The 4th day started with the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s CBD, only a 5-10 minute walk from our hotel. The building was built during Queen Victoria’s lifetime, according to the Victorian Romanesque architectural style (image below courtesy of HDR, Inc.).
After meeting with another Sydney-residing relative at one of the bus stops on George Street, we entered the building and headed for lunch in a Korean sushi bar. We later sat down at a cafe where we were ordered by the staff to purchase 1 drink per seat, and 1 cake per 2 seats. Failure to comply would result in our buttocks being kindly lifted away from the stools. The cafe is located on the ground floor, for your information.
Our group was then divided 4-5. The 4 of us decided to have a look at some shoes and at some iPads. Logically, the women were interested in the shoes and the men were interested in the iPads. Despite everything being double the cost, the iPads at Dick Smith were cheaper than in Hong Kong. But before we purchased either, we made time to play with McDonald’s touchscreen order panel.
Now, the #sydneyobservatory was the last and greatest event of the day. I can talk about how mesmerizing the whole journey was for days, but I’ll just keep it short here. We previously booked online for the tour well in advance, but it turned out we arrived well behind schedule because of the remote location. We actually managed to miss the whole 3D presentation on stars and their orbiting exoplanets. By the time we arrived, the staff was using a high-powered laser pointer to point at each of the popular constellations, as well as stars and planets that may harbor life. At that time, we figured out why the observatory was located so remotely away from the Rocks. It was to make sure that this green laser pointer could clearly be seen and pointed towards the intended star. After the outdoor tour, we went back indoors to the north dome to view Saturn and some stars through the computer-controlled reflecting telescope. After our astronomer guide hit a few keys on the keyboard, the telescope (which pointed out through the linear opening of the dome roof) rotated in sync with the rotating dome, so that guests can quickly view the intended celestial object.
As the skies were particularly clear, the guide also showed us the south dome that housed the oldest large refracting lens telescope (1874) in Australia. We saw a nebula blast.
Despite being extremely exhausted with only 5-6 hours of sleep a day, I still managed to write 9 postcards for my friends back home. It was 03:00 by the time I finished, leaving me with only 3 hours of sleep that day.