We awoke somewhat later on Friday, around 8, to start our final day. We decided to take the train over to Central Station from Kirribilli. The day was beautiful and the weather was just right. The temperature was barely over 20 degrees, and the breeze was constant. As we made our way over the bridge, we talked about what we wanted to do to fill up our final day.
We decided to walk south into the city and see where we ended up. We finally ended up, passing shop after shop, at the Sydney Eye. We were curious to see what was at the base of Sydney’s tallest structure. We headed into the building where the tower juts out from the ground and headed up a few floors. We arrived at the entrance to the tower and were not too impressed. We didn’t even consider taking the $30 lift up to the top. It was so uninviting and there was no one around to give us any information. Disappointed, we walked around the food court next to the expensive elevators and sat down to a cuppa.
Content with the caffeine fix, we headed back outside and headed toward the tram station to take us to lunch. I was really keen to head back to the Sydney Fish Market one last time to eat and check out the day’s catch. Once there, we scattered to various areas of the market. My mom went to one stand where she picked up salt and pepper squid and chips, my dad headed to the bakery to get some bread and then to get oysters at one of the stands, and I headed to one of the stalls to pick up something new to try.
I decided to pick up some uni (usually translated from Korean as “sea urchin roe”) and some abalone sashimi, two things that I had never tried before. To be precise, the sea urchin roe also came attached to the gonads but I won’t elaborate too much on this. After we all picked out something to eat, we reconvened outside with a Carlton Drought.
I was really excited to dig into the two dishes. I started with the abalone, a delicacy in many parts of the world. The gastropod was unlike any that I had ever had before. I’ve eaten snails, conch, and periwinkle before, but unlike the abalone in front of me on Friday, had all been cooked prior to being served to me. The abalone was tough and very hard to chew. The flavor was of the ocean water it came from, more than likely, and was easy to stomach. It was good, but I certainly wouldn’t rush back to have it again. It certainly wouldn’t be worth the stresses of getting a special license to harvest them.
Next was the uni. It was prepared raw and looked like slimy orange rind on the plate, with the consistency of custard. Having watched Anthony Bourdain eat and enjoy this delicacy, I was really excited to give it a go. I ate each piece with a bit of sourdough bread and thoroughly enjoyed every little bit! I was really surprised at the light consistency and flavor; it didn’t have the overpowering seawater taste that I had expected. Unlike the abalone, I would definitely have this again anytime!
Content with our final Sydney Fish Market experience of the trip, and full stomachs, we headed back to the tram to get the ferry back to Kirribilli. On the way out of the fish market, we passed a stand selling servings of spicy salt and pepper fried white baitfish. I had to have some! I stopped and bought a serving, consisting of more than 75 small fried whole fish. They appealed to me because it isn’t everyday that you see whole fish served to eat whole in one bite. They were delicious and were really hard to share! I would prefer these over a side dish of chips any meal!
We took the ferry home to Kirribilli from Pyrmont Bay but had to wait half an hour for the ferry to get to the Pyrmont Bay wharf. Waiting around at the wharf was entertaining. My parents and I arrived at the wharf early and chose a seat to wait for the ferry. What we observed was both appalling and humorous. About ten minutes before the ferry arrived, two women along with three children arrived at the wharf; one of the children was in a pram fast asleep. The other two children were running around the wharf freely, oblivious to the two women they were with. The young girl (no onlder than 5) started playing on the railings leading down to the wharf platform. She started rolling around on the rails showing off to the young boy with her, of a similar age. The boy started pointing at the girl while staring under the girl’s dress. Thinking nothing of it, our eyes wandered around the rest of Darling Harbour. As I turned around, I noticed this young boy’s private parts were out in full view of the 20 or so people waiting on the wharf, shouting at the girl, “look at mine, look at mine!” At this point it was clear that the young girl was not wearing any underwear and the boy was pointing and staring at her private parts. I had no idea what to say or think; should I notify this young boy’s mom to tell her that he was feloniously expressing himself to the young girl? Should I tell her that her son was primitively showing off his genitalia to the young girl? Luckily, I didn’t have to say anything, since the mother was hinted to her son’s behavior with the laughs and chuckles from the crowd on the wharf. The mother, somewhat embarrassed, put away her phone that she had been playing on for the past few minutes, and directed the young boy to put his penis back in his pants. Australia is a very amazing country and in many ways out-does America but this just went to show me that there are oblivious parents all over the world!
Back to the blog! Rather than waiting until the end of the day to pack, we headed back to Kirribilli to get our stuff ready to go for the Saturday morning. After taking an hour or so to organize our stuff, we made one final decision- what to do that evening! We really enjoyed the rides on the ferries and being on the water, so we decided to take the half hour trip out to Manly, to spend the rest of the day. This was a fantastic decision!
The ferry took us through the harbor out to Manly, where we disembarked and started walking towards the beach. Realizing that we hadn’t picked up enough souvenirs to bring home, we did some shopping along the way. The beach was crowded, full of surfers and sunbathers soaking up the last rays of the day, but the views of the Pacific were certainly not disrupted.
Thirsty for a beer, we headed to Hotel Steyne, at the end of The Corso, across the North Steyne Road from the waterfront. We chose to sit at the window in the corner of the pub overlooking the beach walkway and the Pacific. We eventually had our final meal in Sydney here, overlooking the beautiful colors in the sky as the sun started to set in the west. We all agreed that this was the best place to finish up my Australian adventure to New South Whales, and my parents’ first adventure to Australia.
The ferry ride home was somewhat bittersweet. It was our last time on the ferry and we would have to leave for the airport in the morning, but the ride into the heart of the city was astonishing. We hadn’t taken the ferry into the city at night from this direction, so it was a great opportunity to take our final pictures of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge; we must have taken more than 200 pictures of the two landmarks from various angles and at different times of the day!
Saturday morning, we woke up early to get to the airport so my parents could check into their flight early. I didn’t pity them knowing I would have to make the same arduous journey across the pond back home in a few weeks, but it was sad to see them go. I thoroughly enjoyed the past two weeks with them and am anxious to hear about their future trips back to Oz; I know they’ll come back sometime soon!
After saying goodbye, I hopped on the bus to take me to the domestic terminal to catch my flight to Melbourne. To put it short, I was the first to check in, the first to board, the first to disembark, the first to the baggage claim, and the first out the door! It couldn’t have been a better 2-hour trip! Domenic and Sheryl met me at the airport and took me back to Bairnsdale; what would I do without them!
I’m really happy to spend my final two weeks here in East Gippsland; I love it here more than all of the other places that I’ve been! I love the openness of the area and the proximity to the ocean and the lakes; how couldn’t anyone complain!