An actual rainy day in Australia: given the hot weather we have had lately, it is welcomed!!
My days in Sydney are numbered as I leave for Beijing this Monday. Sydney has been fantastic so far and I am very thankful that I have had the opportunity to experience it. As you can tell from my pictures, I have seen and experienced a lot (and just by coincidence, it has been Mardi Gras while I have been here as a special bonus!)
Yesterday, Tuesday, was another great day of sightseeing. The weather was warm, not too hot; but eventually cooled off later in the day. I walked down Elizabeth Street, a major drag that connects the suburbs to the rest of the city (which is referred to as the Central Business District, or CBD). I mentioned before that I got a deal on a combo ticket for the Sydney Aquarium and the Sydney Tower Eye. The Sydney Tower Eye, a phallic looking tower that sticks out above the skyline in the middle of the city, stands over 1000 feet in the air to the top of its spire (just a little shorter than the height of the former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the U.S.). The bottom floors are composed of high-end retail shops and restaurants while the top floors includes an observation deck with an amazing 360 degree view of the city of Sydney. The experience begins with a 4D Cinema movie about the city and what it has to offer (you can actually feel the water and bubbles on your face during the movie). As you can imagine, the terrific views include the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Hyde Park, Darling Harbour and the suburbs (and even the airport in the distance). For those feeling even more adventurous, you can take the Skywalk tour outside the observation deck. #ipass
The Sydney Tower Eye:
And, the view (more pictures to be posted soon):
Before I left the Tower, I had lunch on one of the lower levels at an Asian restaurant that specialized in different dumplings. I had a noodle and prawn dish with some pork dumplings. Delicious!
After leaving the complex, I walked down towards the Harbour area to the New South Wales Art Gallery. The Gallery was hosting a special Picasso exhibit (on loan from Paris) for a limited time. Now, I am not a big museum and/or art fan, but I do enjoy Picasso stemming from the times I have visited the Picasso museum in Barcelona. The exhibit houses various pieces from the artist’s collection through different periods of his life. I highly recommend it if you are visiting Sydney (take that Hilary!)
Finally, I walked back through the city and stopped at St. Mary’s Cathedral, which sits besides the sprawling Hyde Park in the center of the city. I have walked by the Catholic Church a few times, even taking pictures, but have never gone inside. While I have been through many churches in Europe and elsewhere, I am not a big church person; however, it was a beautiful church when I did go in. It was very simple inside, not over the top like many churches I have been to before.
After a busy day of sightseeing and walking, I returned home to relax a little before taking a long run through the city. I had high hopes to go out at night, but became really tired and decided to stay in. Enjoy!
And just an update to my recent blogs about the Australian Labor Party Showdown — you probably read about the strife in the New York Times, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard survived the challenge from Kevin Rudd. Gillard won 71 votes to Rudd’s 31, the Australian and other news outlets reported. Now Gillard faces not only the daunting task of rebuilding and unifying the Labor party, including choosing a new foreign minister, but also building support for her party among the Australian public ahead of next year’s general election.
And finally, a special shout-out to one of my oldest friends from Modesto: Victoria Nordman-Tomao and her husband, Steve, announced earlier this week (via text while here) the arrival of their baby boy, Jackson David, weighing in at 6 Ibs., 15 oz., and 19 in. Congrats and I can’t wait to see pictures!