March 04, 2004, 22:00: Sydney, Australia - Bree's House
I don't know where to begin with my experiences today. I saw some of the most amazing scenery, much more of it captured in pictures, thankfully. I took off at 10:30 this morning after some well earned sleep. I managed to get a pass that allows me on the trains, buses and ferries here. I took the train into Town Hall, and walked over to Darling Harbour, where Sydney Aquarium is located. There are many interesting things there, such as a couple of areas where you get to walk under the enclosure, with the seals, and with sharks and rays. There is also a gigantic (must have been at least 20 feet long) curved front reef tank with corals and fish galore. There was more than enough to make me jealous. After spending a good couple of hours being amazed by all the exhibits, and being a typical tourist taking dozens of photos, I took off on the ferry that travels to Circular Quay. The scenery was just unbelievable, so many vibrant colours, just absolutely beautiful. Weather couldn't have been much nicer either. It wasn't fantastically hot, but it wasn't even close to being cool out. There were a few clouds here and there, but it was never overcast or drab. I managed to take a bunch of pictures of the opera house and the harbour bridge. I felt like even more of a tourist than at the aquarium, but why not if you have the chance?
Getting off at Circular Quay, I had some chicken shawarma, and headed out to the Opera House. I was surprised that it's actually 3 buildings and not just one big centre. After a few more opportunistic photos, I headed off to the Royal Botanical Gardens. This is where I was really amazed. I'm not usually one to get excited about vegetation - but this was no ordinary walk in the park. Some of the most beautiful trees and plant life I've ever had the privilege in seeing - this is where I did the bulk of my picture taking. I walked around the whole park until I ended up in the New South Wales Art Gallery. They had a nice exhibition of some Aboriginal Art done by Rover Thomas, as well as many other Victorian era paintings. There was some absolutely bizarre art down in the lower section such as a large blob that had a projection of two eyes and a mouth done in green. The eyes were set in such a manner that it all looked very unnatural - one on the bottom left, and one on the middle/top left, with the mouth dominating the right hand side. Another strange exhibition was "pendulum and emu egg". This consisted of a large, very tall pendulum rod - like a spike, probably a good 15 feet long, that was attached to a very clean polished motor, hanging precariously above, well, an emu egg. This pendulum would sometimes remain still, and it looked like the egg was in some serious peril. Suddenly, the pendulum would just come to life and swing back and forth for a short period of time. The reason why anyone would do this is still beyond me, but it was certainly memorable to see. There was also an exhibition of some Ancient Japanese art, all very fascinating.
Having had enough of the art, I took off and began walking back towards the harbour bridge. It looks closer than it really is most of the time, and it probably took me a good 45 minutes to get there, but I found the stairs up, and walked about halfway over it in the efforts of further distinguishing myself as a hopeless snap happy tourist. Once this was done, I made my way back to Bree's house taking the ferry and the train again. There I met up with Gary and Rebecca, and we all went out to supper at a Thai place. Dean was to join us, but was unable to as there was an illness in the family. I have to say - the Australian taste buds seem to be quite adventurous, and many interesting stories and various dishes were discussed, in quite enough detail! I was sending messages back and forth with Trent, and it was a fun evening. Tomorrow and new adventures await. I'll have even more pictures to sort through.