Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Australia Days 8 & 9

Three Sisters from Echo Point
Yesterday we started off by getting a cab and going to the airport to pick up our rental car. After, getting that we drove from Sydney to Katoomba. We got there about 3p.m. and got checked in. Then we walked down to the Echo Point so we could look out and see the Three Sisters. I overheard a young boy saying that they didn't look like 3 sisters. One of them looks like a dinosaur. After that we walked to the Visitor information center and went down to the cultural center where we learned about the Aboriginal art. We were there for quite awhile. The owner invited us to come back the following day for performances.

The Everglades House

Next, we walked up passed Lilianfels and decided to eat there for dinner. We ate in their restaurant. Dad and I both had the steak. It was a great meal. After that everything was pretty much closed, so we went back to the motel for the evening. Today we got up and went back to the Cultural part of the visitor center. We talked to the guy more about art. We watched a short performance on the didgerdoo. Then we listened to a lecture given by some of the performers on their tools. After that we watched them do a few dances. Once that was over we decided to go for a drive and went to the Everglades Garden. It was this house with 13 acres of gardens. It was very impressive.

Banksia Tree
There was even a man made grotto. I thought Hef Was the only one with grotto. There were also these cool trees called banksia. It took us a couple hours to go through the place. Next, we went to the town of Leura and Leura mall which is actually like a main street with cool shops. We went to Josophan's Chocolate shop. I got Mayan Dark Chocolate with Chilli. It is very tasty. We also went to Lost Bear gallery. We saw this one shop and the display in the window was a dress made from fancy underwear. It was kind of a cool way to display it. After that we drove to Blue Mountains National Park and went to Jamison Lookout and then walked down Prince Trail so we could see the Wentworth Falls. They are very lengthy. We didn't go down to the falls as it was a couple hour hike and the sun was starting to go down and it was getting chilly. After that we drove around. There doesn't seem to be many places to eat here or maybe it is we don't know where to look. We went back to Lilianfels and ate in their lounge. I had roasted duck breast on a salad with walnuts, apples, and grapes. It was excellent. 

Top part of Wentworth Falls

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Australia Day 5, 6,7

ON the 23rd we were going to go to the Chinese Friendship Garden but it was raining again. We walked over to the Harborside Shopping Center and had breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks. It was good. We decided after that to ride the monorail over and go to the Sydney Tower Eye.
Sydney Tower Eye
We thought we could just go up quick but there was a long line. Before we got there we went through a 4D experience. We flew over Sydney as a bird and we could feel the wind in our hair. Then we were on a boat and could feel the wind in our hair, the spray on our face. After that we were on a surfboard and again the waves under our feet and spray on our face, then we fell off and we could feel our air bubbles all around us. It was very awesome. After that we had to wait to go up because one of their elevators was broken. We finally got up there and by then the sun was out and the view was beautiful. We could see 360 degrees around Sydney. After that we wr had to wait to go down. We finally got to the bottom floor and went out on the street. We saw several street musicians. The first was a band called Set Sail. I liked their music so I bought their CD. We walked some more and then Dad suggested gelato. He thought he remembered where it was but he didn't. So we walked a long way and it wasn't there, so I was ready just to go back to our hotel and then go somewhere to eat early.

Set Sail
We went to the Hard Rock cafe again. When we came out we listened to an acapella quartet sing Christmas carols. After that we headed back to the hotel and called it an early night. Christmas Eve day started down at the Circular Quay with breakfast at Guylian Belgian chocolate place. I had pancakes with chocolate sauce which was delicious. Then we went to the Sydney Opera House and did their Essential Tour. It was only an hour and I wish that it was longer. There was so much more I wanted to learn. After that we walked to the Governement House and took an hour tour of that. We did not enjoy it. We didn't get to see much but learned lots about people we had never heard of. After that we went up to the Rocks. We went to the Museum of Contemmporary Art. They only had one exhibit and it was weird so we only stayed for 5-10 minutes. Then we walked up to the Sydney Observatory. When we got up there I realized that Dad forgot the umbrellas again when we had had to check them. After getting them back a few days before from Hard Rock I didn't want him to lose them again. So, there was going to be a tour at the observatory but we would have gotten back after the museum closed. So we sat on the hill for a few minutes overlooking that part of the town and then we walked back down to retrieve the umbrellas.

After that we went back to the Opera House cafes and ate. We had a hamburger that we didn't like. Then we went to the movies "Ides of March", which was ok. There was no one on the streets when we were headed back. Dad told me there was going to be fireworks at 9p.m. on the harbor and we had half an hour. We got a gelato and then I was going to settle down to wait. Instead it was back at Darling Harbor so I was trying to walk and eat at the same time. Luckily, the fireworks didn't start until 9:15. That is where everyone was. There was a huge crowd all around the harbor. Today was Christmas Day. We took a ferry from Darling Harbor to Circular Quay and had breakfast at Guylian. This time I had a a belgian waffle with hazelnut ice cream and chocolate sauce. It was almost lunch time as we slept in some. After that we took the ferry to the Tongo Zoo. It was a really nice zoo, and we got to see all sort of animals.
Zoo is on hill with zig zag trails. One of the views from trail.

We did that until 4:30 as they were closing at 5p.m. today. After that we took the ferry back to Circular Quay and walked to the rocks and had dinner at Guylian at the Rocks. Then, we walked back to the movie theater and were going to watch another movie, but they were closed. So we took the ferry back to the side opposite our hotel and went to the casino as Dad wasn't ready to call it a night yet. However, neither of us gamble, so we bascially did a lap around the casino and then headed back to our hotel. I wore sunscreen today but missed a couple spots on my neck and got burned. I also got burned on my hands. The left bow on my glasses got tangled in my sunglasses in the multiple changing of glasses today and the screw is coming out. I am going to try sometime in the next couple days to find a glasses shop, but in the meantime I may have to tape it to hold it in place. I will have to wait and see. Merry Christmas!