Thursday, July 21, 2016

Australia 2016, Day 5 - Hillsong, The Rocks, Manly

On Day 5 in Sydney, we started out the day by taking a train to meet the big red bus for Sunday worship at Hillsong Church. This was on my to-do list on my first visit, but it got skipped for other adventures, so Stephanie was sweet enough to make it happen this time. Hillsong has LOTS of campuses in Australia, including several in Sydney, but we chose the closest one, and it turns, out, the right one. Louie Giglio, an American pastor, was the guest speaker that Sunday - I found it quite amusing that I went all the way to Australia to hear a pastor from Atlanta preach! The music was quite happening (although I didn't know any of the songs), the atmosphere was much like a rock concert at times, and the preaching was solid and interesting. It's certainly not the style of worship I want on a daily basis, but I really enjoyed getting to attend Hillsong Australia.
After church, we took the train back to Circular Quay and had a tasty lunch at The Rocks Cafe, our favorite restaurant in The Rocks (we ate there three times during my 11 days in Sydney, and at least twice on my 2014 trip). I had yummy chicken schnitzel again! It was a beautiful day so we sat outside and had fun people-watching while we dined.
After lunch we headed up the hill to The Rocks Market, an open-air market nestled on the cobblestone lanes between the harbour and the bridge. There are stalls full of artwork and photography, hand-made jewelry and accessories, and much more. And it's always different. We wandered through the stalls for a while, spent a good bit of time (and money!) at our favorite booth (Natalie Ness Jewellery), and bought a few Christmas ornaments and other odds and ends. 
Natalie Ness has designed some amazing jewelry!
With our wallets much lighter, we walked back down to Circular Quay to catch the Manly Ferry over to Manly to enjoy the sunset on the beach. We rode on the inside to escape the wind (which was QUITE rare for me - I almost always sat in the very front of the ferry!), and once we got to Manly quickly walked down the Corso to the beach wall. We decided we wanted a quick snack, so we went to The Pantry Manly, which was right on the beach but a little fancier than expected. We got a nice dessert - I had banoffee pie, which I hadn't had since Scotland in 2007, and Stephanie had some sort of berry parfait. 


Banoffee pie - yum!

After dessert, we walked down onto the beach to enjoy the last rays of sunlight and the beautiful colors of sunset over the Pacific Ocean. There were lots of guys surfing, but only a few other brave souls on the beach - it was rather cool and windy. 

Of course, I had to carry on the tradition of putting my feet into the water at every body of water I visit. Last visit, I wet my feet at Bondi Beach and Watson's Bay. This time, it was Manly at sunset. And it...was...cold! Stephanie, being the sweet friend that she is, was crazy enough to join me. We splashed around for a while, got our pants soaked, and had a blast!
Before getting wet
She doesn't yet realize how cold the water is.
Whew, that water is cold!
I love the expression on Steph's face when that cold water first hit her feet.
Feet in the Pacific Ocean
That's a true friend right there!
video
When we could no longer feel our toes, we climbed back up to the beach wall, dried off as much as possible, and walked back to the Manly Wharf. The plan was to catch the ferry to Circular Quay and walk around the Vivid lights for a while before heading home - that was not in the cards. The wharf was so packed with people wanting to go to Vivid that the first ferry was completely packed, and we had to wait 30 more minutes for the next boat, which was also sold out. It was crazy crowded, and that was nothing compared to the massive amounts of people in Circular Quay. We walked through the crowds just long enough to get out of them and onto the road leading home - there were times we could barely move. We made our way back to Stephanie's flat and just visited and prepared for our next big adventure. 

Waiting for the Manly Ferry along with several hundred of our closest friends :)

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