Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sydney - Day 6

With a bit of a lazy start to the morning, we got up and out of the hotel. We spent most of the day at Darling Harbor near the exhibition halls. There is tons to do down there. First things first, we purchased tickets for the IMAX.

We decided on the 3D movie playing as it only seemed right to see a movie on that screen in 3D. We had some time to kill so a short walk brought us to a mall area with a food court.

Back to the theater for one really awesome movie! A bit pricey, but hey, when are we going to be back in Sydney again? Similar to Korea, the tickets are assigned based on a particular seat which means you don't have to arrive early for "a good seat".

Afterward we walked around and looked at the war museum ships and other historical paraphernalia.

We split up as we entered Paddy's Market and Chare, Mylinda and I shopped while the rest went to the hotel.

The shopping lacked any great deals as the shops were closing up. I did purchase some dried fruit and nuts as they pack well and provide some good energy throughout the day. Plus they reduce hunger, which is nice because dried fruits and nuts are cheap while restaurants are pricey here.

Back at the hotel we all rested. Late that evening we were all peckish so we all walked down to Kings St. looking for a good restaurant. We settled on a Turkish to go place. Really good food!

Off to bed to prepare for the next day!

More to come...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sydney - Day 5

Sunday morning early we set out searching for the best route to a little church near Baffin and Parramatta.

After locating the correct cross streets, we stopped at a Hungry Jack restaurant to get a quick bite before arriving at church. Hungry Jack seems to be in some way related to Burger King (same looking sign, similar menu, same post-meal heartburn). While Hungry Jack may have been related to Burger King, it must be BK's ugly, red-headed, pot-smoking, annoying nephew-by-marriage! In a word "gross".

Anyway, The Brethren church was similar to many other churches I had been in with wonderfully warm Christian hospitality and items in the worship service designed to focus attention on Christ. What made it different though, was the format. Every male in the church was encouraged in a pre-message time to share something. This something could be a passage of Scripture, a prayer, a word of encouragement or even lead in one of the countless songs in their song book. Really interesting approach to the worship of God.

After the service and tea, we sought out Croyden station, made our way to the hotel and set up plans for the day.

We decided on Chinatown for the afternoon and stopped to lunch at a "Thai" restaurant that was decidedly more Chinese than Thai. Still, the food was extremely tasty.

One of the girls headed back to the hotel to check on the invalid while Chare, Mylinda and I walked around Paddy's market and Chinatown doing yet some more shopping.

We were going to do an IMAX movie at the "world's biggest IMAX screen, but it was going to be a late night if we did that and we all really wanted to be together for the movie.

We met up with Lisa at Darling Harbor and rode the ferry back to Circular Quay. From there we rode the bus back to the hotel and ordered pizza again (mostly because we could) and enjoyed another much needed rest.

More to come...

Sydney - Day 4

The strangest Christmas so far...

We slept in till 10am and then headed for the city central. We found a Starbucks to purchase some souvenir mugs and of course, to buy a simple cup of joe (yeah right on the simple part).

Chare and I set out on our own and the other two ladies went to find the church we would attend on Sunday.

We really had no plan as we arrived back to Circular Quay (btw, "Quay" is said "key") so the most appropriate thing to do appeared to be riding the longest ferry ride out to Manly Beach. The ride was rather hot, but we did get to see almost the entire North side of the harbor.

At Manly Harbor, we saw what at first we thought was Manly Beach and after walking its short distance, we consulted a map. Wouldn't you know it, we were only at the harbor beach! A short walk later and I saw the longest, light yellow beach I have ever seen. Perfect time to be there too, in my opinion, because it wasn't terribly hot and people were making their way back from the beach. Walking this stretch of beach was a much longer, more arduous task.

After our walk, I convinced Charity to stop and get some fish n chips. She was not overly thrilled with the idea as she has an unnatural aversion to almost any water-borne product. Once tasting that crispy white fish and amazingly fried potatoes, she was hooked! (Truly no pun intended...)

We then boarded the ferry once more and sat on the port side so we could see the south side on the return trip. After all, the south side is where the opera house is and it does look nice from the water.

Back to the hotel we went and finished our day lazily as it has been another day of walking everywhere!

More to come...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sydney - Day 3

Our third day of travel, second day in Sydney, began rather slowly as we didn't get up early to say the least.

Once again, the day was marked for shopping, but today was Paddy's Market. Paddy's Market embodies the idea of an American flea market without all the toothless rednecks and the babies with bottles of Coke or Pepsi instead of milk.

Everything from cell phone accessories to fresh foods waited around each corner. After an hour of searching for just the right souvenirs, we set out once again for the hotel to prepare for the afternoon's program.

On the way back, we stopped for Subway sandwiches to go and enjoyed our meal together at the girl's room. After a good meal like that, rest arrived on the agenda. A short nap later, we all readied ourselves for Sydney Opera House.

While the program, artistically speaking achieved a level of notoriety, I did feel like they missed the whole point! At several points during the program, I couldn't help thinking that the powerful words and music lost strength with the manner and attitudes of the singers and performers.

While I know that the celebration of Christ's birth is simply that, an opportunity to party and a rest from work, I cannot help but feel sad at the people all around that have the Message in their own mouths and fail to comprehend it!

While the program was a bit different, we did get to see quite a nice show and we did get to see that show in a beautifully odd shaped artifice.

We then walked for a little while looking for some inexpensive food and ended up at McDonald. Some terrible food and free wifi later, we headed to the hotel. One of the girls then had a horrible night, next day and even the following day which kept her in the hotel room.

Another day down Down-under.

More to come...