Tuesday, December 21, 2004

On our last full day in Oz we mostly rode every public transport vehicle we could in order to make the most use of our Sydney Pass as possible before we left.

Finally got my bacon and eggs at the Vulcan then walked to Central for the subway to Kings Cross to photograph the Al Alamein fountain, a WWII memorial. It was early morning so Kings Cross, the celebrated red-light district of Sydney, wasn't quite awake yet and was therefore unremarkable.

Revisited St Mary's Church and bought a ticket to tour the crypts which we were too late to view the last time we were here. The crypts are beautiful and very peaceful. A large cross decorates the whole of the crucifix-shaped floor, and there is a tranquil, pastoral picture at each cardinal point and a picture of heaven and earth meeting at the intersection.

A few of the Bishops and Archbishops who once presided over the church rest there now and some of the church's old Catholic paraphenelia are on display alongside a static exhibition on the history of the Catholic church in Sydney.

We walked back to Circular Quay for the 1300 afternoon Harbourview cruise. It's a nice, long cruise (2 and a half hours long) and took us around the harbour showing off the splendid sights of Sydney's famous landmarks, its awesome surf, its dramatic cliffs and rocks on which the waves foam and break, and an assortment of luxurious residences all along the seafront. There is no ugly spot to be seen anywhere. Wherever our eyes wandered they were met with a prestine, picturesque landscape.

Back at Circular Quay, we caught the blue Bondi Explorer to see the sights of the Eastern side of Sydney -- the residential and beach side. It was an envious drive past all the gorgeous houses we could never afford. The beaches boast amazingly high waves and only the surfer dudes could be seen braving such surf.

We stopped at the Gap, the entrance into from the Pacific Ocean. Here, the cliffs meet the surf in an explosion of spray and white water -- what a sight!

Caught the last Bondi Explorer of the day back into Martin Square for a wander around before walking back to the Quay for the 2000 evening Harbourlights cruise. A shorter cruise this time (about 1 and a half hours long), but Sydney all lighted up at night is a different kind of magic from its face in daylight. I love the sight of a city lit up at night and this sight didn't disappoint at all. What can I say? Sydney is beautiful. Wow!

Our Sydney Passes are now retired (except for one last ride to the airport tomorrow) but at least they retired smokin'.

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