Archive for the ‘Sydney’ Category

Sydney – Day 3

The start of day 3 in Sydney was a bit on the average side. I walked around for miles again. I went to scenic overlooks and pondered life’s questions. Why is there crime in this world? How did Miley Cyrus become so famous? Why can’t I be a pop super idol? Why does the air conditioning in the hostel turn off when the light is turned off? Do I really want to spend another night in the hostel?

I could only come up with the answer to the last question, and that answer was no. I was ready to head down to Melbourne (pronounced almost like Mel-bin) I was ready to sleep in my own bed, ready for my own room.

So I booked my train ticket to leave at 8:45pm. With a few hours to kill, I went back to the Darling Harbour. Looking as majestic as the day before, I decided to take a gander from the other side.

From there, I saw something that caught my eye, The World’s Largest IMAX!!! I was in a bit of a pickle, however. Ask any traveler if seeing a movie while traveling is a good thing to do. The response will be unfailing, laughter followed by condescending smugness. Yet the tourist in me had a sudden feeling that I had to see Avatar in 3D. Nice marketing Sydney.

Avatar 3D is epic, but also close to seven hours long. With my train departure rapidly approaching, I was forced to leave the movie 15 minutes early and sprint to the station. Please do not tell me how it ends, thank you. I was able to sneak on board just as the train made its final call. With my stomach full of mediocre pad thai and my eyes weary from too much 3D, I reclined my seat to an 85 degree angle and shut my eyes with dreams of Melbourne in my head.


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Sydney – Day 2

Bondi Beach

Day 2 started feeling refreshed after a pleasant sleep with no air conditioning and six snoring men (hostel living at its finest). Regardless, my excitement could not be contained. I was going to the beach.

I began to feel more comfortable in the city, taking buses, not tipping at restaurants (no one does, they get paid over $20 an hour!), pretending like I was going the right way even if I wasn’t, remembering that some coins are worth $2 and shouldn’t be thrown in fountains, winking at the lovely Aussie ladies, them laughing at my awkward sunburn. Yes, a real local.

“Hello sir, may I purchase one of your bus fares for Bus 330 to Bondi Beach!!!!!! ”

Bondi Beach is stunning. It belongs somewhere in the Mediterranean.

This day I decided to apply SPF 30, the norm in Australia. This is perhaps the biggest culture shock for me. After years of going to VA beach with SPF 4 Ultra Dark Island Tanning Oil with Coconut and Buttermilk Extract, I found that rays in Oz are much more direct and piercing.

My one goal for my entire trip to Sydney was complete. I am a huge fan of catching the sun’s rays, especially in foreign lands. Another plus, the hit reality tv show Bondi Rescue was being filmed that day. Think Baywatch but far less exciting, the crew spent much of their day eating sandwiches.

Later in the day I was able to meet up with a friend of a friend who studied abroad in Sydney a few years ago (shot outs Joey Terp!). She was able to give me a pleasant driving tour of the city. Then we went back to the hostel to get ready for the night.

Pre-gaming in the common area was a blast. After a few very revealing games of “I have never” (“never have I ever” in the states) with strangers, I found out far too much information on who had done what and where. Hours later, it was time to hit the streets.

We partied that night at some of the “backpacker friendly” spots. The drinks were cheaper and the dress code was looser. My favorite (favourite) aspect of Australia so far is that people love to dance. No bumping and grinding like back in the US, just large masses of people doing their own two step. Dancing solo is already one of my top pastimes, so, I quickly adjusted to this style of living.

The dancing was intense and sweaty. The drinks, Toohey’s Pints, because Fosters is not Australian for beer, were bountiful and cheap (AUS $4 is about as cheap as it get for drinks). The night was a good intro in to Australian nightlife.

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Sydney – Day 1

I hopped off the plane at AUS and it was certainly not a Washington D.C. party. Whether I was being naïve, lazy, or some sort of combination with a hint of genius, I decided to do very little about my plans in Sydney. I would say to myself “live outside your comfort zone, it will be good for the experience.”

I immediately hated my decision.

No cell phone and no Internet?? I felt like a grounded teenager. More for the adventure I guess.

I took the train from the airport and landed in the heart of a monstrous city named Sydney. Lugging around a giant suitcase on cheap wheels with jeans on in 90 degree weather (32 degree Celsius of course) with no where to go is a rough way to start.

After meandering around for hours and going up and down the same street quite a few times, I found a hostel. I was able to lose the drama aka all of that baggage and change my clothes.

Putting shorts on does wonders for one’s overall mood.

The rest of the day I trekked around Sydney. There is something about having no phone, no one knowing where you are, and no plans that is entirely freeing. I began to really see the city.

Sydney is a gorgeous city built on rolling hills. It would be unfair to try and compare it to any other city. The architecture is superbly modern. Every place I went I became more enthralled with the city.

Train Station:

The Upper Harbour (I found the panorama feature on my camera so get used to it):

Even McDonalds is classed up:

Children’s Playground:

Concrete Jungle:

The streets hold hordes of people and hundreds of languages. I ate a falafel from Emrie’s Kebab and Pizza and tried a full Irish breakfast from Scruffy Murphy’s. The diversity rivals a UN lunch-in.

Jet lag made me tired and delirious. I had mid-day dreams of wrestling pigeons. As much as I wanted to go out that night, I went to sleep at 7pm.

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