What a nice feeling to wake up and not have to be anywhere special, just to be able to do whatever we liked. We were both pretty stiff and aching after the surfboards the day before, though.
Saw quite a few festival guests at the breakfast buffet, most of them were on their way back home that day so a few farewells were in order. Most spoke of flight plans and volcanos…
After breakfast and a short peek at the internet we were off, Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens were to be the order of the day. Walked for about an hour to get to the bridge, stopped a few times on the way though, f.ex. in Queen Victoria Building, an amazing shopping mall of sorts. There I saw these shoes I really, really wanted (well, I’d have had to buy a complete dressing outfit to go with them actually) but since they cost 600 AUD (the Australian dollar is a bit less than the American one – not a lot less though), well I sort of didn’t buy them.
Loved the building, stained glass windows (see on my Flickr page) and an amazing clock in the middle, showing day, month and year (and time, of course), with a ship sailing all the world’s seas around the clock (literally). Brill.
The Harbour Bridge was awe-inspiring too, 500 metres between the piers but we walked quite a bit longer than that kilometre, you can’t get up on the bridge by the piers. Apparently you can walk up on the bridge arc, I think I’d probably have died of fright if I tried that, though.
Took about a thousand photos of the Opera House from the bridge, a brilliant view. Also photographed a house I wouldn’t mind having as a summer house – maybe next time we have a few billion dollars we don’t know how to use!
Down again, had lunch on the roof of a restaurant in The Rocks, view over the harbour and opera house again. 10 dollar steaks turned out to be huge with rucola salad w/balsamico, fries and a really good champignon sauce. The “light lunch” promptly changed to the main meal of the day, wasn’t even any way we could finish. The restaurant didn’t have doggie bags (some regulations) so I fished a clean small plastic bags from my backpack and stowed the rest of the steaks away. No way we’d let them throw them out, nope.
Walked round the not circular at all Circular Quay to the Opera House. Took a short video of an aboriginal playing his didgeridoo for the tourists, then threw a few coins in his bag. He then sang a Thank you, through the instrument – unfortunately I of course had stopped recording.
On to the Opera, walked round the house but decided the weather was way too nice to spend an hour or two inside in the guided tour. Save that for later in the week. Sunny and 25°C is perfect for me – outside. It was supposed to cool a bit down later that week. Took some more photos though.
The Botanical Gardens were right behind the house, went there and saw incredibly many exotic plants and a ton of bats. Not sure I’ve seen a bat before, definitely not that many. Wished I had a better camera.
Back to hotel, found out we had walked at least 10 kilometres that day and a lot of them on steps so our feet were glad to get back to the room. Bought some Dim sum and various other Chinese ramekins for dinner, nice to be in the middle of Sydney’s China Town, lots of exciting take-out food all around. Dim sum is another dish I only knew from Restaurant City.
Donned pajamas and bed, got a glass of red and sat down with computer to write in my travel diary, even though the clock was only & PM. Hardly left the bed after that, some internet and reading and sleep around 11 PM.
I totally forgot earlier to post the ABC Classics theme (the classical section of Australia’s biggest radio station) used before all the ISCM Festival concerts – the station recorded all the festival concerts, some were broadcast live and some later, a great support to the festival and to new music.