Australia journal - June 1999

Sydney: The Chinese Garden
and the Aquarium

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Tuesday morning we walked through Chinatown, such as it is, and toured the Chinese Garden.  Then we walked north toward downtown, where I stopped in at Venue Music to play guitars for 45 minutes or so.  I sampled a few local models and a random Yamaha or two, my real purpose being to keep my fingers limber.  It wasn't possible for me to schlep my own instrument along with our heaps of baggage.  Andrew's mother has a guitar I can borow when I get to Brisbane, I'm told.  It felt good to get in a few minutes of playing, even though it was in the busy showroom of a downtown Sydney music shop.

Rita wandered off while I was playing, and when she returned we headed for the Sydney Aquarium.  En route, we grabbed a quick roasted chicken roll and a short black at a downtown business district sandwich shop; even the fast food is good here!

The Sydney Aquarium has several underwater tubes that allow you to view their worlds from below. The sharks were particularly exciting from this angle, with a very clear and close-up view of their many, many teeth.

After our aquatic adventure, we hopped on a city bus and went right past our hotel and on out to the other end of Paddington.  Rita wanted to walk some more, and check out the architecture in the side streets; my dogs were barkin' and I wanted to be seated or supine for a good long while, but instead I went grumpily along.  This part of Sydney has a lot of two-story stucco row houses that front right on the sidewalk, with narrow terraces and iron railings on both levels -- very much like what we saw a lot of in New Orleans.  The commercial district felt a lot like the Inner Sunset in San Francisco, with a wide main drag and a nice mixture of shops, restaurants, boutiques, cinemas etc. and plenty of people on the streets.

On to Katoomba...