Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Day 2 - A Walk in a Park and More

Weather: Drizzly at first, then sunny mid-day, then drizzly again in the evening

We decided to give the Sullivans' breakfast spread a miss. We had done a little shopping in a supermarket nearby the night before, so we were well-stocked. (I love grocery shopping in other countries!) HM had yoghurt and muesli in the room while I had a banana to keep me going till something hot came my way.

We made a beeline for a Starbucks so that we could take advantage of free wireless access, thinking that my Starhub wireless broadband account would entitle me to use the Telstra network. I was disappointed. “Authentication failed?” – what did that mean? (I found out later that the Starhub/Telstra partnership only meant free wireless access at very selective places such as Sydney Airport and Rydges.)

I was not disappointed with the food. I had a mozzarella, sundried tomato and olive panini which was not bad at all. HM had a café misto, and I, a skinny latte.

Having spent a day and a morning in Sydney, I felt qualified to reach the following conclusions about Sydneysiders. They do a lot of...

  • Coffee drinking, even on the run. Spotted people drinking coffee while walking to work, driving to work, cycling, skating, AND talking on their mobiles at the same time.
  • Jogging. There were people jogging up and down Oxford Street, at the Royal Botanic Garden, in Hyde Park, at all times of day.
  • Smoking. We seemed to be breathing in more second-hand smoke than back home in Singapore.
  • Make-up. Sydney's women were invariably made up.

HM was under the weather so no gym for her. The weather had cleared up a little which was just as well.

a sunny day in Hyde Park

We took advantage of the sun and went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, where I took lots of photos of flowers (and some non-flowers) for my dear mother.


storks, I think

bats that left us all a-gawk

bees at work

arachnaphobia, ahhh....

The Gardens were quite pleasant indeed, and the Succulent Garden was particularly good.


like something from another planet...

extraterrestial cabbage?

Then we wandered over to the iconic Sydney Opera House where we were duly impressed... by the toilets. Very avant garde indeed. There was no sink per se. How would one describe it? There was a long thin strip of specially designed undulating porcelain sink underneath the taps to drain away the water like miniature waterfalls. How clever.

a design as controversial as our durian

some light entertainment at Circular Wharf

From there, it was a hop, skip and jump to Circular Wharf where we could indulge in some gelato. We had two scoops, an excellent pistachio with lots of little bits embedded, and, get this, profiterole flavour! (The same gelato is now available in Singapore downstairs from Lido Cinema.) HM ate most of my mine before introducing me to the transport system.

We took the train across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, to Kirribili in North Sydney, where we "visited" the apartment that she had stayed in while visiting a friend. It was a steep climb up the hill but what a view of Sydney Harbour! After that, we took the ferry back across the harbour. I could get real used to riding the ferry...

Once we got back at the hotel for a rest, I discovered I was sunburnt. Ha ha! Ha, like she didn't! Minimal damage compared to someone.

Then I succumbed and paid the x-one network for wireless internet access. In the end, it came up to A$10 for an hour, not as cheap as it sounded originally.

In the evening, we explored Glenmore Road in the rain, and found The Dish That Ran Away With The Spoon, a deli with a reputation for cheap and good food. I had chicken tortellini and a spinach salad, while HM a grilled chicken breast burger. It was all good. Decided to return for more, maybe some chicken the next time...


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