Australian Adventure (Saturday, June 15, 2013)

40 Days Down Under (Day 2)

Saturday, June 15, 2013
Normally I would tell you that you're crazy if you ask me to wake up at 6am on vacation, but that was a perfectly reasonable expectation today. Afterall, we had gone to sleep around 8:00pm last night.

We had a leisurely morning since most places don't open until 10am on Saturdays, and grabbed breakfast from a local takeaway (CQ Cafe) eating it on a park bench. One of the ibis was getting a bit too close for comfort while begging for food. Kris chased it away, but it kept coming back.

After breakfast, we walked down by the harbor and the Circular Quay area before exploring the Rocks. The Rocks area of Sydney is one of the oldest with remnants of the original structures/stairwells/narrow roads still remaining and signposted. Super easy to trip if you aren't careful. Luckily we were careful enough to avoid disaster. We did run into some street art.


We arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sydney at opening. (Many of the museums in Sydney are free of charge, and the MCA is no exception.)

The feature display for Winter 2013 (so odd to say that) is an artist named Wangechi Mutu. I found her art to be rather disturbing and dark. One display had us walking on floor covered in clumps of artificial hair.


The other exhibits were easier to stomach, and the roof had nice views of the Opera House.








After the MCA, we headed to the vendor market they were having at The Rocks. We both got some street food from different vendors, me a meatball, spinach wrap and Kris a Turkish chicken flatbread melt. We enjoyed many of the vendor stalls and found some quite interesting - especially the one that revealed that some Australians use kangaroo balls like some Americans use a rabbit's foot.


We decided to cross over the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and head to Luna Park on the other side. Luna Park is a quirky Australian amusement park.


The bridge offered great views of the Sydney Opera House and other items in the harbor.


Luna Park was fun. I love the captivatingly animated entrance. They've put some plastic over the eyes that make them truly reflective.





The characters in the park are over the top animated with appearance appropriate voices.


There were some lively dancers stuck in the '80s and creepy clown illustrations all over the place.


Children in bumper cars did the Macarena while waiting on their ride to begin.

Seems awfully young to so enthusiastically know the Macarena

Kris kept (affectionately?) repeating, "this isn't Disneyland."








I found the entrance to the little kid section of the park particularly disturbing.



Admission to Luna Park is free, and most of the rides were free to observe (even if they were inside of a building). The park had some old rides that you could observe in action. One spins so quickly the people stick to the wall as the floor drops away.


The place had a really reasonable annual pass and was located next to $1.8 million dollar condos, so Kris and I speculate that those parents just get the kids an annual pass and tell them to go play at Luna Park (instead of the regular old outside).

You can actually take a ferry ride right from the Circular Quay to Luna Park, but we thought we'd take the less expensive train back. You get some great views of the bridge from the park, so you don't need to take the ferry for awesome photos. It turned out that the train rides were temporarily suspended due to construction, so we walked back on the bridge.











We went back to the hotel to rest for a while until nighttime so that we could go get a photo of the Opera House illuminated. After nightfall, we walked back down to the Quay and the MCA for amazing photos of the Opera House.











We wandered for a while until we wound up at Peace Harmony a family-run vegan restaurant that wound up having the best spring rolls I've ever tasted.

Kris got the noodle chili basil (with some tofu and soy chunks) while I got the spring rolls and some steamed rice.


Super tasty and under $20 for the two of us!

Alas - I'm getting spoiled by this jacuzzi tub. It's going to be tough going to four minute saltwater showers.

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