More Places To Visit in
Sydney, Australia

We spent Sunday morning sleeping. Remember, we were on the plane Friday night and already seeing some of the sights the whole of Saturday. We were pooped.

We finally got to leave the flat where we were staying at about 11am.

First Stop: The Opera House
Rating: 3 kangaroos - Hop on to this immediately

Sydney Opera HouseThis has got to be the most recognized structure in Sydney. I always thought it was solidly and smoothly white but up close, you see a shell or tile-like design. The Opera House is located in the Circular Quay. The walk to see this structure is very relaxing. On the day we were there, it was quite windy, very sunny, so we enjoyed seeing the seagulls, the yachts, the water. It was a nice place to be. There was even a band performing, that a number of people had already started to gather on the Opera House steps. There were also stalls selling costume jewelry, charcoal drawings, among others. Sydney is a beautiful city and the Opera House location is a perfect place to realize this.

From the Opera House, you can also see the Harbour Bridge clearly. We were quite happy just having our photo taken with the bridge in the background. Now for more adventurous souls, you may even want to find yourself on top of the bridge for even more fantastic views (they say) of the city. In which case, you can do the Bridge Climb!

There are also street performers once in awhile. We managed to see this person, standing like a statue, with a silver costume and silver paint all over. My son, Adi, looked at the statue quite suspiciously. For a few coins, you can take your picture with the statue and you even get a lollipop. My Sydney-based friend tells me that these street performers need to get a permit from the City Council.

Second Stop: Silver Spring, 1st Floor, Sydney Central, Corner Hay and Pitt Streets
Rating: 2 kangaroos - worth hopping onto also

This restaurant is highly recommended by the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, considering both food quality and price. It was no surprise then, Chinese-food lover that my family was, that we would seek this place out.

Our meal cost us more than P350 per person (about US$9) for about 10 types of dimsum orders, which is really quite reasonable. Our orders included several kinds of dumplings, chicken feet, congee, shrimp with tofu, siopao, and dessert. The food is okay but China Bistro, in Libis (in the Philippines), still tops it, though prices are slightly higher.

Eating at Silver Spring also gives you the feeling of being lost in China or Taiwan. Very few of the waiters and waitresses speak English so you're reduced to looking and pointing to choose your food. There was one waiter who understood English quite well although after awhile, he probably wished he didn't. We started asking him for a teaspoon for Adi, for Coke, for water, one at a time. Well, being a waiter is one of the most stressful jobs in the world so what could we do?

I needed to go the bathroom so I stopped by before we left Silver Spring. As is true for most of Australia, there were three choices: Ladies, Men's, and Parent's Room. Most of the establishments and even the public toilets in Australia would have a bathroom especially for parents with babies or small kids. There is a contraption attached to the wall which you can pull down and you can use this as your changing table for your baby. Can't they have these in the Philippines too? Calling the Department of Tourism. Better yet, calling the malls and other establishments.

Most of the public toilets I went to were quite clean, with toilet paper and liquid soap to boot. Oh well.

Third Stop: Paddy's Market
Rating: 2 kangaroos - worth hopping onto also

After lunch, it was time to go to a tiangge (flea market)-type of place, Paddy's Market. This place, which is only open Fridays to Sundays, sells a wide variety of items. This is the place to go to should you want to buy some souvenir items to bring home to your relatives, friends, and officemates.

Allot about one to two hours for going around. You'll find some interesting t-shirts, stuffed toys, paper and stationery, and even food items.

Fourth Stop: St. Mary's Cathedral and the Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park
Rating: 2 kangaroos - worth hopping onto also

Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park The last Sunday mass at St. Mary's was at 6pm so we had time to spare. This allowed us to take some photos of the cathedral's Gothic design and also to relax and rest near the Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park. The Archibald Fountain is said to commemorate the French and Australian World War 1 alliance. Adi had fun watching the doves in the area and just enjoying the greenery from the trees around.

St. Mary's is a Jubilee church so we found ourselves very fortunate to be able to hear mass there. Adi was quite excited, or so he seemed, and was quite noisy all throughout the mass. Covering his mouth to tone down his voice didn't work (as my husband belatedly found out) as Adi only increased the volume of his muffled voice even more. For once I was glad I was not in the Philippines. In the church that we usually go to in Manila, at Adi's slightest noise, people would turn around, look for the source of the noise, in most cases, Adi, and generally, appear a bit annoyed. At St. Mary's, no one dared turn around and look at us. The few who did, had smiles rather than irritated expressions on their faces. God bless their souls. Maybe, it's a culture thing.

After mass, it was time to go home. In Sydney, we stayed at the Renaissance Hotel. It has a good location, just a few streets (a 5 minute walk, probably) from Circular Quay (pronounced key) where you can already take the ferries to just about anywhere.

Renaissance was a good hotel for us. Try their Vegetarian Lasagne and strawberry thick shakes. They also have a good dinner buffet at Crayons (similar to Philippine Plaza's Café Fiesta, before, where kids can draw on the cartolina on the tables with the crayons provided), with very fresh seafood like smoked salmon, prawns, and squid. As for the breakfast buffet, well, it was the same thing everyday, so after awhile it gets kind of tiring. I wonder why they don't vary it a bit, daily, at least.

We also met some nice Filipinos working in the hotel. Cynthia, who was serving at Crayons, already had an Aussie-accent speaking in English, but still sounded very Pinoy with her Tagalog. Well, Filipinos can be very flexible and hard-working. That's why we've survived.

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01 - Intro, Visa requirements
02 - Off To Australia, Adi's Plane Ride
03 - Sydney Wonderland Themepark, Olympic Park Aquatic Center, Charcoal Mine Restaurant (Parramatta)
04 - The Opera House, Silver Spring Resto, Paddy's Market, St. Mary's Cathedral and the Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park
05 - Nature Tripping at the Blue Mountains
06 - Taronga Zoo, Writers' Walk at Circular Quay, Sydney Aquarium, Lobster Cave Resto, AMP Tower
07 - Brisbane, Gold Coast
08 - MovieWorld
09 - SeaWorld

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