Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sydney Day 3: Manly & Opera

Up early again after another good sleep. Had breakfast at the hotel buffet again; I knew it was going to be winter down here (and it's not any colder than I expected in general), but why is the hotel buffet in an unheated space. Today I was dressed for it, but it still made breakfast pretty uncomfortable.

I decided to head out to Manly today, to enjoy a ferry ride and see some of the outlying area. I bought a combo ticket online for the small aquarium at Manly and a few other places I plan to see tomorrow, and headed out. On my way to to the wharf I stopped in at a few places and picked up some things I'll need while in the outback that I had neglected to pack: sunscreen and bug repellent, and a warm hat and gloves. While it will be warm enough during the days in the Outback, at night it will drop to close to freezing. After overpacking for Russia and not using most of the warm clothing I had packed, I seem to have over-compensated, and under-packed for Australian winter.

Took a bus to Circular Quay and got the ferry to Manly. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the half-hour ferry ride was really nice, with gorgeous views of the harbour, and a view of the open ocean as we approached Manly.

 Sydney Opera House (left) and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the ferry

Manly is a small, cute touristy beach town. The Corso is the main drag from the ferry wharf to the beach. I walked along it, and spent a little while at the beach, watching people and reading. Found a nice spot for a lunch of fish & chips, and then went to explore the aquarium. It was small but interesting, and my timing was good to catch short talks about the sharks and the Little penguins (which are indeed little).

I took the ferry back to Sydney and walked to the nearby Opera House to pick up my ticket for tonight's opera. Took a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens (partly blocked off for construction), and then had a drink and dinner at one of the sidewalk cafes by the Opera House.

View of part of downtown Sydney, from the Royal Botanic Garden
The opera was Rigoletto, which is supposed to be a good "beginner" opera. There were surtitles in English, which helped. The music was good, and I enjoyed the hit tune La Dona e mobile, which of course I knew from Bugs Bunny cartoons, but in the end it seems I am not much of a fan of opera. Like the opera I saw in St Petersburg, the plot seemed overly complicated and silly, and while I can appreciate how talented the performers are, the style of singing is not my favourite. Still, the instrumental music was good, and it was fun to just be in the theatre, which is as magnificent inside as outside.

Sydney Opera House, from the ferry

Joan Sutherland Theatre in the Sydney Opera House.
My seat was near the back, dead centre.

After the show I walked to the bus stand at Circular Quay and found a bus that took me within a few blocks of my hotel. Got to bed late, very tired, and with sore knees. My left knee had acted up on my trip to Russia in March, and I've been getting physiotherapy for it. It's doing OK now, but since landing in Vancouver my right knee has been quite sore. I'm still able to walk all over the place, but it's pretty painful, and stiffens up when I sit for a while. I'm hoping this isn't going to be a problem during the hikes in the Outback...

1 comment:

  1. I remember when we were in our tent in the Outback (many, many years ago). We'd have frost on the tent in the morning, but by the afternoon we were in shorts. Being a budget traveler I didn't want to spend money on mitts so socks on the hands worked well when the temp dropped at night!! The Outback is beautiful, enjoy! We still have out "blog" aka the paper book where we had to write in pen - times have changed! Sharon