Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Manly Beach&Chinatwn

Trip Start May 23, 2009
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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We woke up early and walked to the Sydney Harbour bridge to the Pylon Tower lookout. We got a little lost on the way to the bridge.  We followed Felicia’s natural “GPS” skills, and it got us to the bottom (underneath) of the bridge.  Unfortunately, we needed to be ON the bridge.  So we had to backtrack and find a way up onto the bridge.  Eventually some locals gave us directions and we got there.  

It was a little cloudy, but by the time we got to the Tower, the sun had broken out and it was pretty clear.  We were the first people there in the morning, and we got to take some nice shots from the bridge of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. 

Afterwards, we decided to go visit one of Sydney’s famous beaches.  We had a choice between Manly beach and Bondi Beach.  We went with Manly beach because we heard it had a nice boardwalk with lots of café’s and shops along the beach.  Also the 30 minute ferry ride to the beach along the Harbour was a plus.

We got on the ferry to Manly Beach from Circular Quay, and not 5 minutes into the ride, each and every one of us fell asleep on the ride there.  We missed all the beautiful views on the way there.  Apparently the slow hum of a ferry boat engine can put weary travelers to sleep instantly. 

We arrived at Manly beach, took a walk along the shops and the boardwalk.  The waves were crashing in pretty hard, and we could see surfers on the horizon and on the beach.  The clouds had darkened and had begun spitting rain.  But many people were still surfing and eating along the boardwalk as if it were sunny and 35 (including us).  We found a nice restaurant near the boardwalk that served cheap seafood.  The food was delish… Jeff had a chicken schnitzel, Felicia had fish and chips and I had Steak and fries with pepper gravy.  We tried some Carlton Draught beer and it had a nice after taste.

We walked a bit along the boardwalk, then did some shopping at the stores near the beach.  We then headed towards the aquarium in Manly, but since we were planning to go the great barrier reef tomorrow, we decided last minute to bail out the aquarium, and instead we took the ferry back to Sydney to go explore their Chinatown.  Btw, once again we all fell asleep on the ferry ride, missing out on all the pretty views.

Taking the metro bus in Sydney is pretty easy, it didn’t take long to arrive in Chinatown.  Once we arrived, we checked out a Chinese mall called “Market City”.  Actually, a lot of the shops there seemed very similar to shops we have in Pacific Mall or Dragon Centre back home, with the exception that some of their shops sold kangaroo and emu meat by the kg.   There were also bubbletea stores, Chinese food courts, souvenir shops.  Basically, there’s a lot in Sydney that reminded me of Toronto! No joke.

For dinner, we ate at a restaurant called Poporo, that serves sizzling hot plates.  It was fun to order from there, cuz you have to go to a computer touch screen kiosk to place your order, and it gets sent to the chef in the back.  Then you just go to your seat, and the waitress will bring it out to you when it’s ready, very similar to Japan. The food was delish.

We then explored the outside streets, where as expected, there was a lot of touting and harassment from the vendors, but nothing we couldn’t handle.  Once again, it had a very familiar Toronto vibe.  Soon after, we headed back to our hotel, we had an early flight out to Cairns.  I really can’t wait; it’s always been a childhood dream to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.  Woot!
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