Our intrepid misadventures in Sydney continue! Riddle: what’s ten foot tall, unimpressed, and would kill you if it fell on you from absolutely anything whatsoever?
It’s Queen Victoria, of course!
Town Hall, central Sydney, is as always a busy place. As far as cities go, central Sydney is a businessman with his party pants on underneath his grey suit. Town Hall’s surface is lively with tourists and workers, but all the action is underground, in the train station, in the underground shopping centres and arcades and boutique stores and food courts in Victoria’s Basement. Away from the city, the life is in Chinatown, in Darling Harbour, in the Rocks, in the markets.
Being a Monday, there wasn’t much in the way of markets on, but everything else was good to go. Ryan and I bid Victoria a quick hello and trotted past a workers’ strike into Chinatown, where the preparations are under way for the New Years’ celebrations.
We skirted past the Chinese Gardens into Darling Harbour. Here, the construction is endless, the place is in a constant state of change. What was a water park is now a grassy field, what was a Ferris wheel is now the entrance exam for State Water interns:
This very nifty, sizeable park consisted various water features. Fountains and hand pumps aside, the main piece was a maze of different channels formed by concrete islands, each channel changeable via a series of switch gates and sluice gates. Water travelled constantly through the course. The switch gates could each be moved to direct water into a left or right channel. The sluice gates could be raised by hand to let through a rush of built-up water. There were two end destinations, one passing through the water wheel pictured above, the other passing this stranger contraption…
This sort of water drill. We could have happily spent all morning at the water park, but beyond the water course there were giant slides, a huge climbing net, and more, and beyond that the harbour proper was waiting. We made a nuisance of ourselves with the other adults in the park before making our leisurely way to Darling Harbour.
We had to try everything. Our stroll to the harbour was quite leisurely.
But the seagulls didn’t mind. They waited.
Our dalliance with the harbour was to see the aquarium, and potentially also the wax museum. The museum had a great figure of Leo DeCaprio out front, and that was enough to scare us off venturing any further. The aquarium it was! Fortunately, everyone else in Sydney spontaneously had the same idea, i.e. it’s fish time, and so we were joined by every man, woman and child within a sixteen block radius. This really added to the sensation of humanity and in fact life itself all travelling together down the one great river called existence, although there is only so many times you can be shoved out of the way and still really revel in the spirit of brotherhood.
The first display in the aquarium contains two cute little platypuses;
Further on, this turtle was just chilling;
Soon we were in amongst the tropical fish. I don’t know that I particularly agree with aquariums – it’s not much water for a lot of animals. But I suppose the point is raising public awareness of these creatures, and that they do more good than harm. Sydney Aquarium doesn’t have any whales or especially large creatures, which is great, and the smaller creatures certainly have enough personality to make the trip worthwhile.
Some of the creatures, like this shrimp, are also awesome:
Picture of the Day 66: graffiti camouflage
We pulled ahead of the crowd (i.e. most of the population of Sydney) and descended a zigzagging ramp down under the water of the harbour. Here, there are two glass tunnels beneath two huge tanks.
Rawr! Upstairs, on the balcony overlooking the tanks, we watched the dugong have a quick lunch of lettuce, before moving onto the biggest of the above ground tanks, where again the sealife got close and personal above a perspex ceiling:
He looks kinda happy, right? We left the aquarium with this pretty scene behind us:
After the aquarium, we headed up to Chinatown for lunch, then back to Town Hall for a little light book shopping. Laden down as such, we meandered along to the Martin Place bus stop, but not before examining several of the city’s leading bike shops, where we found this;
Very nice carbon frame machine, and waaaaaay cooler (I totally want one) was this;
Fat bike, and best of all, ready your eyeballs for this amount of sheer cold awesome coming atcha;
Very nice! I love the Yeti. I’d love to have a go on the fat bike too.
So we bid farewell to Sydney for the daylight hours, but if you’ll tune in again soon, you will see that was not the last of our tourist pilgrimage…