a long time! One of my favourite parts was sipping a glass of wine on the balcony during the intermission and watching boats go under the bridge.

A few shots of Sydney:

The best thing at the Sydney Aquarium - the lego shark!
View from Centrepoint Tower

More about Sydney here and here.

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