Sydney city (CONTAINS VIDEO)

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
Trip End Mar 21, 2008

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Despite our best efforts at a lie-in, the old body clock wakes us up at around 7.30, so we decide to get moving. All the buses go into town, so we grab one and it takes us down to Circular Quay on the waterfront. From there it is a short walk to the famous Sydney Opera House. Designed by some Scandinavian guy who cut segments out of a globe and then rearranged them, the Opera House is virtually synonymous with Sydney, even though most of the people who climb its steps or take its photo would never even consider going to an opera. That includes us, so we just do the touristy thing and move on. It is a very impressive structure though.

From the SOH we walk around the shoreline in order to get the obligatory photo with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, then cut through the Botanical Gardens. Jane plays with a cockatoo and we see some nice birds, including an amazing rainbow lorikeet just lounging around in a tree, and a bunch of 'flying foxes' hanging from trees. It is overcast today and even a bit chilly when the wind gets up, but the sun makes the odd appearance to brighten things up.
We stop for lunch in a city centre foodcourt with all the suits, then push through the lunchtime crowd down to Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour used to be an industrial and shipping centre but was transformed in time for the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations into a touristy but scenic complex. The Sydney Aquarium and 'Wildlife World' are both found here but, at $28 each to enter, they were a bit out of our price range, so we wander around the shops and past the trendy people sipping wine at the outdoor cafes.

I have actually been to Sydney a couple of times before but one was when I was only 12 years old and the other was only for one day. It is a very pretty city, perfect for tourists but not 'touristy', busy but not crowded, modern but not tacky and multicultural but distinctly Australian.

The Chinatown section isn't much to write home about. It's basically just one short street, surprising considering that an estimated 25 percent of Sydney's population is Asian. It's major redeeming feature is a half-Chinese, half-Australian supermarket that had an entire aisle devoted to 2-minute noodles of all varieties. We can't resist the lure of this amazing array, so we pick up four packets, which later end up as the centrepiece of a delicious meal back at Terry's. We decide to walk home up Sydney's main drag, an exercise that takes about an hour.
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