Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003 – Day 197 and Thursday, September 4th, 2003 – Day 198

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003 – Day 197

I was up at 9.00am and i packed some things I wanted to post home. It took me a while to pack them (some guidebooks, small items) and get them ready to post. I got a bus into town and headed to the main General Post Office on 1 Martin place. It would be about 80 AUS for airmail but only 32 AUS byu surface 92-3 months). I went for the surface option.

I then rang Qnatas and changed my tiocket to bali from the 7th to the 5th of Sptember. As I said, I do not seel like sighseeing here and I had enought beer in Melbourne to last me a few days. They changed it but I had yo go to there office to reconfirm and pay 25 AUS. This is the first time I have had to pay for vhanging dates (and I have changed them a dozen times).

I walked to chinatown and ate ina nice food court there. i ahd pork curry and rice which was nice. I then ewalked to Darling harbour to see some of the great attractions there.

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Sydney – Australia – Chinatown (03-09-2003)

Many tourists head to Darling Harbour for the Harbourside Festival Marketplace, a huge structure beside the Pyrmont pedestrian and monorail bridge that’s crammed full of cheap eateries and a few interesting shops. However, Sydney’s tourist precinct has a lot more to offer.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – various – city shot reminds me of Egypt pyramids (03-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – various (03-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – various (03-09-2003)

Sydney Aquarium

This is one of the world’s best aquariums and should be near the top of any Sydney itinerary. The main attractions are the underwater walkways through two enormous tanks–one with an impressive collection of creatures found in Sydney Harbour, the other full of giant rays and gray nurse sharks. Other excellent exhibits include a giant Plexiglas room suspended inside a pool patrolled by rescued seals, and a magnificent section on the Great Barrier Reef, where thousands of colorful fish school around coral outcrops. Also on display are two saltwater crocodiles and some fairy penguins. Try to visit during the week when it’s less crowded. Allow around 2 hours.

Australian National Maritime Museum

Modern Australia owes almost everything to the sea, so it’s not surprising there’s a museum dedicated to the ships, from Aboriginal vessels to submarines. You’ll find ships’ logs, things to pull and tug at, and the fastest boat in the world, the Spirit of Australia. Docked in the harbor are a fully-rigged tall ship; an Australian Naval Destroyer, the Vampire; (which you can clamber over); and an Oberon Class submarine. By the time you read this, the museum should have the yacht belonging to Kay Cottee, the first woman to sail solo around the world. Allow 2 hours

I then took a ferry (incluuded in my seven day pass) to Circular Square. You go underneath the bridge so its pretty cool. It was really hot today (20 oc). Maybe not for people who live here but afet Melbourne and the South Island of New Zealand, its hot.

From Circular Key, I got another boat (20 minutes) to Watson’s Bay. The weather was good and I had a bite to eat in Doyle’s seafood restaurant.

I went back into town and went on the NET for a while. this blogs seems to take up more and more time. The comments action of the blog has gone on the blink. It was now 6.30pm.

As I said, Sydney is a GREAT and beautiful city but its pretty big. I like Melbourne as it very mangeabl even with 3.5 million people. There are 4 million here and it feels like it. I had little motivation to visit museums. its like going to London for a tansit stop to Moscow and visitingthe Natural history museum. I have no inherent interest in certain topics and will not visit attractions for the sake of it. I feel many of the attractions in Sydney fall into this category.

Thursday, September 4th, 2003 – Day 198

I was up at 9.00am but had a sore throat and felt like crap. I went abck to sleep until 11.00am. I had planned to do nothing today. I did a fair bit of walking and went out to visit a friend, his wife and baby son around 4.00pm. I stayed there until 8.00pm and headed back into town. I got back to the house around 9.30pm and read up on bali and Indonesia. My flight is at 10.15am tomorrow.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Darling Harbour (04-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Harbour Bridge (04-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Keep out of my HEAD (04-09-2003)

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003 – Day 196

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2003 – Day 196

I found it hard to get up this morning. That bus journey really killed me. I was out by 10.00am as I was checking out. I piut my luggage into storage. I would be staying with Steve and Tara until I leave Sydney.

My first point of call was Australian Museum

Though nowhere near as impressive as, say, the Natural History Museum in London, Sydney’s premier natural history museum is still worth a look. Displays are presented thematically, the best being the Aboriginal section with its traditional clothing, weapons, and everyday implements. There are some sorry examples of stuffed Australian wildlife, too. Temporary exhibits run from time to time. Allow 1 to 2 hours

I went walked to Hyde Park

In the center of the city is Hyde Park, a favorite with lunching businesspeople. Of note here are the Anzac Memorial to Australian and New Zealand troops killed in the wars, and the Archibald Fountain, complete with spitting turtles and sculptures of Diana and Apollo. At night, avenues of trees are lit up with twinkling lights giving the place a magical appearance

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – City Centre (02-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Shrine (02-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Shrine (02-09-2003)

Then …. Museum of Sydney

You’ll need your brain in full working order to make the most of the contents of this three-story post-modern building near Circular Quay, which encompasses the remnants of Sydney’s first Government House. This place is far from being a conventional showcase of history; instead, it houses a rather minimalist collection of first-settler and Aboriginal objects and multimedia displays that “invite” the museumgoer to discover Sydney’s past for him- or herself. Some Frommer’s readers have criticized the place, saying it’s not just minimalist–it’s simply unfathomable. By the way, that forest of poles filled with hair, oyster shells, and crab claws in the courtyard adjacent to the industrial-design cafe tables is called Edge of Trees. It’s a metaphor for the first contact between Aborigines and the British. There’s a reasonable cafe out the front. Allow anywhere from an hour to a lifetime to understand.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Museum (02-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Museum (02-09-2003)

Then …. St Mary’s Cathedral

Sydney’s most impressive worship place is a giant sandstone construction between The Domain and Hyde Park. The original St Mary’s was built in 1821, but the chapel was destroyed by fire. Work on the present cathedral began in 1868, but due to lack of funds remained unfinished until work began in 1999 to build the two spires. The stained-glass windows inside are impressive. St. Mary’s is Roman Catholic and was built for Sydney’s large population of Irish convicts. In perhaps Sydney’s worst pre-Olympic planning, the beautiful brown sandstone building was marred by a wide stretch of dark gray paving outside–now the battleground of skateboarders and city council rangers. The two spires were completed in extra-quick time for the Olympics, too.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Saint Marys (02-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Saint Marys (02-09-2003)

Then … Hyde Park Barracks Museum

These Georgian-style barracks were designed in 1819 by the convict/architect Francis Greenway. They were built by convicts and inhabited by fellow prisoners. These days they house relics from those early days in interesting, modern displays, including log books, early settlement artifacts, and a room full of ships’ hammocks in which visitors can lie and listen to fragments of prisoner conversation. If you are interested in Sydney’s early beginnings, then I highly recommend a visit–the displays are also far more straightforward that those at the Museum of Sydney. The courtyard cafe is excellent. Allow for 1 hour or more.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Hyde PArk museum (02-09-2003)

I could have done a few more but why. i was tired and it was hot today. I felt about visiting attractions here as they are so like our own. I know I would go to London and visit the ANtural history Museum, so why asm I doing it here. I not feel like I want to anymore sight seeing here. I was not moved by any of the above attractions.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – City Shot (02-09-2003)

I went back to Kings Cross to get my bags. I then made my way to Steves and taras place where we watched TV. I was in bed by 11.00pm.

Monday, September 1st, 2003 – Day 195

Monday, September 1st, 2003 – Day 195

I did not fancy waiting around the dodgy Central station at daybreak, so I bought a single rail ticket to Kings Cross (2.70 AUS). Hmm, from the firing pan into the fire. They are some characters around here from junkies to prostitutes. It was still only seven o clock in the he morning and the place was full of strip joints and adult shops.

King’s Cross has for a long time been known to most Australians as the drugs and red light capital of Australia. Most Australians who have visited Sydney at one time or another have wandered through the Cross, if only for a look at how the “other half” live and play. In recent years, however, this sleazy pocket of Sydney has started to evolve, albeit ever so slowly, into a richly vibrant part of the city. The strip clubs, topless waitresses, adult bookshops and tacky nightclubs are still there, but small, trendy cafes have sprung up on the fringes of the Cross that are attracting a different type of visitor. The Cross is most sleazy at night, when the bright lights come on and the action hots up. During the day it can look a lot less threatening.

Visitors to the area should be careful, especially at night, as people do get mugged here. The other thing to be careful of is the spuikers outside nightclubs: they can be intimidating and aggressive and been a problem in recent times.

You will see some pretty strange sights around the Cross, an area frequented by people from all walks of life, and although generally it is OK to look, don’t stare or make snide remarks as this could land you in trouble.

If you’re keen to stay in the Kings Cross area, Potts Point is perhaps the most desirable location. It’s at the lower end of the Cross, somewhat up market and sufficiently removed from the “action”. From here you can access and enjoy all the color and richness of the Cross without getting too much caught up in it. See MORE HERE and here.

I walked to the PINK (Hetro) HOUSE hostel but it was closed until 8.00am. I walked a block to a hostel called TIMMS HOUSE. The old 70 year old male owner (dressed in dungerees) kept on calling me Doll and Baby (hmm) so I went back and booked into the hostel at 8.00am. It was 22 AUS for a 4 bed dorm. It was OK, although most people here are on working visas and will wake you up at 7.00am dressing for work. Employers were ringing all the time looking for people. These positions were read out on a loudspeaker.

The Pink House, 6 Barncleuth Sq, Kings Cross, Sydney, Tel – 1800 806 384

Well I was in Sydney but I was shattered. I got no sleep on the bus last night so I went to bed and did not get up until 12.30pm.

Sunny, sexy and sophisticated, Sydney (pop. 4 million) basks in its worldwide recognition as the shining star of the southern hemisphere. The “emerald city” is one of the most attractive on earth. Some people compare it to San Francisco–it certainly has that relaxed feel–but the gateway to Australia is far from a clone of an American city.

First, of course, there’s the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognized buildings in the world. This white-sailed construction on Sydney Cove, designed by Danish architect Utzon, is the pride of the city–but there’s far, far more on offer.

For example, you can walk across that other great icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, on the pathway beside the trains and traffic and catch the CityRail train back into town. Those with a daredevil spirit can join a Bridge Climb tour venture across catwalks and ladders to the top of the main arch for 360° views across the Opera House and the ferries and boats below.

Sydney is one of the biggest cities in the world–but fortunately most of the interesting things are concentrated in a relatively compact area around one of the finest urban harbors in the world.

As it is, there’s so much to do in Sydney that you could easily spend a week here and still find yourself crashing into bed at night exhausted by trying to fit all the main attractions in.

I got a train back into town and bought a seven day rail, bus and ferry pass for 32 aUTo to find a particualr place in town use this site.

I did not do a whole lot as it was past 1.30pm. I then down to the Rockes part of town by walking George street. This is a hisatoric part of town with narrow lanes and old buildings.

The Rocks is Australia’s European birthplace. Since January 1788 when the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Cove and settled on this rocky outcrop of land, The Rocks has developed as a village displaying a variety of history, culture, commerce and romance which embodies all of the contrasts that make Sydney one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The Rocks lies in the shadow of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, just minutes from the Opera House, Circular Quay ferries and trains and the Central Business District. The Rocks is a glorious blend of past and present that is irresistible to visitors. A walk through its historic streets reveals beautifully restored buildings, housing an array of unusual shops and award winning restaurants, with views of Sydney Harbour at every turn. Add this to our world class hotels, outdoor cafes, markets and historic pubs, and you will find a village without parallel – a must for all who come to Sydney to visit and experience for themselves.

I went downa nd walked around so that I could see Sydney Opera House. I did not go in….

Only a handful of buildings around the world are as architecturally and culturally significant as the Sydney Opera House. But what sets it apart from, say, the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Egypt is that this white-sailed construction caught mid-billow over the waters of Sydney Cove is a working building. Most are surprised to learn it’s not just an Opera House, but a full-scale performing-arts complex with five major performance spaces. The biggest and grandest of the lot is the 2,690-seat Concert Hall, which has the best acoustics of any man-made building of its type in the world. Come here to experience opera, but also chamber music, symphonies, dance, choral performances, and even rock-and-roll. The Opera Theatre is smaller, seating 1,547, and is home to operas, ballets, and dance. The Drama Theatre, seating 544, and the Playhouse, seating 398, specialize in plays and smaller-scale performances. In March 1999 the Boardwalk, a new theater that seats 300, opened on the site of the old library, to be used for dance and experimental music.

The history of the building is as intriguing as the design. The New South Wales Government raised the money needed to build it with a lottery. Danish Architect Utzon won an international competition to design it. From the start, the project was controversial, with many Sydneysiders believing it was a monstrosity. Following a disagreement, Utzon returned home, without ever seeing his finished project, and the interior fell victim to a compromise design, which, among other things, left too little space to perform full-scale operas. And the cost? Initially the project was budgeted at a cool A$7 million (US$5.44 million), but by the time it was finished in 1973 it had cost a staggering A$102 million (US$66.3 million), most raised through a series of lotteries. Since then, continual refurbishment and the major task of replacing the asbestos-infected grouting between the hundreds of thousands of white tiles that make up its shell has cost many millions more.

I went to St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

Founded in 1819 and consecrated in 1868, St Andrew’s Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in Australia. Three architects contributed to its current form, the most significant of whom was Edmund Blaket, Colonial Architect 1849-1854. Blacket adapted the work of James Hume to create a larger building in the neo-gothic style so popular with Victorian architects. He added the central tower and significantly changed much of the internal detailing.

The Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building, now affectionately known as the QVB, was designed by George McRae and completed in 1898, replacing the original Sydney markets on the site. Built as a monument to the long reigning monarch, construction took place in dire times, as Sydney was in a severe recession. The elaborate Romanesque architecture was specially planned for the grand building so the Government could employ many out-of-work craftsmen – stonemasons, plasterers, and stained window artists – in a worthwhile project. Originally, a concert hall, coffee shops, offices, showrooms, warehouses and a wide variety of tradespeople, such as tailors, mercers, hairdressers and florists, were accommodated.

I then walked towards Sydney Harbour Bridge

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Opera House and Harbor (01-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – Sydney Harbor (01-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sydney – Australia – City Scape (01-09-2003)

One thing so few tourists do, but which only takes an hour or so, is to walk across the Harbour Bridge. The bridge, completed in 1932, is 1,150m (3,772 ft.) long and spans the 503m (1,650-ft.) distance from the south shore to the north. It accommodates pedestrian walkways, two railway lines, and an eight-lane road. The 30-minute stroll across offers some excellent harbor views.

I stoped off at the Pylon Lookout, at the southeastern pylon and paid the 8.50 AUS admission. From the top of this bridge support, you are 89m (292 ft.) above the water and get panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the ferry terminals of Circular Quay, and beyond. An interesting museum charts the building of the bridge. Reach the pylon by walking to the far end of George Street in The Rocks toward the Harbour Bridge. Just past the Mercantile Pub you’ll see some stone steps that take you onto Cumberland Street. From there, it’s a 2-minute walk to the steps underneath the bridge on your right.

after that I rang an old frield from Ireland called Steve. We agreed to meet at cental Station at 5.45pm. We met up and we went to his palce (about 25 minutes away) by bus. We spend a while watching TV with his girlfriend Tara (also from ireland) and we went out to eat at a Thai restaurant. i love Thaia nd the meal was good. We later went for a drink at a locala nd quiet Irish Bar. I was given advice regarding ordering drink. I ahve been drinking Tooheys New here but it seems you only say NEW to the barman to get seved. Pretty weird. It was about 11.30pm and I needed to head abck to town. it was quite easy and I got back by 12.00pm midnight. I skipped Kings Cross for good.