sydneytrip2010: day four

montage: sydney botanical gardensI am, not to put to fine a point on it, burnt like a overcooked lobster... well... an overdone piece of toast... or possibly the lovechild of a lobster and some burnt toast. I'm very red and very sore is essentially what I'm trying to say. Not overall... it's very localised, but still hurts like a mutha!

It would help if I could blame anybody but myself, but really I can't. So I deal, at least until the stinging goes away. Showering is entertaining though, particularly since my scalp is the worst of it. That and my ears... the top of my ears are just horrible currently... total train wreck.

I knew I was burned yesterday, but seeing it in the bathroom mirror this morning and seeing all the strange little places that I'm glowing red was particularly strange... like there's a spot on the back of my left hand... it's not connected to anything, it's just there, all by itself. And it would seem that I missed a whole stripe up my right arm. Stupid skin. Stupid sunburn. Stupid yani.

In much happier and more interesting news, I broke my previous holiday photography best today... actually I think I broke if yesterday or maybe even the day before, I'll have to work that out later... but I filled my 4GB memory card today. Granted nearly 300MB of that is 10 very short videos, but the rest of it is 1377 photos. And there are others currently on the 2GB card in my camera.

It's a little scary. It appears as though there are going to be Sydney photos here on the blog for a good long time to come!

You know what... as much as I'm loving this whole Sydney Trip to pieces, I miss my own bed. I don't think I've had a decent night's sleep the whole time we've been here *sigh*. It's going to be an early night for me tomorrow I think. And I must be really tired, I keep closing my eyes while I'm typing and then I start typing things that make no sense in the current context. A few times I've essentially started to do "free association writing"... I close my eyes, I'm still writing, obviously the voices in my head are dictating, because I open my eyes again and there's text. Weird.

Sleep deprivation... it's a kicker!

After I sorted myself out this morning and headed down to Ma's room, we decided on a trip to Lindt on George Street for breakfast... because who said that chocolate isn't a breakfast food! We didn't just have chocolate though... we had toast. But mostly it was about the chocolate.

We've now been to both Lindt and Guylain, and while I think I liked the presentation at Guylian better (at Lindt they give you chocolate and milk and let you mix it yourself which usually means that I end up either wasting milk or making my chocolate weaker and weaker as it goes along)... neither of them is Max Brenner. I very much prefer Mr Brenner.

Our plan for today was hazy at best. I think we just figured we'd wing it, but given that it was our last full day, the idea of wasting it didn't seem right.

So we started off by going to Westfield Sydney. I'm surprised they really have the nerve to call that place "Westfield"... there's not a discount variety store to be seen anywhere... and it's all so SHINY. It's also incredibly empty at this stage... half of the upper floors are just walled off store-fronts which adds a decidedly strange and exclusive air to the whole place.

It's also a place that has joined The Great Sydney Mensroom Conspiracy! Downstairs near the Gap store is a women's bathroom... usually there would be a men's bathroom nearby... seems not. Grrr... thankfully I found the most tricked out and overly excited men's bathroom up on another level. And I just realised I'm starting to become obsessed... but it's not my fault that Sydney keeps denying me a mensroom.

As I was saying though, it really doesn't feel like a Westfield complex... it's obviously aimed at a very upscale market. It was only when we finally found our way down into the basement that I really felt like I was in a Westfield. But even so, all the visual marketing is so incredibly over the top and slick looking that it manages to make cheap things seem designer.

We stopped off in the Adidas store briefly and I amused the girl working there talking about the Star Wars shoes (and it was very tempting to try on a pair of the Boba Fett sneakers, but they were $250 and I really don't need another pair of shoes).

The other cool store down in the basement was Hart & Heim which had a bunch of vinyl toys and objet de kinda useful. It was also very tempting, especially when I found the super cute blind-boxed Touma's Little Trickers (sadly the site is all in Japanese). Had to have one (which turned into two when Ma bought one and after we'd opened them to see what designs we'd ended up with, she gave me the second one... which oddly I never even twigged that she was going to do that).

Given that neither Ma nor I are particularly interested in shopping for clothes, it didn't take us long to run out of things to look at in the Pitt Street Mall so we ended up (somehow... I'm still not completely sure how we get from A to B sometimes) in Martin Place, finally found the Lindt Shop there (I was SURE that it had gone, but turns out it was there all along, I was just looking for it in the wrong place).

Can I just say... Lindt's macarons (or delice or whatever they're calling them)... the Salted Caramel and the Champagne flavours are just divine! Obviously, we stopped off and picked some up as kind of morning tea... one for right then and there, and the other managed to survive long enough to be useful later in the day.

As we'd more or less run out of shopping options, and the weather didn't look that bad (although, really... Sydney, your weather, changeable much!) we ended up deciding on the Botanical Gardens. And I'm glad we did.

For the most part, one Botanical Gardens is very much like another in Australia as far as the types of plants they have on stage, its more about what's currently in bloom and how the garden itself is arranged.

Sydney is a little more unique because the Botanical Gardens are part of the larger Domain area, so I think they appear to be bigger than they really are.

But I think we ended up seeing most of it... certainly I think we saw about 80% of the Gardens themselves.

And lordy oh lordy was it ever an opportunity to take a buttload of photos... We also did a buttload of walking. In fact, I hate to even consider how much walking we've done during this holiday. I'm not sure that I really want to know to be honest.

While we were around in the "Australian" gardens (at least I think that's where we were) we sat down to rest briefly and it started to rain. Instead of getting up and scurrying away we ended up just sitting there with our umbrellas up, just enjoying the view and the rain (and our second Lindt macarons). It was very pleasant actually. Eventually though, the rain started to pick up, so we decided that it was probably time to go and do something about lunch.

First stop was the hotel since we were essentially just down the street once we made it to one of the Garden entrances , then we went off in search of pie. We've seen the Pie Face stores before... they seem to be all over Melbourne, and we'd spotted that one earlier in the day.

We also upheld the tradition for this particular holiday... very late lunches... by the time we'd grabbed a pie (which were very tasty by the way) and were sitting down in Martin Place to eat it, it was around 2:30.

That was when the very serious "What Are We Going To Do Now's" kicked in. We ended up wandering around somewhat aimlessly and somehow found ourselves next to the David Jones Christmas windows. It's amazing what they can do with a couple of puppets and couple of rolls of fishing line.

Interesting though. And it helped to fill some time in. One thing I do want to know though... the windows were labelled 8 through to 13... where are the first seven windows?

Since we really couldn't make up our minds about what we wanted to do, but we were so close to Hyde Park we decided to head back to the Botanical Gardens, if for no other reason than just so that we could do the last bit of the walk around to the Opera House.

Of course, that was about the time I got the brilliant idea that we should walk all the way around to Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Interestingly, I was expecting more of an actual, you know, chair! Something big and stone... imposing, maybe like a throne almost. Instead there was some writing on a wall, a pole for a very tiny stripper and a bench which I didn't even really notice, but no real chair.

On the up side, it did provide some of the best opportunities to photograph the Bridge and the Opera House at the same time.

We than set off around Farm Cove and did the entire waterside path (except where they appeared to be building some sort of strange giant ramp out over the water. I have no idea what the hell that's about).

It's a long walk though... and we were both pretty shattered, so we did the other tradition of this trip and took a little break from each other (and I remembered to check in to tomorrow's flight on my iPhone... god I love that... although it always freaks me out when right after you get the SMS from them it says "This boarding pass is expired"... freaks me out, but for whatever reason it sorts itself out eventually) before going off to have something for dinner.

Fortunately dinner wasn't very far away... in fact it was literally next door to the hotel at Wagamama. While I've had a lot of Asian food, I don't know that I've ever particularly had Japanese (when it's proper Japanese food)... and we decided to just to get a bunch of side dishes, rather than something major.

What we ended up with was gyoza (grilled chicken dumplings), yasai gyoza (vegetable dumplings), negimi yakitori (skewers of grilled chicken), chilli squid, sweet potato kusabi (hand-cut chips with basil and wasabi mayonnaise) and for the first time ever, we had edamame (steamed green soya-beans). I really like edamame, and there is that whole tactile thing when you eat it. We also had dessert for pretty mcuh the first time this trip.

The staff were really good too... we were initially served by the manager and she was so good at remembering dishes that she didn't actually need to write anything down... well, she wrote it down on our placemat after we'd ordered, but didn't write anything down to take away with her.

Once we were done with dinner we wandered back up to the hotel (which took about 2 minutes total).

After I left Ma in her room I ducked back out for an hour and wandered down to Oxford Street to pay a quick visit to Toolshed. Disappointingly it's pretty much just another sex shop. Well stocked, certainly, but it's just a sex shop. But I still picked up a nice set of nipple clamps...

Now all I need to do is decide if I'm going to start my packing now since it's so late or wait and do it very early in the morning. I'm leaning towards a bit of both...

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Victor said...

The 'giant ramp' at Farm Cove may be the screen that is used for the outdoor cinema in January and February.

During the day, the screen folds down to lie flat over the water and it is raised for the evening screenings.

The Westfield you visited only opened last week. Stage 1 (about 130 shops) opened the Thursday before you arrived and hundreds of other stores will open progressively over the next two years.

yani said...

Actually the "ramp" was exactly that... it was for the Red Bull Birdman competition thing held on Sunday, I saw the photos from it today.

And yeah, I know that the Westfield had only just opened... still seems incredibly weird and a little silly to not have all the stores in place before you open...

Victor said...

Dear Yani - you don't really believe they would wait another two years before starting to generate retail income do you?


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