After our hour-long tour, we headed to the Orbit Lounge, a revolving restaurant at the top of the tower in Australia Square. They had a tapas menu, nice & light but very tasty & enough to keep us going, and we each had another crazily expensive cocktail, made even funnier by the fact that each cocktail I kept trying to order wasn't available for some reason. The view was amazing, and sitting down out of the beating sunshine made it even more worth it.
Refreshed by our tapas siesta, we walked through The Rocks, a colonial district of the old Sydney, to the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Many people had recommended the bridge climb, but Amy looked it up, and not only are you required to wear special suits and not take your own photos, but also if you've had a major injury in the past 6 months, you're not allowed to go. Ms Recent Shattered Elbow Amy might have been able to handle it fine, but honestly the day was so hot & muggy that being cooped up in full coveralls climbing stairs only to purchase photos at an exorbitant price didn't sound that great to me anyway. We decided we could walk up the stairs at Pylon Lookout and get a good enough view and our own free photos. It was a lot of stairs in the sticky weather, but the view was spectacular of course, just catching the last of the fading light on the opera house before the bridge cast its long shadow.
They have exhibits inside the pylon, including models of how the workers had to ride the steel girders to direct them into place. They definitely could not be afraid of heights, and it was so dangerous that 16 men died during the years of construction. They had signs from older exhibits too, one slamming Melbourne as city rivalry which struck me funny. :) We kept walking along the entire bridge, watching the sunset from across all the traffic & through many levels of metal mesh. I liked the center point view with the sun setting in the distance.
The north end of the bridge just went around the bend away from the harbor view so we just turned around and went back, hoping to make it to the botanical gardens at dusk to see the flying foxes. By the time we hiked the whole way back around the Circular Quay, the fading light was great for photos along the way, but the park grounds closed at 6pm, just before we arrived. We saw some cool architectural salvage set up as lawn sculpture, and if we get the chance we'll come back in the daylight to see the gardens properly.
Since there is a special elevated pathway from the bridge over the Circular Quay to the gardens, we didn't walk past any restaurants to scope them out for dinner, and we hadn't noticed anything that caught our eye earlier in the day. We strolled Opera Quays again, just like last night, with the difference being everything was open this time. We checked out menus & decided on sharing a pizza and salad, with our second comedy of cocktails of the day...running out of one brand of whisky I can understand, but what bar runs out of gin entirely? Hilarious!
It was a tasty dinner that hit the spot without being too heavy, since we already had our eye on the Belgian chocolate place next door for dessert! Amy had a Belgian waffle while I had a glorified hot fudge sundae, then even though I was up for more city action somewhere, Amy was too tired to keep going. We were back at the hotel by 8:30pm, which seems tragically early to me for one of our few nights in Sydney, but at least we should be well-rested to be able to enjoy our last day tomorrow. We're taking the ferry to Manly Beach for only our second chance for beach relaxing time in the sunshine the whole trip!