And loving every moment (apart from the hangovers)!
01.10.2010 24 °C
How is everyone? I'm fine thank you for asking, in fact better than fine, I'm extremely happy! I'm in Sydney right now and I'm very much in love. So far I haven't managed to stray too far as I keep getting captivated by things that I'm seeing, like today I spent hours and hours at the Chinese Gardens of Friendship down in Darling Harbour area. They are just spectacularly beautiful. I wish I had brought my spare camera battery and a jumper so that I could have spent even longer there.
I later headed off for a stroll round the rest of Darling Harbour and visited the submarine and "Vampire" destroyer moored outside the Maritime Museum there. It was fantastic, I've always wanted to look around a submarine since I was little and here I was in an amazing ship choc full of valves and pipes and gauges with precious little space for the 68 crew to live in. I nearly cried I was so happy! And the destroyer was very cool too, obviously a bit more spacious. It had some pretty huge guns in place and it was really interesting to be able to roam around freely, snapping photos on a boat and sub that would once have been strictly off limits to the public.
I have also done a bit of clothes shopping, GBP 49 for a pair of jeans, a hoody, a pair of wedged sandals and four tops thank you very much. I love George Street and China Town and the Rocks and Darling Harbour and I have already been looking at estate agents for property prices! I don't yet know what the rest of Sydney is like or indeed Australia, never having visited before, but if it is anywhere near as good as the bit's that I've seen in the last 2 days then I'm emigrating!
Ooh, and the Harbour Bridge and Opera House are nice too and I love that there is a little monorail running around the city centre. It really is such a pleasure to be here, it's very clean and civilised and the city feels like it has been carefully designed with the sole aim of making people feel happy. And the people that I have spoken to are so friendly and helpful. Even arriving at the customs desk in the airport I was greeted with a cheerful "Good morning, how are you?" Trick question perhaps???!!!! Generally speaking, not what I have encountered in other countries.
I've also enjoyed a t-bone steak and a burger but god grief; did the beef ever make my stomach feel heavy?! I'm also very much enjoying staying in backpackers hostels again, Gideon and I didn't really meet anyone in Morocco or India as there just isn't the same sort of backpackers set up in place. So the social life should pick up some. I've already met a couple of nice girls and we went out for beer and pizza the other night which was an enjoyable evening. Oh and I love that it's only about 20 degrees C at the moment, such a relief from the heat on India.
The only thing I am struggling with is the cost but I think that this is coming from places like India and Africa. It's still cheaper here than at home. I just remind myself of the price of a crappy room in London Victoria and I feel better!
Right, that's all for now, hopefully I will be presenting you with numerous glowing reports for the various fantastic locations in Aus that I inflict myself on over the next few months.
Everyone take care and enjoy the weekend which is looming!
A few weeks later.............
Well, what can I say. This place is just wonderful!!! I've been here about 5 weeks now and still haven't managed to get away from Sydney, there is so much to do!
So what have I been up to? Well, plenty as it happens, including spending a whole lot of cash! I was living in the city for the first three weeks and have spent the last two weeks in Manly.
Whilst in the city I visited a ton of museums. Not my usual haunt but somehow I find myself getting totally engrossed in them and everything else here and spend hours and hours in everyplace I visit. Here is a quick summary of where I have been since I arrived.
Chinese Gardens of Freindship
National Maritime Museum
Visited HMAS Onslow and HMAS Vampire
The Powerhouse museum (twice!)
The world's biggest IMAX screen at eight stories. I watched "The Wildest Dream" which is a National Geographic film about Everest. It wasn't in 3D but I did feel a touch queasy at some points watching such a huge image!
Justice and Police Museum
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Royal Botanical Gardens
Mrs Mcquarie's Chair
Anzac memorial and museum
The Rocks weekend market
Susannah Place Museum
The Rocks walking tour
The Observatory and museum at The Rocks
The Contemporary Arts Gallery
Not really a true tourist attraction but I went to the magical puppet shop in The Rocks
Queen Victoria Building and The Strand, both of which are Victorian shopping centres.
Manly Quarantine Station
Palm Beach (Summer Bay from Home and Away)
Art gallery and museum in Manly - don't know what it's called
Quite a few pubs
I think that is all.
So, the bits that I have explored are still blowing me away. I just love The Rocks with a passion, it has a great number of truely gorgeous buildings that were thankfully saved from demolition in the 70's by the local residents. The whole place has been renovated and looks very fresh.
The Botanical Gardens are lovely, especially the avenue of peach tree which were in full blossom when I visited along with the wisteria and a mass of other gorgeous flowers.
I also liked the herb garden which was beautifully laid out. There are a load of flying foxes living in the gardens, it's strange to see them all hanging upside down in the trees. They are actually threatened with eviction because they are killing the trees there.
Wildlife World was quite good, I got to see my first Kangaroos and Koalas, just as well the speed I'm travelling at, I worry that I will not make it to the countryside before my visa expires!!
Here are some more animal pics, this time from Taronga Zoo.