When we got off the ferry, there were 2 buskers- one playing the kettle drums, the other bagpipes (thankfully not together)
. We walked round to the opera house, which is enormous and majestic, especially in the setting of the harbour. Had our 'refreshments' and then started a tour of the opera house itself. I didnt realise that you couldnt just walk around inside, so it was nice to see the internal structure of the building, and also look inside some of the theatres. The whole building is made of prefab concrete, lots and lots of identical shapes all slotted together, and the roof is made of over a million ceramic tiles- which arent actually white, but cream and grey alternately. (White would make it shine so bright it would blind you). Inside the theatres themselves are seperate buildings- made entirely of wood (for the good acoustics). They're stunning on the inside- I wish I could go to a ballet or play here it would be amazing! I'll just have to come back. They're all airconditioned too which is nice, but I'm not sure its entirely necessary, being inside a concrete building and all. The largest of the halls- the concert hall has over 2000 seats, and there are 5 theatres in total. They also held wrestling here in the 1970s, the Aussie Idol final and music concerts so they make sure they use it well.
We wandered back around the harbour- and spied a small advertisment for the minus 5 bar we'd been looking for. The bar only opened 3 weeks ago- its a bar made entirely of ice! The temperature inside is -10 degrees (not minus 5...) and it costs 30 bucks to go in for half an hour..
. But mum's paying so its OK! They gave us long parka jackets, boots, and gloves to keep us warm (I was wearing a skirt and flip flops) before entering what was basically a freezer. It was so
cool (no pun intended). There were ice sculptures, big chairs with animal skins to sit on, a table with stools, a chandelier and a long bar made entirely of ice. We had one vodka cocktail included in the price- mums was nice, but I think there was a problem with mine- the ice glass kept putting lots of ice into my drink- which I dont think is meant to happen! I left half of it on the table. After 25 minutes, we were warned we had 5 minutes left- which was fine. The tips of my fingers were already starting to hurt, so I wanted to get out in the warm again! It did seem very hot outside afterwards of course- a difference of 45 degrees! I'm glad we found it though.
We walked back slowly to our hotel, doing a spot of shopping on the way (lots of surf shops here and the boxing day sales make some of them affordable). Having got changed for dinner, we went straight back out again to meet Jeska, a girl from my New Zealand trip in a bar in Darling Harbour. They give out free G&Ts on Thursday evenings so we went there for our free pre-dinner drinks. It was good to catch up with her again. After about an hour we went back to the Sydney tower for our fancy meal at the top of this really tall tower. It took ages to go up in the lift- I have no idea how many floors it is, but we were higher than all of the skyscrapers. The whole floor was moving around very slowly- the windows and central buffet were fixed, but all the tables were moving round, so we got to see the whole of Sydney at night from our table! It was a buffet, but we were served by the chefs, so they stopped us taking too much which was good. The food was pretty nice, but the view was the best thing! We sat up there a couple of hours just watching it go by, and by the time we left we felt a bit too tired to meet up with everyone again in another bar, so we just went straight back to the hotel.
Had another lie in again this morning. While mum went off to the National Maritime Museum, I went next door to the gym, but it wasnt air conditioned and was getting really hot in the sun so I only did 30 minutes. Went in the sauna though (not that much hotter than lying in the sun really) and had a shower before sitting outside, on the terrace of the hotel overlooking the harbour, drinking my glass of water (cheapskate I know). Mum and I walked down to the harbour afterwards and got the fast ferry (about 15 mins) round the harbour to Circular Quay. You go round this corner and suddenly see the Harbour Bridge- which is amazing in itself, but then keep going, and you see the Opera House perched on the jetty too. It helped that it was briliantly sunny, but its still a beautiful city.