Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sydney, Australia (Part I)

Time to return to my trip report! After Cairns, which you can read about here, we flew to Sydney. There is so much I want to share about Sydney, that I think I'm going to have to break this up into two posts.

Knowing that Sydney has a lot of great restaurants, I forewarned R that I wanted to eat out more and not adhere to our usual pattern of cooking in the hostel kitchen. As a restaurant guide,  I spent some time looking through Sydney food blogs, like Grab Your Fork and Eat Show and Tell and received some great advice from @MBAMamaMusing.

I loved Sydney. We spent a week in Sydney, but we barely scratched the surface.  I would happily spend a year living in Sydney, exploring the various neighbourhoods and restaurants.

After taking the train to The Rock (the part of town by the harbour), we made our way to the Sydney Harbour Hostel. R gets credit for lugging our bags up several flights of stairs. The hostel, although relatively expensive as far as hostels go, is well-located. This is the view from the balcony:

Not to mention that it is an interesting building, built above an archeological dig.

We spend some time walking around the Rocks, and decided to go to Lowenbrau for dinner. 

R ordered this dish, which I can't seem to locate on the menu, so I'm guessing it was a special.  Not the most photogenic dish, but he liked it.

I ordered the Löwenschnitzel:

The portions are plentiful tasty.  Service is good, though I'd guess that there is pressure or incentive for servers to up-sell with alcohol and dessert.

The next day, we walked to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, intending to climb the bridge.  I figured that a bridge climb would cost somewhere around $30.  Yeah...not quite.  I was so shocked at the price, that I had to take a picture:

After verifying that paying this price didn't actually entitle us to partial ownership of the bridge (yes, I asked), we decided to just walk across the pedestrian portion of the bridge.

After making our way past most of the bridge (and returning to The Rocks side of the bridge), we continued to walk toward the opera house and onto the ground of the botanical gardens.

I don't think we have Magpies in Ontario.

I think this is around the time where R starting singing, "Bird is the Word" (the version in the video, below).

(note: I can't stand Family Guy)

At one point in our walk, we came to an area where bird were making squealing noises.  I learned afterwards they were flying foxes (fruit bats).  Whereas bungeeing off a bridge seems unreasonable scary for me and fun for R, a tree full of sleeping bats is fascinating enough for me to take multiple pictures from various angles while R is quickly running past the tree to avoid any unwanted encounters.

I was really impressed with the amount of green space in central Sydney.  We continued through to Hyde Park, where they have the Anzac War Memorial.

St. Mary's Cathedral

Archibald Fountain

The next day, we took the ferry to Taronga Zoo.  Although quite expensive ($44 / adult), we both really loved the zoo.  The grounds were beautiful and the exhibits really nicely laid out.  I really liked the bird enclosures, which allow you to walk through a jungle-like setting with many species of birds.  Love this bird:

Here's a kangaroo, sleeping on its back:

This is a Cassowary, one of the most dangerous birds in the world.

Speaking of dangerous, Australia is home to some of the most dangerous species in the world.  Thankfully, I was able to put this little tidbit to the back of my mind while travelling.


Emu (another bird R didn't want to go near while I was willing to hand-feed it):


All in all, a great day.

That night, we went next door to the hostel to visit Australian Heritage Hotel, well known for its interesting pizza varieties.

I had the Tandoori Chicken pizza, which was okay. But, I grew tired of the taste pretty quickly.

R had the kangaroo pizza. Kangaroo is fairly tough, but the taste is decent.

Part II: To be continued...


cocoa and coconut said...

Glad you enjoyed your experience of Sydney! I totally agree with you about the price of the bridge's ridiculous! Also, I had no idea that Australia had all those poisonous animals..and I'm Australian myself!

Beth said...

Such adventures you are having - such wonderful memories (and pictures!) to cherish....

That Girl said...

Man it feels like you were living in NZ/Australia the way you did so much!

Lori said...

Dang! I love this post. I so need to show it to my daughter. She finds dangerous animals utterly fascinating.

I hate Family Guy too. I find it utterly offensive and hate the fact that it is on earlier than like, 11 at night. Because in my opinion it should be on very late at night. Having said that there is this one where the baby is yelling for Lois and he keeps doing it. Yelling, Mom, mom, mom, mom,- you know how it goes. She finally comes in the room, frustrated and screams WHAT. And he says, "hi".

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