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BUTTERFLY-SELF PROPELLED FLOWERS

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

 

Moment I stepped inside this place- I realized that ‘God’s miracles can be found only in the nature’. It was impossible to tell who was more mesmerized and happy to see so many colourful butterflies everywhere- my 5 year old or I.

There are at least 2000 free flying exotic butterflies in the lush green eye-soothing tropical garden. Butterflies that I had seen only in the books were everywhere- one even sat on my shoulder- I was ecstatic- with innocent joy and pleasure. There is no such thing as a stinging butterfly as butterflies have no stinging organs or venoms. So do not worry about a butterfly landing on you- they are completely harmless.

Who needs a spa to relax all those stressed nerves and cells- head out to this butterfly conservatory and enjoy these flutters dancing from one tree to another.

The man made waterfall and a small pond in the middle of the garden with the fish in it makes for the perfect Kodak pictures. The conservatory is a photographer’s dream.

As we walked along, we came across the exotic collection of bottle green-yellow beetles- with their shiny coat, these beetles in a closed box looked so royal. It took us almost an hour and a half to locate each and every butterfly mentioned on the card. It was so engaging and interesting to find the butterflies in the trees and shrubs. Wear bright colours to this place so that butterflies perch on you thinking you as a flower full of sweet nectarine.

From there we headed straight to check out the bugs as the place was holding the ‘Hug the Bug’ festival. Whoa- holding such large bugs in the hands gave me shivers but eventually mustered the courage – it’s so so so ticklish when bugs walk on your hands. One species of beetle had a very funny name- ‘Death Feigning Beetle’. My son held a caterpillar in his hands and his delight cannot be expressed by words.

There are lots of other things to do in the conservatory:

  • Find queen bee in the Observation Beehive: there is this big closed observation beehive with countless bees in it and one queen bee. Challenge is to find this one queen bee in the hive. A small tip- queen bee has a green dot on it. I could not locate it but my son’s young eyes could. Try this with your kids.
  • Check out Emergence Window: in the tropical garden, there is an Emergence Window and it is worth spending some time outside it. Butterflies are shipped to this conservatory as chrysalides every two weeks. Tip of the chrysalis is attached to the straw with the glue and hanged in the emergence window. When butterflies emerge, they hang from their chrysalis to dry their wings and after few hours, take their first flight out in the conservatory. Witnessing a butterfly emerge is magical- we could not witness it but you should not miss this wonder.
  • Treat yourself to Bug Bite: Are you brave enough to eat a bug? Definitely not me as I am a vegetarian but the Gift store inside the conservatory stocks some interesting insect recipes: chocolate covered scorpions, honey roasted crickets. Treat your taste buds to some insect delicacies.
  • Café Break: it was time to treat ourselves to some non-bug bites and we went to the café –Chrysalis inside the conservatory. Café is warm and cozy with good selection of cookies, cake slices, pizza, apple slices, hot and cold tea/coffee. Perfect place to end the visit to this wonderful place with a hot cuppa tea.

 

Visit this place especially with your kids (they will just love it) and celebrate the beauty, charm and cultural significance of these vibrant colourful BUTTERFLIES!!!

Tickets can be purchased online also and these online bought tickets never expire and can be even given as a GIFT!!!

Address: Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, 2500 Kossuth Road, Cambridge, Ontario, N3H 4R7

Timings: Open Monday to Sunday from 10:00am-5:00pm
(Last admission at 4:00pm)

http://cambridgebutterfly.com/

WALK 4 – SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TO THE ROCKS

This is the fourth walk in Explore Sydney on Foot series, it walks through iconic Sydney Opera House, bustling Circular Quay and The Rocks – site of first English settlement in Australia.

Do check our first walk, second walk and third walk which cover the area around Town Hall, Hyde Park, State Library of New South Wales, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Botanical Garden; first two walks are specially recommended to those who are on Business trip and only have lunch hour to explore the city. These are self-guided walks and you can download the map to follow the route.

Disclaimer: The data included as part of Sydney Walk – Sydney Opera House to The Rocks has been obtained from other agencies, HolidayLogue cannot guarantee that information contained in the walk is comprehensive and up to date.

Walking Time: 35 mins (excluding time spent at each place), Distance 2.8 km

You can continue this walk from ‘Walk 3’ by exiting Botanical Gardens via Queen Elizabeth II gate (northwest, follow the path with the harbour on your right), which leads directly to the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House
(UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Top Left Image by Kazuhisa Togo via Wikipedia, Top Right Image by Rosino via Wikipedia
Bottom Left Image  by John Hill via Wikipedia, Bottom Centre Image by MorePix via Wikipedia, Bottom Right Image by MorePix via Wikipedia

  • Walk around the base along the shoreline to get a feel for the size and majesty of the structure
  • Climb the pink granite steps for a closer look at the famous white shells
  • Shells represent to a yacht’s billowing wh
    ite sails
  • Check a subtle chevron pattern on tiles in two colours: glossy white and matte cream
  • Take a guided tour; Check the tours, prices, available dates at https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/visit/tours.aspx

Leave the opera house by walking south along the pedestrian promenade of East Circular Quay. This controversial modern development offers many al fresco dining choices with stunning views, but was criticized for obstructing sight lines between Circular Quay and the Royal Botanic Gardens

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Circular Quay

Circular_Quay_skyline,_Sydney

Image by Alan and Flora Botting via Wikipedia

  • It is the small cove with multiple wharfs, forming the terminus for most of Sydney’s ferry services. This is a good departure point for day trips to Manly or Taronga Zoo
  • Walk along the promenade next to the wharfs, passing buskers and street entertainers
  • Soak in great views of the Harbour Bridge, day and night, from all points of Circular Quay

At the centre of Circular Quay, walk south under Circular Quay railway station and across the large open square toarrow Customs House

Customs House

640px-SydneyCustomsHouse_gobeirne

Image by Greg O’Beirne via Wikipedia

  • This early colonial building now serves as a space for cultural events
  • Walk into the lobby and examine the scale model of Sydney embedded under the glass floor
  • Customs House features a grand atrium, impressive Helix staircase, striking contemporary interiors
  • Opening Hours:
    • Weekdays: 8.00 a.m. – midnight
    • Saturday: 10.00 a.m. – midnight
    • Sunday: 11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

Go back to Circular Quay and continue walking around the shoreline to the west, turning north. The large artdeco building is the Museum of Contemporary Art, originally the Maritime Services Board offices. Walk up to George Street, placing you in the heart arrowof The Rocks

The Rocks

(Starting from Top left in clockwise direction) The Argyle Cut: Image by JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikipedia, The Argyle Street: Image by EurovisionNim via Wikipedia, Cadmans Cottage: Image by Sardaka via Wikipedia & Harbour Bridge from The Rocks: Image by sydneyn_malmelinit via Wikipedia

  • This historic district was the site of the first English settlement in Australia, and contains many original buildings
  • The Rocks is very different in character and atmosphere from the neighbouring commercial and retail centre of Sydney
  • Notable Places to visit:
    • Cadman’s Cottage – this small sandstone cottage was built in 1815-1816, one of few surviving building in Sydney from first 30 years of the colony
      • Address: Cadman’s Cottage , 110, George Street
      • Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. & Saturday – Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
      • Free admission
    • The Rocks Market – Walk north up George St, it hosts famous The Rocks Market
      • Address: Playfair Street, George Street, Jack Mundey Place
      • Opening Hours:
        • The Rocks Markets: Saturdays & Sundays between 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
        • The Rocks Friday Foodie Market: Fridays between 9.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
      • The Argyle Cut – is a tunnel that cut through the sandstone cliffs giving a direct connection between Millers Point and the Rocks. It is an imposing but aesthetic example of convict labour’s public work. Built between 1843 – 1859
      • The Garrison Church – The Garisson Church was the colony’s first military church
      • Dawes Battery – see the archaeological remains of Australia’s First Permanent Defence Fortification; it was constructed between 1791 – 1925
        • Address: Hickson Road, The Rocks

References:
http://www.therocks.com
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au
http://www.sydney.com.au/argyle-cut.htm
http://www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/circular-quay
https://www.sydneycustomshouse.com.au/visit/plan-your-visit

Downloads
Walking Route Map
Places of Interest Map

Other Sydney Walks
Sydney Town Hall To Hyde Park
St Mary’S Cathedral To The State Library
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Botanical Garden

DELICIOUS VEGGIE DUMPLINGS

Canada is a heaven for veggies. No matter where you eat, which cuisine you try, you will definitely find some good delicious veggie options. It means a lot for an individual like me who does not eat fish, meat, chicken and eggs. I had some really hard time in other countries where I literally survived on fries but in Canada, eating out is fun for me.

I love Hakka Chinese and ‘Dumplings’ are my weakness. It’s not deep blue eyes or an honest sparkling smile but veggie dumplings that make me go weak in my knees. I am ‘PO, of the movie Kung Fu Panda’, who just loves his dumplings.

Toronto has some really nice Chinese restaurants but finding the right veggie dumplings, also known as Dim-Sums and Momos had become a challenge for me in Toronto too. My husband would gorge on chicken dumplings and I would be green with envy –LADY SHREK, you can say!!

But my last week’s visit to a place called ‘Asian Legend’ in Chinatown, Toronto has turned me from Lady Shrek to Cinderella for sure. Asian Legend is a Northern Chinese restaurant that serves delicious ‘Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings’. They even have ‘Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings’. Dumplings are served with some vinaigrette and are soft, juicy and steamed to perfection. The best thing I liked was that the filling of the dumpling was cooked and fresh- can still savour the taste in my mouth!!

Restaurant is clean with nice atmosphere. Most of the servers are Chinese with a good menu spread- speaks for the authenticity of the place. Food is served quickly. 6 dumplings of good size for $6.99 is definitely a good deal.

When in Toronto, do eat dumplings in Asian Legend.

Bon Appetite!!!

 

Asian Legend: 418 Dundas Street West, Toronto, M5T 1G2 (restaurant is located in other places also- Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, North York, Scarborough, St. Catharines)

CANADIAN WINTER GIFT- ICEWINE

There is nothing like sun-drenched vineyards- especially when you are in the place known for its vineries and world renowned wines. Yes, I am talking about Ontario, Canada- country which has been touted as the destination of the year 2017.

Trip to Ontario is not complete without visiting its wineries and tasting different wines, especially ICEWINE.

Canada is the leading producer of Icewine and do not miss the golden opportunity to enjoy different flavours of Icewine when visiting this beautiful country.

Ice wine is a type of dessert wine that is produced from the grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine.

How does Icewine taste:

Icewines are sweet and contain rich aromas and flavors of fruits such as lychee, strawberry, raspberry, apricot which flood the senses. Icewines are sweet and often enjoyed with desserts. With their sweet lovely richness, Icewines are enjoyed on their own for dessert also.

How to serve Icewine:

Chill it to savour its luscious taste. Icewines makes a perfect complement for rich foods as aged blue cheese and foie gras. Cranberry rich sparkling red Icewine goes perfect with the Black Forest Cake. Add a dash of Icewine in your cocktail to enjoy the perfect SPIRIT.

Settle down to a quiet evening in an over-stuffed chair with a good book and a fine chilled Icewine.

Cheese, wine and Friends must be old to be good!!!

WALK 3 – MRS. MACQUARIE’S CHAIR, BOTANICAL GARDEN

This is the third walk in Explore Sydney on Foot series which covers Art Gallery of New South Wales, view point – Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and Botanical Garden. Do check our first walk and second walk which cover the area around Town Hall, Hyde Park and State Library of New South Wales. First and second walks are specially recommended to those who are on Business trip and only have lunch hour to explore the city. These are self-guided walks and you can download the map to follow the route.

Disclaimer: The data included as part of Sydney Walk – Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Botanical Garden has been obtained from other agencies, HolidayLogue cannot guarantee that information contained in the walk is comprehensive and up to date.

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Left Image by Siegfried Nugent via Wikipedia
Right Image by Jason Starr via Wikipedia

  • This one of Australia’s foremost cultural institutions. It holds significant collections of Australian, European and Asian art
  • Visit the Art Gallery Restaurant for panoramic views over Woolloomooloo Bay
  • If visiting on Wednesday evening don’t miss ‘Art After Hours’ event. Schedule of After Hours is available at https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/art-after-hours/
  • Attend Gallery Kids, a fun performance for children and adults at 2.30pm on Sundays
  • Tours:
    • To check Floor Plan click here. This is especially helpful for those who are pressed for time; this will help in locating exhibition(s) of their interest
    • If in a hurry, have a look in the second room on the right inside the main entrance which displays many famous Australian paintings
    • You can download ‘Self-guided tours at the Gallery’ which comprises of Collection Highlights Tour, Kids Tour, Curator Insight tours
    • Downloadable Audio tours of the collection, galleries and exhibitions are available at https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/channel/audio/ and on SOUNDCLOUD
    • Art Gallery also provides number of guided tours in various languages, check the list of the tours, timing and duration at https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/calendar/type/tours/
  • Opening Hours of Art Gallery: Daily 10.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (except Good Friday and Christmas Day). Open until 10 p.m. on Wednesdays
  • Admission Free (charges apply for special exhibitions)

Exit the gallery and turn right, north up arrowArt Gallery Rd, then walk north along Mrs. Macquarie’s Rd

Mrs Macquarie’s Chair

Left Image by Adam.J.W.C. via Wikipedia
Right Image by Mitch Ames via Wikipedia

  • At the end of the headland is Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, a large sandstone bench cut into the rock, reputed to be where colonial governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife sat watching for ships from England.
  • This headland offers the most iconic photo opportunity in Sydney. Make sure to climb up into the sandstone caves and take in what must be one of the most beautiful views of any city in the world. If ever there was a place that made you feel like you are standing inside a postcard, then this is surely it.
  • To avoid the crowd it is recommended to visit this area around 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Continue south along the path towards Royal Botanic Gardens

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Botanical Garden

Top Left Image by Stuart midgley via Wikipedia, Top Right Image by CamV8 via Wikipedia
Bottom Left Image Sailko by  via Wikipedia, Bottom Right Image by Sardaka via Wikipedia

  • The Gardens are extensive and reward detailed exploration. On fine days, many people relax on the grass with picnic lunches
  • Opening Hours:
    • Royal Botanic Garden:
      • October – 7.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
      • November to February – 7.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
      • March – 7.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
      • April and September – 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
      • May and August – 7.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
      • June and July – 7.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
    • The Calyx: Daily 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    • Sydney Fernery and Succulent Garden (free entry): daily 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. except Christmas Day and Good Friday
    • The Domain: Open 24 hours every day except for special or ticketed events
  • Interested in Self Guided Tours of Royal Botanical Garden? Click here to download the map and related information
  • If you are short on time then do cover 10 top ten as recommended by https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au (downloadable version is available below in Downloads section)
  • Free Volunteer-Guided Walks:
    1. 5 hours walk, starts at 10:30 a.m., 7 days a week, departing from Information Booth outside the Garden Shop
    2. 1 hour walk, starts at 1:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, except during the Summer Months, December, January and February

 

References:
https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au  
https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
http://wikitravel.org/en/Walking_tour_of_Sydney

 

Downloads
Places of Interest & Walking Route Map
Royal Botanical Garden – Top Ten

Other Sydney Walks
Sydney Town Hall To Hyde Park
St Mary’S Cathedral To The State Library

TRAVEL SAFE, BE CYBERSAFE

The holidays are time for travel but be sure to stay secure as cyber criminals’ use holiday season to mask their attempts at stealing your personal and electronic information and devices. Whether you are travelling for pleasure or business, you need to protect your electronic devices from unauthorized users and scammers.

Check out these easy strategies to keep all your electronic devices secure from intruders:

Before Travel:

  • Carry the minimum amount of sensitive data and devices: take only those documents, devices and information that will be needed for the trip. Avoid carrying your work laptops and devices for a pleasure trip.

Note: Remove saved passwords from your devices and browsers

 

  • Ensure your devices have current safeguards in place: make sure all your personal devices have the latest security and patches from their respective Apple, Android, or Blackberry operating systems.
  • Ensure you have password protection on mobile devices: use secured passwords that are easy to remember but difficult to guess. Change your passwords often. Change the password especially after coming back from the trip, incase the password was decoded without your knowledge.

Note: In some countries, border officials can ask you to enter your PIN or password to see if your devices contain inappropriate content or not

 

  • Back up and encrypt sensitive data: if your device offers the option to encrypt the files then encrypt all the sensitive information before storing it on your electronic device. Do remember all your passwords for the encrypted data as without the password you may lose the encrypted data. The advantage of encryption is that even if unauthorized people get physical access of the device, they cannot access the encrypted information stored on it.

 Note: Some countries have laws that limit the use and presence of encrypted software.

 

  • Consider setting up two-step verification for your most important accounts. This requires you to enter not just a password but a second code whenever you log in using an unfamiliar computer.

During Travel:

  • Never leave your device unattended: keep your devices with you all the time. Never ever leave any sensitive information unattended. Always keep your electronic devices with you or in your cabin baggage. Avoid using your devices in public. Remember, even hotel rooms and safe are not secure.
  • Consider all communications are being monitored: Always keep in mind to not to do any confidential conversation in public. When travelling, all communication should be considered as being monitored all the time by foreign government.

 Note: Some countries have legal rights to monitor the information you transmit over their networks

 

  • Do not open files from unknown source: always verify the email sender before opening an attachment or any other file. Use only secured internet connections. Protect yourself from “shoulder surfers” and “peepers”.
  • Confirm the name of Internet connection before you logon: always confirm the name of the Internet Connection from reliable sources specifically in case of free Wi-Fi. It is easy to establish trustworthy looking Wi-Fi access point (it is as simple as tweaking the name of a trusted network) to steal the personal information and identities.
  • Disable Wireless (Wi-Fi, Infra-Red, and Bluetooth) connections from your devices when not in use
  • Avoid using Internet café kiosks and other public Internet access points: Even the services available at hotels or airports are not 100% safe. They may contain malicious software or hardware to capture your password(s) or card number(s).

Note: Do not enter your personal info such as password or card number when using Internet Café Kiosks or other public Internet access point.
Use the option of opening an “incognito” or “private” browser window.

 

  • Avoid connecting untrusted or unknown digital devices such as USB keys, media cards and USB chargers to your own devices. Avoid connecting your USB keys, etc. to untrusted devices.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and who might be able to view your screen/keyboard especially in public areas (e.g. shield passwords from view)

Happy and Safe Travel!

LOVE FOR FOOD- PLAY ON

Image Source

I love animals so I am a Vegetarian. My husband also loves animals, so he is a Nov-Vegetarian.

Needless to say, from last 8 years we have been on a roll-coaster journey – none of us is ready to let go off our animal love: Being Human, you see!!

A pure vegetarian got married to a pure non-vegetarian that too a love marriage. An earthquake of magnitude 9 on a regular basis could be foreseen by our parents but for us – we were madly deeply blind, deaf and dumb in love at that time.

We still love each other. Now our love is no more mad-it has matured. It is now ‘HOW’, ‘WHEN’, ‘WHY’, ‘WHERE’ and ‘WHAT’ love!!

My husband had to go through a grilling 3 hours of interview with his future in laws where the first bullet fired at him was on food:

Parents: Are you a non-vegetarian?

Victim (My husband): Yes

Parents: How frequent do you eat?

Victim: Occasionally

LIAR!!! For him everyday is an occasion- non-veg from morning till night.

For the wedding, ground rules were laid- no non-veg in any of the wedding functions – it was a big let -down for my in-laws family – c’mon weddings are all about steaming hot appetizers, 12 course main meal and icing on the cake- desserts!! Wedding with only veggie options- Tasteless Wedding!!!

Actual ride started post the marriage. Home Ministry, yeah I am talking about myself, stumped my husband with the googly – no non-veg in our house- if you want to eat, go out and eat. He was horrified, could not believe his luck….All life had been sucked out of him!!!

Before he could absorb the effects of my googly, I spinned him with my spinner-‘also, when eating with me, your non-veg has to be boneless…I cannot stand sight of those bones’!!!

Once he recovered, Bouncers- ‘You were not like this before marriage’, ‘you had no issues with my being a non-vegetarian’, ‘what happened to you overnight’…were thrown at me. All were hit royally for a six by me.

A true sportsman, my husband laid the new field set up– lunch in the office’s food court and dine out, if possible, everyday. And Hyderabad, the city of Nawabs, in India, provided the perfect field.

Hyderabad is a paradise for food lovers especially for non-veggies with its world famous biryani and kebabs. Hyderabad city has some amazing theme based restaurants- infact I will vote them as some of the best in the world- décor and aroma of the food of these restaurants will entice one and all.

Being newly married and new to Hyderabad and not to forget my cooking skills which could kill any types of hunger pangs, I welcomed his new set up whole-heartedly. Who wants to cook after coming back from work????

Our first wicket was ’OHRI’S TADKA’ on Banjara Hills. My dal makhani was butterly delicious. I was pleasantly surprised to eat such a tasty dal makhani in southern part of India. Till date, for me, Tadka serves the best dal makhani in Hyderabad. Boneless Mutton Rogan Josh served by this place is my hubby’ all -time favorite dish.

Tadka, the fine dining Mughlai restaurant in Hyderabad satiated my craving for the authentic North Indian while reflecting the same through its ambiance.

Our next wicket was, SERENGITI – a forest theme restaurant where animals come to life while food lovers gorge on delicious North Indian food. I loved the ambience of this place – dim lights; animal noises…as if you are eating in Africa’s jungle.

Our wicket haul kept increasing – Waterfront, Zafraan Exotica, 100 degrees, Gufa, Nautanki Gali, 70mm and many others– each of these restaurants bowled me over with their décor and food offerings. My husband was on top of the world as well as on top of the weighing scale.

But there is a saying that’ All good things come to an end’! Time, budget and no more newly-wed constraints stopped our frequent dine outs.

I employed the cook immediately –healthy eating- take lunch to work and dinner also at home –weight, money all taken care.

Scandalized by the end of his winning overs, my husband refused to take lunch – his only hope of having non-veg.

He came up with few new balls for his dinner:

  • I will order non-veg at home and eat in paper plates
  • My friend has got special chicken curry from his home town. Home cooked non veg is so healthy. It won’t lead to my weight gain also. Think about it!!
  • I should have married my Punjabi or Bengali girlfriend – atleast would have got food of my choice. They loved me too. You do not love me anymore

All these new balls were declared as ‘No Balls’ by me.

Not the one to accept defeat easily especially in matters of stomach, my husband finally succeeded in getting me run out and bow to his demands.

Cricket frenzy was at its peak in that year- it was after all Cricket World Cup season. Most anticipated match of the world cup India Vs Pakistan was scheduled for that evening. We had decided to come early from work and enjoy the match. However, I had a pretty long rough day at work and by the time, I entered the home, my head was spinning. I went straight to the bed.

When the cat is away, mouse plays the game– my husband called up one of his close friends to watch the match with him and also asked him to get the dinner – TANGDI KEBAB with paper plates. India won the match. Taste buds won over the house rules. There is no love sincerer than the love of food’.

Next morning, I got up feeling fresh and relaxed. Decided to let my husband sleep for a while – was sure must not have slept before 3am – match highlights, best sixes of the match, dissection of the players, best catches- must have watched everything again and again.

Speckles kitchen invited me to make a hot cup of tea for myself. But then I noticed a piece of paper on the breakfast platform and the fresh morning turned into a series of ‘HOW COULD YOU’???

Fuming, I ran to the bedroom to thrash the sleeping traitor. One look into my eyes, and husband understood everything:

Husband: So he told you? Saala, I told him not to tell you. Friends cannot be trusted these days. I am sorry!!

Me: He did not tell me. You two cleared up everything- there was no trace of your tangdi kebab in the house but you forgot to trash theBILL!!!!!!!
Today, non- veg has found entry inside our home though on the paper-plates but my advice:

‘Never Underestimate the Power of Food’

SYDNEY WALK 2 – ST MARY’S CATHEDRAL TO THE STATE LIBRARY

Continuing our Sydney exploration on foot, here is the second walk in the series – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library. To see our first walk click here, it covers from Sydney Town Hall to Hyde Park. These are self-guided walks and you can download the map to follow the route.

Disclaimer: The data included as part of Sydney Walk – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library has been obtained from other agencies, HolidayLogue cannot guarantee that information contained in the walk is comprehensive and up to date.

Walk 2 – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library

Walking Time: 20 mins (excluding time spent at each place), Distance 1.6 km

This walk starts at St. Mary’s Cathedral. You can plan your journey to St. Mary’s Cathedral using Transport Info trip planner at http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/public-transport

St. Mary’s Cathedral

st-marys-cathedralImage by: M.O.X via Wikipedia

  • The layout of the cathedral is unusual; it runs north-south, rather than the usual east-west
  • The magnificent Sydney sandstone exterior and façade,
  • Breathtaking sweep of the arches in the main cathedral
  • See St Mary’s treasures and devotional objects:
    • Magnificent stained glass windows
    • Around the walls of the aisles are located the Stations of the Cross
    • In the western transept is a marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà, the original of which is in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome
    • In the aisle of the cathedral is the Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a realistic depiction of a dead soldier sculpted by George Washington Lambert
    • The crypt has an extensive mosaic floor. This design has as its foundation a cross elaborately decorated like a vast Celtic illuminated manuscript, with rondels showing the Days of Creation and the titles of the Virgin Mary
  • Free Tours, lasting one hour are conducted on Sundays after Mass, approximately 11.30 a.m.
  • Opening Hours:
    • Cathedral – Daily 8.30 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
    • The Crypt – Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Exit the cathedral via the shop on the left side

Head north towards Macquarie Street. arrowOn your right is the Hyde Park Barracks

Hyde Park Barracks

hyde-park-barracksImage by J Bar via Wikipedia

  • It was the principal male convict barracks in New South Wales until 1848
  • Modern Sydney is built on convict foundations – on convict labour, convict skills and convict stories. In June 1819 the Hyde Park Barracks opened to house convict men and boys working in government gangs, and over the next three decades as many as 50,000 convicts passed through its gates.
  • With the end of transportation, the building was converted to a hostel for orphan girls escaping the Irish famine, female immigration depot and later asylum for aged and destitute women.
  • Today, as a museum about itself, the barracks tells stories of convict Sydney, and of those since then who have had the misfortune to spend time there. The Hyde Park Barracks is one of 11 Australian convict sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • Enter via the front door and have a look at the first room on the left, which shows some of the historical uses of the building over the years.
  • Also have a look through the shop and note the pet rats. You might also like to pay the entrance fee to look through the museum
  • Opening Hours: Daily – 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day
  • Admission applies

Exit back onto Macquarie Street. Across the street is St. James Church and the Supreme Court of NSW, fronted by a large statue of Queen Victoria, facing a matching statue of arrowPrince Albert in front of the Barracks. Look south for a magnificent view along Hyde Park’s esplanade of trees, past the Archibald Fountain, to the ANZAC Memorial. Head north along Macquarie Street

queen-victoria-statue
Image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikipedia

The Royal Mint

the-mint
Image by J Bar via Wikipedia

  • Redevelopment of Sydney CBD’s oldest public building and historic coining factory, past and present truly co-exist
  • The Mint is also home to the Caroline Simpson Library, which holds the only public research collection in Australia dedicated to the history of the home and garden
  • Check the coining press shipped out from England in the peak of the gold rushes to make sovereigns from the colony’s gold
  • You are free to look around (Admission Free)
  • Opening Hours:
    • The Mint – Monday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed on weekends and public holidays)
    • Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection – Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Sydney Hospital

Left Image by J Bar via Wikipedia
Right Image by Greg O’Beirne via Wikipedia

Make sure to make a wish (and a donation) by rubbing the nose of the pig statue outside the Hospital

Across the road from the Hospital is Martin Place, the major open square within Sydney. It extends two blocks west; halfway down is thearrow fountain featured in the “woman in red” scene in the film The Matrix. The first building on the left is the Reserve Bank of Australia

Reserve Bank of Australia

rba
Image by Danausi via Wikipedia 

    • Has a free museum accessed via the buildings main lobby, if you wish to visit

Continuing north along Macquarie Street, the next building past the Hospital is the New South Wales Parliament House

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Parliament House

parliamentImage by J Bar via Wikipedia

  • Enter via the stairs on the left and have a look around. Free tours are also available and give you direct access to the floor of the parliament chambers.

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Exit the Parliament and again continue north up Macquarie Street

State Library of New South Wales

Left Image by J Bar via WikipediaTop Centre Image by Gord Webster via FlickrMiddle Centre Image by Coekon via Wikipedia & Right Image Source – Main Reading Room, State Library of NSW, Sydney (NSW)

  • Enter the new wing of the State Library of New South Wales via the revolving doors
  • Head up the stairs and left along the corridor to view the latest exhibition from the Library’s collection
  • Continue through to the end of the gallery, through the large doors and down the stairs to the main lobby of the old library building, note the old map in the floor
  • Enter the magnificent old Reading Room, which many Sydneysiders would never have visited
  • Exit the Library via the main entrance, note the images of aboriginal life in the heavy steel doors
  • If visiting on Tuesday or Thursday look for free unbooked one hour History & Heritage Tour which starts at 10.30 am
  • Opening Hours:
    •  Exhibition Galleries – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Mitchell Library – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • The Library Shop – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

References:
http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary’s_Cathedral,_Sydney
http://wikitravel.org/en/Walking_tour_of_Sydney
http://www.sydneyforall.com/

Downloads
Walking Route Map
Places of Interest Map

Other Sydney Walks
Sydney Town Hall To Hyde Park

 

CLASSIC CANADIAN EXPERIENCE – TRY BEAVERTAILS

Image Source

Root Canals are painful. Got 2 already done and third is in pipeline. Doctor has strictly warned me against sugars. But my problem is that ‘I do not have a sweet tooth, but several of them’.

Being a Canadian, I am addicted to BeaverTails. Do not open that mouth- I am not talking about eating the tail of a beaver. But about the pastry offered by a Canada based pastry chain – BEAVERTAILS.

I just cannot pass it without savoring its cinnamon and sugar pastry. Beavertails is my partner in crime. Atleast my one root canal is courtesy BeaverTails ‘to die for’ pastries.

A uniquely Canadian tradition, BeaverTails offers fried dough pastries with lot of toppings like chocolate, cinnamon and sugar, hazelnut, banana slices, crumbled Oreos and whipped cream. Each pastry is individually hand stretched to resemble a beaver’s tail.

The pastry dough is warm, crispy and chewy. My all-time favorite BeaverTails is – with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. It’s heavenly …chocolate drippings with some hazel nuts –yum yum..

I do not mind getting more root canals done as long as I can stuff myself with these mouthwatering, palatable, saporous , sugary and yummy pastries- created with perfect craftsmanship!!

These are available through-out the year and at permanent kiosks. BeaverTails food trucks can be seen parked in carnivals, outside shopping malls, entertainment arenas and parks.

You cannot leave Canada without having BeaverTails- deliciousness at its best!!!!!

Treat Yourself – Life Is Too Short, Eat Your Dessert First

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