I was quite excited to arrive in Sydney, having heard so much about it and all! I met John at the airport, after a little confusion navigating the different terminals. Shelley and he live in Kensington, which is towards Bondi and obviously easy to remember!
We went out to a really nice seafood restaurant on Bondi beach which had some superb views of the beach. Since it was Jill's birthday today we toasted her and tucked into some yummy food! After dinner we went for a drive through the city which looked nice lit up at night. They took me to Mrs Macquarie's Chair in the Botanic Gardens where the open air cinema is held and the fireworks at new year for the perfect view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour bridge; everytime I look at those two landmarks I'm still stunned!
Since both Shelley and John were working today I took the opportunity to explore Sydney's sights by myself. THe 'Essential Tour' of the OPera house had been higly recommended so I went round that, and found it really fascinating! I was also really lucky because Kurt Elling and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra were rehearsing in the Concert Hall before his premiere tonight and then the cast of Swan Lake were also rehearsing in the Opera Theatre. It was the cheapest way to check out the perfect acoustics and get an inside look! Afterwards I went round the Rocks, a nice boutique area of restaurants and shops where the first settlers lived in NSW (but not before some more picture opportunities!) In the afternoon I finally found the UGG boots I had been looking for, since deciding I'm going to Durham I think they will be an essential part of my wardrobe! Then I went round the Rocks Discovery Museum (really informative and free!) and next the Museum of Contemporary Art, where I can proudly say I understood absolutely NOTHING. The exhibit was even more outraous than the stuff at MoMA, and just ridiculous with topless photographs and fish made out of rubbish and diseccted bodies expressing the 7 deadly sins - basically just gross. Nevermind! I quickly saw Cadman's Cottage, which was tiny but it used to be used for shipping in the very begiining of the the penal colony.
There's loads of cultural and historical and architectural stuff to look at in Sydney so I whiped up through St Martin's place to HYde Park (I love all these English place names!) to see St Mary's Cathedral (yet again appropriate given my recent uni decision) and through to the Botanical Gardens. These are even more beautiful than the ones in Brsbane with the added attraction of fruit bats! I nearly leapt out of my skin when I looked up and saw about forty hanging upside down from one tree! Thankfully they were snoozing, but it makes English ones look very tame! I know Mummy would have hated it!
In the evening I met John and we went up the Sky Tower to the 360 lounge for drinks. It's the highest viewing platform in Sydney and great for the view, since no other skyscrapersa re high enough to obscure your vision. It rotates quite slowly, so there's plenty of time to try out some of the cocktails; most of them were made up of about 5 different spirits and sounded a bit intense so I just settled for a good old fashioned Cosmo! We had dinner out at a Nepalese place, which was ok but a bit spicy. Was v glad to get to bed after such a full day!