On the day of our Blue Mountains tour, we came through Darling Harbour on the bus. Today, we got here a different way...
Ferries are my favorite mode of transportation now!
Darling Harbour is another suburb/neighborhood of Sydney and getting there via ferry meant we got to go under the Harbour Bridge and get a view of the bridge and Opera House together for the first time!
The ferry stop was right near the Maritime Museum. We didn't go in, but we took some pictures of the ships on display like this fancy one:
We went into a big mall--but not as overwhelming as the QVB!-- and bought a couple of souvenirs (golf balls & a boomerang for David) and a sweater and a jacket for me. I say they count as souvenirs even though they don't say "Australia" or anything. We walked out on the boardwalk for a while and enjoyed the warm sunshine. It was still cold, but seemed so much warmer than it had been in City Centre/the Rocks just 15-20 minutes earlier. Darling Harbour was a totally different atmosphere than Sydney, and different from Manly too. There were people sitting close to the water, reading books or just looking out. Instead of street performers playing the digeridoo, there was this guy who called himself Cosmo the Clown.
Cosmo was pretty funny and we stayed to watch his whole show. Once he got to his finale, we had no choice but to stay because he needed a lovely assistant from the crowd and of course he chose...David! He didn't even raise his hand or anything, Cosmo just locked eyes on David and decided that he was the one. My favorite part of the show was when Cosmo asked David his name and where he was from. He then asked "How are you enjoying Sydney? Must be quite different from Kentucky...running water, indoor bathrooms." We thought that was pretty good. Who knew that Australians had Kentucky jokes up their sleeves?
After Cosmo's show we walked around a little more, but both of us were getting hungry...and cranky. We couldn't agree on anywhere to eat, so finally we decided on the mall's food court. David chose...Kentucky Fried Chicken. Cosmo would've gotten a kick out of that. He thought about getting "Maccers" which is Australian for McDonald's, but opted for KFC after all. I had some yummy chicken tubellini soup and a big roll. The little family sitting next to us got Indian curry which smelled so good.
After lunch, we caught the ferry back to Circular Quay. David redeemed his camera mess-up from the other day and managed to get it set up for this picture:
There were 3 Japanese girls and we took their picture, then they took our picture. Then guess what... we sat across the aisle from them on the plane back to Osaka!
Notice how I changed jackets? This jacket was more in-line with the jacket I "envisioned" myself wearing in Australia. Plus it doesn't have buttons that fall off everywhere I go, like the black one did.
Once off the ferry, we headed back toward the Opera House...for the last time :( The Pope was scheduled to arrive the next day, and the area around the Opera House was nowhere near as calm as it was our first day. Still, we managed to find an open seat in front of the OH so David could take this picture...
We call it "Knitting at the Opera House". It was David's idea the first day we were there, but I didn't have my sock project with me. I don't know why, but we were both totally committed to getting this picture taken.
We headed back to the Rocks Market to get a chocolate covered strawberry before the market closed at 5. The strawberry lady was almost sold out! The berries were huge, sweet and delicious. And covered with chocolate! How could it get any better?!?
David went back to the hotel to uh...take care of business, and I told him to meet me at the Rocks Discovery Museum when he was finished. I hadn't made it through the first room of the Museum when he got back. Lots of interesting stuff there! And it was free! The first room wasn't even the best. In the first room, we learned about the Aboriginal history of Sydney. In the next room, we started learning about the convicts sent to Sydney. One guy had been sentenced to 300 years for having a counterfeit 1 pound note. Pretty harsh. But the convicts were able to start up businesses and hobbies (like secretly making liquor behind their shops and houses). There were good stories and artifacts in the museum. Even David liked it and he was reluctant to go in. Upstairs we learned more about the old buildings and families of the Rocks. That's also where we learned about the plan to demolish the old buildings and how they were saved & restored. There was a video running and it told how the streets were originally made of wood, and they just paved over them. They found out years later when doing some road work or something, pulled up the pavement and discovered wooden streets.
After a good chunk of time in the Museum, we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. On the Blue Mountains Tour, the bus made stops at several hotels to pick up people for various tours. Along the way, I saw the restaurant Wagamama. In 2000, I was in London on my birthday and my professor and "classmates" and I ate dinner at Wagamama. So I decided it would be perfect to have my half-birthday dinner there. I ate the Wagamama ramen which I didn't actually like that much. I don't remember what I had on my birthday dinner there. David loved his teriyaki beef and we both enjoyed the gyoza dumplings. The best part of my meal was the fresh juice--apple-mango. Yum! We had honey macadamia nut ice cream with caramelized pears for dessert.
After dinner, we headed to "The Nello".
My Australia book said that the Lord Nelson Brewery was one of several pubs that claimed to be the oldest in Sydney. I think my book might have been wrong... they say that they are the oldest brewery in Sydney. The Fortune of War, right behind our hotel, has it written right on the awning that it is Sydney's oldest pub, but David didn't want to go in there. He said it looked like a "rough crowd". Anyway, we had to walk in a direction we hadn't walked yet to get to Lord Nelson's. It made me kind of sad to think that we were leaving the next day and there was so much we didn't even know we missed out on seeing or doing. We each had a "pint" of Three Sheets... it was better in the bottle. The Nello was packed. We didn't even have a place to sit! It was cozy and warm- there was a fireplace and those stone walls that I like so much, but once we finished our drinks, we decided to leave. Besides, it was almost past our bedtime!