Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I found another, better internet place on my walks about, but I still can't connect my camera here, so no photos yet, though I've already taken a ton!

I've been walking my ass off here in Sydney. I figure, I've got plenty of time, might as well walk where I can without paying extra for a cab or train. I'll be 10 lbs lighter by the time I get home (if I can just stop eating chips with every meal, but they seem to come with everything). Here are my first impressions of Sydney:
  • Very, very clean.
  • Nice, friendly people.
  • Public toilets everywhere!
  • Everyone here seems to run.
The city of Sydney makes you feel at home right away. I walked all over yesterday and already feel like a local, except that I need to take the time to figure out how to pay with my new colorful money. (Also, note to self - need to remember to look RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT before crossing street instead of usual to avoid being run over). I saw a card up in the window of a shop yesterday looking for an employee. I thought it was quite feasable that I should just find a job and stay here forever.

I'm staying in Potts Point, an area that was once vert wealthy and is still very quaint and nice. And yet it's only blocks from Kings Cross which is full of adult clubs and prostitutes. I walked down to the harbour, through the Royal Botanical Gardens, and over to the Opera House yesterday. I still need to take a tour, but got to see it from the outside, and it's just as magnificent up close as it is on TV. You might want to know it's not actually white - it's sort of a light tan. I read that this was done specifically because the architect knew that making it bright white would blind sailors coming into the harbour. I also saw the Harbour Bridge and could see many people up on top, climbing away. It was a beautiful sunny day, clear with blue skies, much as it is today. I walked through the wharf area at the quay, where you can catch a ferry to go nearly anywhere. I then wandered over to The Rocks, the oldest neighborhood in Sydney. Eventually, I reversed my walk and found myself back in Potts Point.

I thought I'd done OK, since I'd slept on the plane, but I found myself starting to nod off around 5. I'm sure I could have woken up and tried to go find a bar to go to in Kings Cross, but I thought sleep might not be a bad idea. The downside was that I woke up this morning at 4:30. I sat in my quiet hotel room (B&B) and watched "Bobby" on my iPod and did some journaling. Then wandered out to Darlinghurst Street to dig up a muffin and a Diet Coke.

I started this morning off walking back down to the Harbour. I could have taken the subway, I guess, but I wasn't in any hurry and the walk through the Botanical Gardens is nice. I caught the ferry over to Darling Harbour and went to the Sydney Aquarium. I have to admit, it was sort of a letdown. I thought the Boston Aquarium was much nicer, but I did get to see a ton of sharks. Also, the penguins weren't out, so I felt gypped, but I know I'm going to see them up close and personal at Phillip Island in Melbourne, so I'm not too worried. I then walked over to the Harbourside, a big mall, walked through it and picked up some souvenirs for some family members. From there, I made my way over to the Chinese Friendship Gardens. The Gardens were built as a celebration of Australia's bicentennial in conjunction with the Guangdong government in China which has a close relationship to Australia. The gardens were beautiful, but compared to the gigantic and beautiful gardens in Panyu, China, sort of insignificant. Lovely, nonetheless.

Right now, I've just walked sort of through a bit of Chinatown on my way to the Queen Victoria Building. It's another mall, but I'm more interested in seeing its architecture. It's supposed to be a beautiful old arcade type building. Then I'll make my way back to the Aquarium to catch the ferry back to the wharf (did I mention I took the ferry over here?).

It's hard not to buy everything I see. I want to get souvenirs for everyone, mail them back home, and be done with looking for that stuff. But everything is expensive here, and I'm travelling light. I need to constantly remind myself that there will be plenty of koalas, digeridoos and t-shirts all over Australia.

This morning, while I was out looking for breakfast, I walked past a bar (open at 6:30 am by the way) and through the window, I saw some of the NHL playoffs. Must remind myself to get back there soon and see if I can sit in and watch a game.

Ok, my internet time is almost up, so I should finish this up and write a few e-mails.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful descriptions and impressions of the sights, I almost feel like I'm there! I can't wait to see pics!

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

I second that, anonymous!

9:21 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Sounds like a wonderful first couple of days in Australia . . .

10:16 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

edit - enjoyed the Stanley Cup episode and loved Spader's closing argument . . . btw - I take it that was a stunt Cup dumped over the balcony? :-) I'd love to hear some time about what is involved with editing, and how that affects the final product!

11:20 PM  
Blogger LA said...

Edit - I love your travel posts... you're allowing us readers to feel like we're walking around Sydney with you. I can't wait to see where we go tomorrow!

11:30 PM  
Blogger NB said...

Sounds like you are almost a local already! Such a great idea to walk everywhere and you found the important stuff right off, food and liquor!
I agree it was a great show last night. I see what you meant about the "trifecta" with kids and Ducks! But you did a great job. I like Diane, want to know about the cup falling off the balcony. How did they do that?

7:55 AM  
Anonymous lemaster said...

Glad to hear that you're having a good time. If you get a job and stay there, get me one too!

8:18 AM  
Blogger LA said...

p.s. I, too, greatly enjoyed last night's show. And I'm totally digging Keen Eddie, thanks to you and Diane for the tip.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

Keep those detailed posts comin', editthis. Loving every second of it!


12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great posts edit.

It did feel like we are walking around with you. But I hope writing up this stuff is not eating too much of your time. Wouldn't want you to be stuck in an internet cafe and missing out on sydney.


1:55 PM  

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