Friday, December 2, 2011

Australia day 10

Day 10
It’s Monday and DH has to work. So I spent time walking around the city, taking photos, ended up in Hyde Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral (bummer, they do not allow photography inside), and walked around part of the Royal Botanical Garden.

I also went to see the Convict Australia exhibit which was very interesting. There was so much crime going on in England in the day and they shipped out maybe 250,000 (my best guess) convicts or ex-convicts to various colonies. It made me wonder, since I have ONE English link in my family (which leads to a Scottish link), and there’s always at least one black sheep in the family, if perhaps there is someone in that English link that was a criminal who was shipped to Australia. It would be neat if I have an Australian link in my heritage. Guess it’s time to go to my account and research that one!

That evening we had reservations for Tall Ship Cruises. They advertise themselves as being an authentic Dutch ship, and it is, with an all you can eat buffet. You can even help hoist the sails if you want. Or climb to the crow’s nest if you dare (we didn’t). The employees were dressed in a cross between sailor and pirate helping hand type costumes.

The people there were very friendly and it was a booked cruise. However, umm…well, the boat ride around the harbor was ok, but we can do that on Captain Cook Cruises or a water taxi. It was also cold outside that day with a threat of rain (it rained later that night) and hardly anywhere to sit. The food was basic and not very good. The “entrée” was better than the main. They had 3 types of salad (cole slaw, potato, and something else), shrimp, chicken kabobs (the ones we had in Leura were FAR better than what the ship served) and hotdog size sausages (also not good). And let me tell you about the shrimp: it was hole! I mean, beady eyes, legs, tail and all! So we had to peel everything off the shrimp like it was a crawfish boil (not just the tail like we do in the States). The airplane food was better than what the ship served. Sorry. So no, I would not recommend Tall Ship Cruises. I realize they are trying to pay for the upkeep of the ship, but for the money they charged there’s better food and amenities in the city.

HOWEVER, when we got off the boat we accidentally ran into a ghost tour that was in progress. I knew they had just started because 1. I had the brochure in the hotel room and almost booked it for us but didn’t out of fear we would return late from Tall Ship so I knew what time the tour started; and 2. it was in front of the Cadman House, which is where the tour starts (and I had been at the Cadman house earlier that day while walking around the city).

So, while we were not signed up for the Ghost Tour, we slowly crept up to the guide while he was speaking to the group. When he took notice he asked if we were late arrivers. We said no, we weren’t signed up, verified it was the ghost tour, and asked if we could pay him and jump in the tour. Yes we could! And it was fortunate that DH and I, between the two of us, had enough Australian notes on us to pay for the tour!

The ghost tour took us all over The Rocks, a historic part of town. And it made up for the lousy dinner on Tall Ship Cruises.

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