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July 14th, 2003 · No Comments

Had a great day in Sydney today. Clear skies as usual, and in the morning I hopped on the Monorail for a quick ride around. It’s not wonderfully fast or smooth, but it’s worth a try if you’re here. Following that, I visited the top of Centrepoint Tower, which is about 250m tall and looks out over the entire area; photos will be posted eventually, but it all looked good. There was a surprising amount of smog around; nowhere near as much as London, but I guess anything other than ‘none’ would’ve been surprising given my ultra-clean impression of Australia thus far.

When you buy a ticket for Centrepoint Tower (aka Sydney Tower) you get a free ride on the Sydney Tour. This is a little like a themepark tour, but for Australia, so you get to sit around watching little holographic dioramas (not as cool as it sounds) with headphones on, walk through painfully fake caves with aboriginal art, and then finish up with a low-definition movie while being moved around on actuated seats.

It only lasts 35 minutes, but let me assure you, they are 35 minutes that are a total waste of your life. I feel sorry for the tour guides, myself; after each of the sections, our guide would ask, ‘So did everyone enjoy that?’ After a long, uncomfortable and rebellious silence, someone from the back would mutter, ‘Yeah.’

I escaped as soon as I could, and met up with a friend for lunch in Chinatown. Here’s a piece of impromptu advice for finding good chinese restaurants: if it’s full of English/caucasian people, it’s bad. If there’s a queue of chinese people waiting outside, it’s good. This restaurant had a really long queue of chinese people outside.

We then wandered over to the Powerhouse Museum; this place is great, it has a very modern and cultured feel to it, and has all sorts of exhibits, from scientific to historical. There are nice art exhibits dotted around it to break things up, and it passes the key test: everything works. A final bonus is that it cost a little over �1 to get in as a student.

A pub in the centre initially provided a good spot for her to interview me on some game thoughts, until they turned the music up, and I also got the chance to try out some Australian beer. To round things off, I went to a Japanese restaurant in Newtown that she’d recommended, called Asakusa, which I in turn would happily recommend to everyone else. Maybe I should’ve gotten used to this by now, but for the price of a normal meal in the UK, I got vast quantities of yumlicious seafood and a starter that was actually visible to the naked eye.

Shop names spotted on the walk back home: ‘Better Read Than Dead’ (a bookshop) and ‘D’ough!’.

Tags: museum · travel

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