Day 14 - Sydney

View from the ferryWhen we woke up this morning and looked out the window we got really depressed. It was our last full day in Australia and it was raining. We decided to brave the rain and catch a ferry over to the city, but first we had to buy a $40 umbrella from the Ritz Carlton gift shop. It's a really nice umbrella, but I think it was just a little overpriced. We asked the concierge for directions to the Ferry and he told us that it was a fifteen minute walk to the Rose Bay pier. Forty-five minutes and a lot of rain later, we finally arrived at the pier. Needless to say we weren't very happy, especially when just as we got to the pier the ferry left. It turned out the next ferry wasn't due to arrive for another two hours. Luckily we found the Imperial Peking Chinese, a floating restaurant near the pier, just in time for Sunday brunch (dim sum, beef chowmein, and sweet and sour pork). We were waiting for our dessert (fried ice cream) when the ferry arrived 25 minutes early. We canceled the dessert, paid the bill, sprinted to the ferry, and just made it before it pulled out again. Once we were on the ferry we found out that we didn't have to miss our dessert after all, as the ferry was continuing on to Watson's Bay and then returning to Rose Bay one more time before it headed for the city.

We had hoped to see the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Tower today, but with the bad weather we initially concentrated on souvenir and gift shopping in The Rocks. By the time we finished shopping the weather had cleared up a little bit so we headed over to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens which are adjacent to the Sydney Opera House, form the eastern border of Sydney. Groves of palm trees, duck ponds, a cactus garden, a greenhouse, a restaurant, and acres of lawns coalesce around one of the finest walks in Sydney. I thought the gardens were very similar in style to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The pictures below were taken in the gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens 1 Ibis The Fernery The Rose Garden

After leaving the gardens we walked over to the other Ritz Carlton in Sydney (not as nice as the one we're staying at) and caught a cab back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We ended up having dinner at the WFP restaurant. WFP stands for "Wood Fired Pizza" and yes it's a lot like California Pizza Kitchen. Their pizza was definitely better than what we had in Portland and the Chocolate Mousse pie for dessert was delicious. Well we'll be leaving for home tomorrow afternoon, so this is the last page I'll be posting in Australia. I'll be writing the final page of our trip on the fourteen hour flight back to San Francisco and posting it when I get home. We have real mixed feelings about the vacation being over. We're anxious to get home and sleep in our own bed, but we still don't want this vacation to end. Oh well, when you hear from me next we'll be home in California. See ya' then!


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