Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Australia Trip Day 5: Sydney

We had an early day today as there were a lot in our itinerary: Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Darling Harbour, Paddy's Market, Bondi Beach, and St Mary's Cathedral.

Our first stop was St Mary's Cathedral as it is the nearest from hotel and we reached at about 8am. The sun was not very good to take a picture of the whole Cathedral but I managed to find an angle where the sun was blocked. It was a good decision to come at this time as both the Cathedral and Hyde Park opposite it were still very quiet without tourists and only few people going to work. By the time we left, there were already tourists to the Cathedral and my photo taking experience was ruined. Anyway, Sydney Tower is also visible from here so that makes 3 tourist spots at one location. Great!

St Mary's Cathedral is a special place to me as I was here in 2008 for World Youth Day and until today, it still gives me the same awe when I stepped inside. I take it as God's blessings that St Mary's Cathedral has its Holy Door opened for this Year of Mercy. Thus the trip has become a sort of pilgrimage for me. I am thinking of skipping confession this Easter as the penitential service at my church is when I am away in Australia.  But seeing that confession is one of the requirements for the indulgence, I will definitely do it: I will go to Risen Christ on the 14th when I am back. I have to thank my sister who was the first one to see the big board about the Holy Door and Holy Year etc as I was too busy being a tourist and snapping pictures inside the Church. Yes shame on me :(
Nice angle from which the Cathedral and Sydney Tower are visible. Tourists were already arrived so I did not take a picture with myself from this angle :(
We then went to the Opera House. Thank God the timing was right again and we could take pictures against the Opera House and Harbour Bridge with almost no other tourist at the background. By the time we left, there were many groups of tourists arriving. I realise that Opera House is actually not that fantastic in the sense that the beautiful angle that we usually see in photographs is actually taken from the river side. Thus there is no way for us to take a picture from that beatiful angle. The Botanical Gardens is just next to the Opera House and we went as far (actually as near will be more appropriate) to the 200 sign as the Gardens is celebrating its 200th year anniversary.

Going to Paddy's Market means that we got to experience the Light Rail system which is essentially tram. Lol.. To our horrors, the Market only opens from Wednesday to Sunday and today is Tuesday!! Roaaar!! Luckily there is a nearby shopping centre, Market City, and we went there and bought some souvenirs. I am happy enough with that since my main purpose going to Paddy's Market is to look for souvenirs anyway.

We continued to Darling Harbour which we find disappointing because there is no landmark there. Lol. I had the best steak in my life at The Meat & Wine Co and I am not exaggerating. The meat was tender and nice to chew but not too soft until like a beef stew. It was near 2pm by the time we finished with lunch and I decided that I will give Bondi Beach a miss. I wanted to go back to St Mary's Cathedral to buy a souvenir coin as the shop was not open yet when we left at 9am earlier. There were even more tourists at this time so I should not be complaining about the sun this morning since coming in the afternoon when the sun is better will mean having tourists in my photos.

After getting my souvenirs, I am done for the day. The rest of the day was up to my sister who wanted to go shopping. We went to the various shopping centres Market St and George St area (the other side of the Hyde Park opposite of where St Mary's Cathedral is) and these are really atas shopping centres. They are nice to see but not to buy. Lol.. There were $14.90 Uniqlo jeans for sale but my size was not available. Oh well :( After this we went to shop around our hotel and I think my sister is disappointed. Lol.. I told her that there will not be a lot of things to shop around in Sydney. Now be grateful that I rejected her and my mum's suggestion to spend an extra day in Sydney purely for shopping.

We were back in hotel at 7pm which was quite early to prepare for another early day tomorrow for Blue Mountains tour. We did not dinner as the 300g steak for lunch was still in the tummy. Haha.. I don't normally post pictures during my trip but I make an exception for Sydney as Sydney is the very first overseas city  that I visisted for leisure. It has a special place in my heart and I want to show it off on facebook. Guess what? One of my Indonesian secondary school mates who is living in Sydney happened to be checking his facebook and see my post so he asks to meet me tomorrow. Darn I don't know where he goes after he went to Seoul a few years back. If I know earlier, I will ask him to meet me today. Tomorrow will be tight because of the tour but surely I am excited to have a meet up although just for a short while in the evening.

God's blessings are with me today and I really love Sydney :)

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