Australia – Day 8: Sydney

Tuesday – September 13th

I slept in a little before heading down to the downstairs café for breakfast. I tried Vegemite on my toast and didn’t like it. I then made my way down to the Sydney Tower Eye. I had booked a 9:30am entry to the observation deck because when you book online you save ~$10.

img_4820Hyde Park as see from the Sydney Tower Eye

I walked right in and after sitting through a 4D movie that I didn’t realize was included in my ticket, boarded the “lift” to the top floor. I looked around for a bit but I was underwhelmed by the views there. Unfortunately there were no real good views of the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House.

One cool thing was that I was able to see all the way to the airport. They had mounted metal binoculars which allowed me to clearly watch a Qantas 747 take off. The other thing I was able to see clearly was Hyde Park but that wasn’t very interesting.

img_4827Customs House

After hanging around up top for a bit more than half an hour, I went back down and made my way out to the Opera House so I could finally take a tour. Along the way I stopped at the Customs House which had a cool miniature/scale model of Sydney under the glass floor.

Eventually, I made my way to the Opera House to take the 11:30am tour. It was pretty expensive but I thought it was worth it. There were a couple of short videos that told the story of how the Opera House was built which I really enjoyed. The tour also gave us access to the playhouse and the opera house which we wouldn’t have been able to see without buying a ticket to a show.

img_4830Cruise ship docked at Circular Quay

Ironically, the tour made me really regret not seeing a show at the Opera House while I was there. The two things I had going against me was the fact that a) I didn’t want to pay to see one and b) none of the shows they were playing were shows I wanted to see. That being said, who knows the next time I’ll be here and even a “bad” show would have been good. Besides, most of my evenings were uneventful so this would have given me something to do. Oh well.

After my tour I made my way through the Royal Botanic Gardens. I tried to stop in and check out the Government House, but it was closed. I continued to meander through the gardens and to the Calyx. There was an exhibit on about chocolate and I thought there might be free chocolate there, but there wasn’t.

img_4842Inside the main arch which houses the Opera/Concert Hall

I then made my way out of the gardens and to the Art Gallery of New South Whales. My feet were super tired but I soldiered on anyway. There was a lot of interesting work there and I really enjoyed the contemporary pieces. However, due to how tired my feet were, and the fact I had a few more things to hit and not a lot of time to do them in, I moved on.

One of the things I had found out about in a book I looked through at the Sydney Eye was the Aquatic Centre. To my surprise, while walking form the Art Gallery of New South Whales to the Australia Museum, I literally tripped on the Aquatic Centre; it was below the sidewalk I was on. I went down to investigate and found out that a day pass would have cost $7, which, though  not bad, I didn’t have time for, plus I didn’t a have my bathing suit with me, so, I moved on.

img_4862Royal Botanic Gardens – Sydney

After a short detour to a nearby Ducati dealership that caught my eye, I made my way into the Australia Museum. However, I didn’t realize that a) you had to pay and b) that it was mostly artifacts and things I didn’t care about. So, I bailed and headed to the Queen Victoria Building.

I had seen a bit of the QVB on the free walking tour and had stopped in briefly to get my doughnut but I hadn’t walked through it end to end. So I did that and got a couple of good interior shots before heading out the other side and stopping into the Apple store to steal some their internet.

img_4869Interior of the Queen Victoria Building

After looking up what I needed to look up, I headed over to my final destination, O Bar. The bar wasn’t set to open until 5pm and it was only 4:45pm so I waited in the lobby and rested my feet. Eventually I grabbed the elevator to the 48th floor and was given a seat right near the window. Luckily, if I didn’t like my view, it didn’t matter because it was constantly changing.

Basically the building that the bar is in is round and the place where you sit is on the outer ring which slowly revolves around the center. I grabbed a beer and a burger and took in the sights as the evening crept in and it got darker. As I was drinking, I overheard the table next to me talking about Tesla, and since I was wearing my corporate jacket, I had to chime in.

img_4881Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House as seen from the O Bar

I got up and chatted with them for a bit, being an ambassador to the company for a bit. Eventually I went back to my seat and got a few pics of the Habour Bridge and the Opera House. A while later my Tesla friends waved me over and a I chatted with them a bit longer until they had to go.

Sidenote: my waitress didn’t seem to have an accent so I asked her name and where she was from. She told me her name was Brittany and that she was from New York and living in Australia for the past 4 years. It didn’t hurt that she was very attractive.

I then walked back to the hostel. Shortly after getting to my room, two new dormmates from the UK showed up. We chatted for a bit and they seemed really cool. It’s a shame tonight is my last night because I think it would have been fun to sight see with them.

img_4882Me and my new Japanese friend

I then made my way down to the first floor to write this post. While writing, I was sitting across from a Japanese school group. One of the girls mentioned that she wanted to marry a non Japanese boy. I jokingly raised my had and told her I was available. This led to her asking how old I was and what I did for work. She even came over and took a picture with me. I wrote down my email and told her to write to me.

I also chatted with a guy named Jos from Holland whom was also attacked by the Japanese girls. Of course I’m meeting all of these people and and making all of these “friends” on my last night here. Oh well, it makes for a good send off and a good story.

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