Day 177 – Adventures in Sydney #5 – Powerhouse Museum
I don’t know why, but after seeing the amazing view from the roof of May’s apartment, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to get up early to watch the sunrise from up there. I’m over-reacting a little, it wasn’t bad and it the only effort it took was putting pants on and catching an elevator to the top floor (and a little walk through some fire stairs) – but, it did require us waking up at 6:30AM (which is just crazy!). There was some thick cloud on the horizon obstructing the first few minutes of the sunrise, but it eventually peeked out over the top. The sky lit up, as did the city. And, that’s all that seemed to happen – things got brighter, none of the beautiful sunrise colours I was hoping for. We did our best to go back down and go back to sleep for a while.
We finally made our way in to the city before lunch time, caught a train to central station, and started on the walk to the Powerhouse Museum near Darling Harbour. I don’t know why, but we were both hungry (even after a late-ish breakfast), so when we saw a ‘Dim Sim Factory’ I couldn’t contain my curiosity. Strangely enough, it was as described – they make and freeze dim sims (and other bite-sized Chinese food) for wholesale distribution, and a small amount of it is available to eat fresh. I think I tried nearly one of everything that was available, pork buns, puffed pork buns and several other small snacks. They were also incredible, and they were all so cheap! I think we ended up spending less than $10 for the two of us, and we walked out of there full. The place is called Lai Shing Dim Sim Factory on George St – worth a visit.
I say that we walked out of there full, but Risa was keen for a bubble tea (tapioca pearl tea) to wash brunch down. Instead we ended up at a Chinese cake shop… which was also incredibly cheap (we spent another $10). My eyes were bigger than my belly, so we ended up with a box to eat later…
It was now close to 1PM, and we finally arrived at the Powerhouse Museum – incredible. The building was enormous on the outside, so I knew we were going to be busy. It was $12/each entry, which isn’t too bad, but recently we’ve been spoilt with free exhibitions. There were four floors to explore, so we made our way to the bottom to work our way up.
Firstly we spent a while exploring the Beatles in Australia exhibition – extensive isn’t a strong enough superlative – there was an absolutely incredible amount of memorabilia on display, and I can imagine it would be even better for anyone that was around to have experienced the Beatlesmania back in 1964.
Downstairs was a large exhibition on artificial intelligence and robotics. It’s always interesting reading about the evolution of computers, but at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, there wasn’t that much new information. I have to remember that this museum caters to the average person, as well as children, so it’s not going to be incredibly technical. Still, I love seeing robotics.
There were a few more exhibitions on the ground floor dealing with light, power, energy and my favourite, space. There were lots of satellite models, as well as a few rockets, and a simulation of the International Space Station (though sadly, the weightless simulation wasn’t working).
Upstairs was a large fashion exhibition, notable exhibits included one on two Australians who trekked to the South Pole. It include the custom underwear they had to modify to stop potentially expedition ending chaffing problems – hopefully they were washed, as they only had two pairs for the 90 day journey… Also cool was the Marvel inspired fashion show. We actually saw some of these dresses for sale in David Jones, but even at 50% off, they were nearly a weeks pay… but damn did they look cool. Also amazing were the garments created for Sydney Mardi Gras.
Upstairs again, and another big exhibit dedicated to light. Risa got to test her skills dodging laser beams. We got to make shapes on a phosphorous wall (more fun than it sounds, trust me), as well as just play with light in general.
We were then informed by staff that the museum was soon to close, so we should make our way to the gift shop/exit… I think we saw most of the museum, but I’m not sure… Anyway, it was interesting, and even though it was a little childish, it was good to have some interactivity.
We spent our last night in Sydney at the local pub (Kirribilli Hotel) for pub trivia. They had parmigiana on the menu, so out of obsession I ordered it (Risa got the prosciutto wrapped chicken). Mine was great, except for the bits that weren’t covered by sauce/cheese which were super dry. But, back to the trivia, we had a reasonable team, and were doing well at the half-way point (though, to be fair, they were pretty simple questions up to that point). The only problem was that it really dragged on. We started at 7PM, but we didn’t finish until just before 10PM… We’d lost interest towards the end. Oh, and we ended up just outside of the prizes… Oh, and in case you’re interested, our team name was Whale Oil Beef Hooked (say it fast with a Dublin accent).
This was it, the end of our Sydney stay, tomorrow we’d be moving on once again. We thought that we’d only be in Sydney for a day or two, but ended up staying for five and could have easily stayed for more. It was lucky to have had such great hospitality (though, to be honest, we’ve been spoilt everywhere we go).