Wednesday 14th March
Journal entry brought to you by (a happily reminiscing) Tami
Can I just please announce that I love iTunes? I’m sitting here with tears running down my face listening to Eternal, Charles and Eddie, Aqua and Eiffel 65 and all these other artists I’d forgotten existed because Chris who has kindly lent me his laptop to write this journal entry has got the most extensive iTunes library I’ve ever seen. And I love him so much for having all these absolute TUNES! (And I am blessed….everytime I look into my baby’s eyes……GOT TO LOVE ETERNAL! Ha.)
Anyhoo, emotional outburst over. Sorry just really had to vent how much I love forgotten music! (like the Jurassic Park theme tune that has just come on – is there anything he doesn’t have?!!)
So this Wednesday, well we did absolutely everything. We actually got up early, at 8.02 to be precise, to go to the Sydney Opera House which we had booked a tour for at 9.30. Although getting up early makes us both feel productive, it does mean that we take advantage of the free breakfast, which in my case means I have Weetbix, which means sugar has to be added as they taste of cardboard. Which means that my healthy eating plan was once again foiled. Gutted. Ah well.
Well. Just to let you know, although you wouldn’t be able to tell that there was a break, between this paragraph and the one before, Sophie and I danced madly around our dorm room for an hour to all the tunes on this computer. Went back to the days of school discos and cheesy pop. Brilliant.
Okay that was my last distraction, back to Wednesday. We took a wander down to the Opera House, getting completely and utterly lost in the Botanic Gardens on the way. They’re very pretty and all but we tend to keep getting lost in them, which is never good, they’re so big. And we always seem to be in a rush when we’re trying to cut through them quickly. We just about managed to arrive in time for our tour, and met our tour guide, who looked like an Alice (or Mary-Alice – Sophie’s input there) but her actual name escapes me so I shall move on. She was very knowledgeable, but rather unfortunately laughed at her own jokes for AGES, not just the regular snigger that most unfunny people do, but proper raucous laughter that went on for about a minute after the end of each punchline. It was rather hilarious for us, needless to say. We went into the main concert hall, which could seat a little more than 2000 people. Apparently the prices for tickets vary, but when Andrea Bocelli played there, the ticket prices for the restricted view seats right at the back of the hall were priced at $1500 (New Zealand dollars). How ridiculous. The hall could be hired out for all kinds of functions, people have got married there, had birthday parties, once there was a boxing match but apparently the audience got a little out of control and tried to smash the place up so they’ve banned those now. The hall also sported the world’s largest organ with pipes ranging from 9m to 15cm. The hall was gorgeous, really beautifully decorated, and it was apparently all created in different textures and hardness of woods depending on whether that part of the auditorium would be better acoustically if it absorbed sound or helped with resonance, so hard woods were used for the ceiling and certain walls, but the seats and floors were soft wood. Very interesting stuff.
We then went into the opera theatre itself which was smaller, and not so ornate, being painted mainly black to allow audience to focus on the stage. We then ended our tour and decided to go and book our walk of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (booked for Monday). While we were there we were given free tickets to climb the pylon at the side of the bridge, so we decided to do that for good measure. It was quite a mission actually getting to the pylon, but in the end we made it, and it was really interesting, there was lots of information about the construction of the bridge and the workers etc and it was really interesting. There was also a short film showing at the top, which I actually dozed off in, not because it was boring but just because I was really tired, and awoke with a jumpy start and whacked my head on the wall I was leaning on. Which hurt.
We then decided we’d take a walk down to Chinatown for a bit. However we hadn’t quite got there when a man wearing a strangely familiar green apron walked up to us holding a tray filled with free samples of the new Starbucks Banana Java Chip Frappucino – and we were told that they were holding a competition where to enter you had to cycle on a bike that was hooked up to a blender for approximately 15 seconds against another competitor, and whoever was faster would be entered into a prize draw for $200 worth of Starbucks goodies. Sophie, of course, won this out of our round, and although she didn’t win the $200, we did each receive a $10 voucher just for taking part! Thinking there must be some kind of catch we went over to the Starbucks just across the road, but there was absolutely no catch whatsoever and we had a completely free lunch for riding a bike for fifteen seconds! How cool?! We both had mozzerella, sundried tomato and pesto paninis (yes, the no cheese thing is something we are not very good at sticking to), and Sophie had a mangopassionfruitfrappucino and I had a mineral water. Very very nice free food.
Anyway, nicely full we continued in our search of Chinatown, going via the Town Hall (which is not particularly interesting, it’s merely a pretty building), but en route to Chinatown we got distracted again by another pretty building, this time a Cathedral, St Andrew’s. This was the oldest cathedral in Australia, so we went in and picked up a leaflet that explained about all the features of the church, almost like a paper based guided tour, which was very informative.
Determined that this time we would actually get to Chinatown, we set off again with renewed vigour, and this time we made it! We had a good look round lots of funny shops in a massive mall, and a few cool stalls. We then walked up to Darling Harbour, just so we could tick it off the list of things we’d seen, and it turned out to be a really nice walk, relaxing. And as a bonus, it took us to the foot of the Imax 3D cinema which was showing two 3D films that day. The first looked amazing, it was related by Johnny Depp and featured music by Danny Elfman (for those of you who aren’t aware, I LOVE both these two), and the second looked okay, it was called Lion’s 3D and as Sophie wanted to go and see it, and the cinema attendant who had nicely given us half price tickets said it was the better of the two, we opted for it. It was actually rather not great, and the experience was lessened further by this kid in the row behind us who was talking constantly throughout the film, asking his dad questions in German. His father should have been a little more considerate too, as instead of telling him to speak quietly, he just answered the questions at a normal volume. Eventually after about 30 minutes I just asked him if he’d mind keeping it down and he looked a little sorry although he didn’t say it. Then he and his son walked out of the cinema! We thought they’d gone but then they came back in a few minutes, but thankfully they were a little quieter. It was still quite cool as we got to wear super dooper massive glasses which were very very unfashionable. We did take some photos – we’ll upload them soon if we can, just the internet connections here aren’t great and each photo takes about 5 minutes to load. With only 30 minutes each per day when available it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get them onto the site, so we apologise for this.
Anyhoo after this we went next door and were given a free icecream for going to the cinema! How cool?!
We then walked back to the hostel, stopping in Hyde Park for a bit so Sophie and I could have a heart to heart, then finally returning to King’s Cross. We seemed to do SO much that day, it was untrue. Plus we got the following things free:
2 x bridge pylon climbs
4 x mini Banana Java Chip Frappucino samples
1 x free icecream
2 x half price cinema tickets
$20 worth of Starbucks vouchers
So all in all we did very very well in the free things department! Good day all round though, highly educational and lots of fun.
And now my day has got even better because I’m STILL listening to Chris’ iTunes and they’re amazing! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him a whole heap for letting me use his computer so repeatedly, I appreciate it SO much as it means I (a) get to write ridiculously long and complicated blog entries, and (b) means I can listen to his fabby iTunes (-: - THANK YOU xX