Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sydney Day One

Our first day in Sydney was a little packed. We woke up to this blissful view of the Opera House. I have to say, we love the B&B we're staying at (thanks Mary for the recommendation and for letting us copy your itinerary).

After a delicious breakfast, we hopped on a hop on hop off sightseeing bus. We don't have too much time in Sydney and thought this would be the best way to see all the major sights.

The Sydney version has two routes, one with all the sights in the city and one that heads out to Bondi Beach. We opted to go out to Bondi Beach in the morning.

At the visitors center, we were told to take a walk from Bondi south to Bronte Beach. The walk was only 4k and had a beautiful view the whole way.

On our walk we passed the Bondi Aquatic Center. To become a member, you have to swim here every Sunday for a year (regardless of the weather). Of course Sydney does bask in sunshine the majority of the year.

In the afternoon, we took the city route to learn all the facts about the Sydney sights. After a little debate, we decided to abandon the bus and do the Opera House tour.

We joined the last tour of the day, which was phenomenal. We learned so much about this 'historic' building, which is funny as it is only 39 years old and youngest on the registered World Heritage List (joining the pyramids and the Great Wall of China).

Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect, designed the building. It is almost a miracle his deign was chosen as it was submitted late and originally thrown in the reject pile. His design was also not the most sound from an engineering standpoint, so he was lucky no engineers we're on the selection committee!

The building is amazing from a design standpoint. The idea for the roof came from the popular children's toy Legos, which were invented in Scandinavia, close to Utzon's home.

Building the Opera House took 14 years and resulted in a lot of controversy. So much so, that Utzon resigned halfway through. The result of this scandal is that the roof was designed by Utzon while the interior was designed by an Aussie.
After our tour, we headed to Chinatown for dinner. Sydney's Chinatown is the largest in the world and oh boy, is it bustling.

For dinner, I got steamed veggies, tofu and rice, while jay was a bit more adventurous. I kind of wish I had been more adventurous, but I knew we will be riding bikes for 6-7 hours tomorrow. The last thing I need is an upset stomach.

I'm not exactly sure what he got but it looked like a huge bowl of soup filled with tofu, crab, shrimp, beef and noodles. He was happy. We both were confused by these black rectangles floating in his soup. We assumed they're edible :-/

Friday night is when Chinatown really comes alive with a street festival. Not feeling quite full from dinner, we stopped by a Chinese crepe stand. This dessert was no joke, it was basically a chocolate crepe acting as an ice cream cone with graham cracker, nuts and two kind of chocolate sauces.

Despite my best efforts at dinner, I think someone may have a tummy ache tonight!