Monday, October 23, 2006

Day 4 - Sydney Aquarium

Weather: Brilliant sunshine and fair the whole day

Another fair day and HM who was still not feeling well enough to go to the gym decided to go with me to the Sydney Aquarium instead.

We took the scenic route to Darling Harbour - Bus 380 to Circular Quay and then the ferry from Wharf 5. While waiting for the ferry, I had time for a chicken pie - yummy!

The ferry ride was the equivalent of a free harbour cruise. It stopped at Milsons Point (near Luna Park), McMahon's Point, East Balmain, Balmain before arriving at Darling Harbour. I loved the ferries!

a great day for photos

sculpture from another angle

a fun day out

Sydney Aquarium was a load of fun. There were touch pools where we touched shark eggs and sea urchins for the first time. Sea urchins are soft and pliable if you stroke them gently. There are 2 models of shark eggs – a pouch-like one and a screw-pine looking one. The first is often called a mermaid's purse and looks like the pit of a mango. The latter is shaped in such a way that it can be wedged in between rocks and coral. (HM showing off having watched many short interludes of Discovery Channel. The cable subscription has paid off finally!)

Then there were the fat blobby seals. Looked like someone especially the ones who were sunning themselves.

huh, say what?

go away, leave me alone...

And of course there were cute little pengies.

We emerged from the Aquarium starving, so we took our first monorail ride to Haymarket Station (Chinatown, where else?) in search of good food. It must be a Chinese thing, to look at fish in an aquarium and think about how to cook them.

We settled for BBQ King, apparently Kylie Kwong's favorite Chinese restaurant. Thought we might as well try it since it also came recommended by LP and Sullivans. Again, prices weren't that cheap but at least it was good value for money. The portions were huge.

The roast duck and roast pork (siew yoke and char siew) were excellent. And the steaming bowl of soup that appeared without our asking for it (a sure sign of a Cantonese restaurant!) really hit the spot. HM declared that the meal satiated her need for roast pork for the next one year.

After that huge meal, we went hunting for Krispy Kremes at the corner of King and Wynyard streets. Hauling our stash to Menzies Park, we sat there and pigged out on doughnuts and latte. Judging from what was in the trash can, we certainly weren't the first to have that thought.

'Twas my first encounter with Krispy Kreme. The apple cinnamon doughnut I could have done without. Tasted rather processed, somewhat reminiscent of a McDonald's apple pie. But the original glazed doughnut was very very good, light and fluffy, not greasy and heavy like most doughnuts, and the chocolate custard was suitably sinful. We tried not to think about how much transfat was needed to create that level of yummiliciousness.

Went shopping at Pitt Street Mall. Our shopping guidelines were simple. Given that things were really expensive in Sydney, not least because of the unfavourable exchange rate at that time (A$1 = SGD$1.33), we would only allow ourselves to buy stuff we couldn't get back home or stuff that was actually cheaper in Sydney.

In any case, a number of imported brands were much dearer here. HM discovered that the Nike shoes that she had bought for SGD$129 in S'pore cost A$229 in Sydney. Presumably, the shoes had to travel further....

I couldn't find the Mirenesse Secret Weapon Mascara that my sister had asked for. Bet the stuff had been discontinued and whatever she was buying in Toronto were remainders that Mirenesse were trying to dump, haha.

Bought socks for me and shorts for HM. Crabtree and Evelyn giftsets (only A$19.95), inflatable dinosaurs from the Australian Geographic store, lemon myrtle soap were all possibilities as gifts for varous kith and kin.

time for a quick photo

We had dinner again at The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon. The roast chicken was good and finally my food was better than HM's (score 1 coconut for me!) Well, at least she seemed to think so. The wantons in her salad were good, in my opinion. Not sure why she didn't like them. Perhaps she's just fussy.


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