Our original Thursday plans involved whale watching, but unfortunately our ship’s captain suffered a back injury. After rescheduling for Friday morning, we set out for the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Chinatown.
The most interesting contrast exists between the bustling city and the tranquil garden and pond. Everything about the garden is an oasis of serenity, but one can still hear the sounds of the city just beyond the walls.
The Garden was designed by Sydney’s sister city, Guangzhou in China as a symbol of the bond between China and Australia.
Jonathan found this playground (below) on our way to Darling Harbour, at right.
Next up was the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. I think I fell for the bells and whistles of tourist websites when I bought these tickets prior to visiting. I was also hoping that we would see a lot of sea life native to Australia. But it’s a very small aquarium and not worth visiting, in my humble opinion . . . but there were interesting photographic opportunities!
The shark walk was fascinating- it was great to photograph the sharks up-close-and-personally. However, it seemed far too small for the number of sharks housed there.
After working up an appetite at the aquarium, we visited a burger joint we had passed frequently. A fan of poutine, the large signs advertising their poutine burger caught Jonathan’s eye. Lord of the Fries has fantastic advertising and the burgers lived up to it!
Since we arrived early to the happy hour location, we grabbed a drink at the nearby Surry Hills bar, the Royal Exhibition Hotel. The Royal Exhibition is a sports bar, so we got to watch quite a bit of a cricket game while there sipping cider. Ciders are everywhere in Australia, with many on tap- perfect for this non-beer-drinking girl! I hadn’t known that the English (and consequently Australian) drink so much cider!
After a co-ed happy hour at the Strawberry Hills Hotel, we parted ways for the respective bachelor/bachelorette parties.
Unable to post photos from the bachelorette party itself, I can post the above photos from the karaoke afterward. The random images over awesome 80’s/90’s and boy band music were hilarious!