Sunday, August 21, 2016

Australia ~ Day 15


Wow what a whirlwind adventure this has been so far.  We still had several punches on our travel cards we bought so we were going to use them all up in the next couple days.  Our first time in Sydney we went to Darling Harbour a couple times.  We didn't get to go to the Hard Rock Cafe and buy my glass yet or go to the Maritime Museum or the zoo so those were on our to do list.  Along with the 360 tower, tour of the opera house, see a real opera and everything in between.  Hard to believe we were going to have to cram so much stuff into just a few days but we were up for it.  With all the walking and everything we had done so far we were getting used to it. By the end of the trip we could actually walk for hours and it not be an issue, that's how much we walked this trip LOL we were going to check out the Maritime Museum and more of Darling Harbour.  I left the big Canon at the room today so all these photos were taken with the cell phones.  Yes, I did regret it after the fact but some memories are just made to be seen once in a lifetime, and that's ok too.

Leaving the hotel, I'd much rather be in Lift 3 then the other one.  The other one made noises and yeah, I'd rather not die on this vacation LOL  In Australia they actually have floor 13!  In the US any hotel I've been in always skips that floor......

We found this super cool playground area.  They had so much cool stuff for kids.  This rope tower thing was my favorite as I know my kids would play on this thing forever!!!  We also tried KFC for the first time.....NOT a fan *sigh*


There were quite a few people around the Harbour today and we weren't sure why.  But we were always able to find a spot to sit and rest and enjoy the views.

This next part had to have been the funniest part of the whole trip.  We had no idea this was going on at Darling Harbour, so it was a nice little surprise to us when we got there.  The gentleman speaking was talking in an American accent (come to find out later he was trying to do his worst impression of an American accent and Mom and I both thought it was a real American accent hahahaha)  Anyways, this was a cute little skit about swimsuits through the years.  I took several videos of this but when my phone died right after our trip I lost all the rest of my videos :(  This was so much fun to watch though, and everyone laughed so much.  Mom said they were pretty spot on for her years.  My years could have been a little skimpier but then again, I'm not sure if Australians wear close to nothing like the Americans do these days.  So much FUN!!!!!!



After that amazing show we continued on to see the boat show and tour through the submarine, destroyer and the Endeavor!

The Submarine ~ HMAS Onslow

This submarine was decommissioned in 1999, just weeks before going to the museum.  The Onslow was commissioned during the Cold War.  It was used to track Soviet submarines moving into the Arabian Gulf from Vladivostok via the Coarl Sea and the Great Australian Bight.  This sub has a diving chamber for Special Forces to leave the boat for covert operations, a gash ejector containing weighted rubbish bags that sink to the ocean floor so no debris floats to give away the submarines position and soundproofing on all equipment to make Oberons one of the quietest class of submarines ever built.  Traveling the equivalent of more then 16 times around the world in 30 years, I'd say this amazing vessel got plenty of work in it's day.


The Destroyer ~ HMAS Vampire

A Destroyer!!!!  Holy cow this ship was massive!!!!  This is Australia's largest museum vessel and is the last of the country's big gun ships.  After this big guy their ships were equipped with missile weaponry.  The Vampire served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1959 to 1986.  The arsenal included 3 twin turrets housing 6 x 4.5 inch guns (still in place), 2 single-gun and 2 twin-gun Bofors anti-aircraft guns (still in place), 5 anti-ship torpedo launchers (removed in 1970) and surface to subsurface anti-submarine mortar (removed in 1980).    All in all the Vampire had a peaceful career.


The Old School Research Vessel~ James Cook's HMB Endeavor

This is one of the world's most accurate maritime replica vessels.  On this ship you get to see everything a sailor's life was like during Captain Cook's epic 1768-1771 world voyage.  The masts and spars carry 28 sails that spread approximately 10,000 sq feet of canvas.  This amazing ship is usually parked at the wharf but does go out on the Australian coast regularly so the public can see it.  You can join the Endeavor for a sail as well, working as a voyage crew member and live, sleep and eat just like the pioneering sailors did or you can take the more leisurely approach and be a Supernumeraries.  These folks can relax in the Great Cabin and enjoy the comfort of their own single cabin.  You even get your own food, training and everything!




The ride back home we took the double decker bus again.  Have I mentioned I love this bus.  It's so great to be able to get on and off whenever and it takes us exactly where we need to be.  Here's a few shots of our way back.

On our way back to our room that night, we finally stopped at this tree by the museum to see what it was all about.  It is the Lei-Bombed Tree Project.  They basically wrapped Leis around the tree to welcome visitors to the museum.  That is why a Lei is given, to welcome people.  We saw a couple of these trees on our trip so it was nice to finally know what they were for.  And this one wraps clear up the tree!


And that was our day :)  It was so cool being able to go through the Navy ships and learning some of the history of Australia.  I've been in love with this country since before I can remember, being here is definitely a dream come true!

~Till Next Time~

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