The Sydney Tourist

Well I’ve been the consummate tourist these past few weeks. Maybe that’s what Sydney does to you, but I’ve been to a number of sights, done lots of touristy things (including eat a lot of chips!), and got tons and tons of photos to share.

Actually I think having people to hang around with makes a big difference. You tend to do more stuff. My first week in Sydney I had my friends Sarah and Kellie to drag round all the tourist spots. And we did plenty, as seen previously.

Then last week Lena arrived, so there was more stuff to do (special items I’d been keeping in reserve just for her), so all in all it’s been a busy few weeks!

Now as mentioned previously, I did the yoga at the top of the Sydney Eye Tower. Well later that day I went along to do the Skywalk I had originally planned to do right afterwards but couldn’t because of the weather.

wet and windy

For $65 they give you a snazzy blue jumpsuit to wear in exchange for all your personal belongings (including your camera, but more on that later), then they harness you up, clip you onto the guide rail, and away you go!

skywalk group shot

kiki on the left

kiki on the right

I didn’t find it as scarey as some of the others. Personally I just found being outside that high quite invigorating. Even jumping up and down on the glass walkway didn’t bother me that much. See…

one, two, three... JUMP!

I have to say, the guy doing the tour (Stu) did an excellent job. He was fun, funny, and told us lots of interesting stuff that I’ve since rattled off to other people, much to their bemusement. He was even good enough to let me do a headstand shot, which is the main reason I went up there in the first place (that, and it’s twice as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge at a third of the price).

25. skywalk headstand

That photo cost me $50, more or less. That’s how much for their souvenir photo pack. Considering how much it costs to print photos and burn a disc these days it was a bit of a rip-off, but what can you do? If you want a momento they’ve got you by the asanas.

It wasn’t as dark as it seems on the photos when we were out there, but it got dark not long after, and I got to enjoy Sydney at dusk once I was back inside, which was nice.

dusk from the tower

In fact I had to enjoy it, as I got the shakes a little once I was back on ‘terra firma’. I had to sit for a bit and have a cup of tea before I could head back to the hotel. Now that was a surprise to me.

All this I did the day before Lena arrived. Once she landed we had a whole list of stuff to do, including tickets (one of which was a surprise for her :)).

NB: I won’t tell the saga of the hideous ‘lodge’ we had booked. Suffice it to say I took one look and immediately went out to find something better. And I did, just around the corner! Ten times better, and at the same price. I’m telling you, don’t settle for less. Life’s too short!

The surprise I had for Lena was in fact the first proper thing we did (aside from eat, sleep, and stroll about). It was tickets to see the opera Carmen at an outdoor event on Sydney Harbour. To get an idea of what I mean here’s a view from the Tower Eye.

carmen from the tower

Not very good as I really had to zoom to get the shot, but you get the idea.

We got down there a little early and managed to take a few shots of the harbour from one of the best vantage points in Sydney.

sydney harbour at dusk

opera house and bridge at dusk

a night at the opera

I also got some shots of the spartan stage before the show began,

carmen

including one from our seats.

the view from the cheap seats

The show was good, but I have to say, I don’t think I’m that into opera. Just didn’t do anything for me. A few nice tunes, but other than that I wasn’t too bothered. Still, it was an experience, and at least I can say I’ve been.

Now even though I’d done the Skywalk, I still wanted to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout. $11 and you get to go up one of the towers on the bridge (which are purely decorative by the way. Look at the photos. There’s nothing connected to them. they do nothing to hold the bridge up!).

You get some great views of the harbour,

sydney harbour

and Circular Quay,

circular quay

CBD, with cruise ship

not to mention the bridge itself.

sydney harbour bridge

bridge climb in progress

You also get to see an upside down Englishman, but only on rare occasions.

26. pylon lookout headstand

After the Pylon Lookout we went to the Chinese Gardens near Darling Harbour. I’d been here before when I swung through Sydney for a day on my way to Perth. I’d found them nice and peaceful, a really enjoyable and relaxing place to be, so I wanted Lena to see them too.

phoenix, dragon, duck

baby buddha

through the square window

temple through the trees

clinging

yin yang

chinese gardens bonsai

the garden gate

happy smiles

I also got another headstand shot,

27. chinese gardens headstand

as well as doing a bit more yoga based monkeying around.

baby buddha crow

I love that Baby Buddha statue! I want one in my garden. 🙂

Our last day in Sydney we went to Bondi beach. Had to be done really.

bondi beach

kiki at the beach (on a very bright day)

We wanted to have a swim, but in the end it was too cold. But, we did get to sunbathe a bit, and I got this photo (one for all those who think I’ve gotten really skinny since being away, lol).

28. bondi beach headstand

We finished the day off with a ballet performance at the Royal Opera House. I really wanted to see something there, and the performance of Don Quixote is what was on.

don quixote

I think I like ballet a lot more than I do opera. The show was brilliant. Started off a little slow, but by the end the dancers were doing some amazing things, and you couldn’t help but cheer and applaud.

The storytelling was great too. I mean it was handy to have a program to get all the details, but you got a good idea of what was going on just from the performance. I’d go again to the ballet, and to the Opera House (significantly more comfortable seats than Carmen too!).

sydney opera house detail

I even managed to get a sneaky headstand shot when everyone had cleared out,

29. sydney opera house headstand

and another one outside, of the harbour at night,

30. sydney harbour headstand

which puts me up to thirty headstands so far! Not a bad haul really. I wonder if I’ll be able to get to 100 by the end of it all?

And that’s me for now. The next day we picked up our camper van and started our drive up north to Cairns (by heading west, but more about that later).

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