More from Sydney...

Sydney Travel Blog

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We're obsessed with taking pictures of the architectural masterpiece.

Today we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the streets and gardens of Sydney.  This morning we experienced our first rain of the trip (aside from the three-hour layover in Auckland a week ago), but the precipitation was both light and hit and miss.  When the rain cleared, the puffy white clouds dotted the blue sky on a crisp day.

Instead of giving you a play-by-play of the day, I’ll list the sites and things we visited with some parenthetical commentary: Darling Harbour (Sydney’s entertainment neighborhood and where cruise ships port), the Sydney Monorail (why Atlanta won’t adopt this form of intercity transportation, I’ll never know), the ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park (the Park had an extremely beautiful colonnade of trees that led to a great fountain), and MacQuarie Point (which is arguably the photogenic spot in the city, because from this outcrop into the harbor, one can see both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge).

Chris's turn to try and be artistic.
  Later in the afternoon, when Miller went to watch a movie, Sheldon and I wondered down to the wharf and eventually walked across the Harbour Bridge, when provided some magnificent vistas of the city and harbor… er, harbour… which is blue in colour… or at least that is the rumour… and we’re all in good humour here in the centre of life in Australia.

A couple of places merit comment.  First, in the Royal Botanic Gardens, there we were, minding our own business, talking to a couple from New York City, when we heard this awful cacophony of screeching noises.  We turned to see hundreds, maybe thousands, of fox bats swarming among the trees.  These flying mammals were not tiny.  When they roosted in the branches, you could see just how large and nimble they were.

Someone got to the fountain before I did. Who else from Tech is in Australia these days?
  We were all particularly grateful that a) they stayed around the treetops, and b) none of us experienced projectile guano firsthand.

Second, the Pitt Street Malls.  Australians believe in shopping.  But they do it right.  They place their malls inside otherwise lovely buildings or turn them into massive underground arcades.  Instead of an eyesore, they are actually nice to visit, to watch people, and actually to shop.  We had lunch in the gigantic food court and plotted out the rest of our day.  I wanted to leave as quickly as possible, though, because of all of the amazing pastries staring me in the face.

We want to give you a few general observations of our time in Australia thus far.

Cool shot.
  The people are extraordinarily friendly and happy.  I cannot recall seeing an Aussie who wasn’t smiling… even the attendants at the ticket booths for public transportation.  They smile and laugh, and such mirth is contagious.  You can’t help but be happy in Sydney and in Australia in general.

In addition, every single Aussie has been more than helpful; each one with whom we have come in contact has acted as a perfect ambassador for the country and the culture.  Often times they recognize a tourist from a kilometer away and then take the initiative to help him or her… with directions or taking a picture or recommending a restaurant. 

Aussies also seem to be quite patriotic… proud of their nationality and their unique way of life.

Awesome shot of the Harbour Bridge
  You see the Australian flag flying as prominently as Americans display the Stars and Stripes.  I think they like their place in the world – a westernized country far away from everyone else.  Isolation has its benefits.  (I suppose we’ll experience that on an even greater scale in New Zealand next week.)  Even though Sydney is bustling, as any major world city certainly is, you get the sense that the Aussies who make it tick never take themselves too seriously and realize that life should be fun.

Oh… and Australians really do say “g’day,” “fair dinkum,” “good on you” (but it sounds like “g’donya”), “mate,” and several other phrases I have yet to understand but which they swear is English.

Thousands of fox bats over the Royal Botanic Gardens.

And one more thing: Australians dress very well… at least when it comes to business attire.  If I had any luggage room whatsoever, I would be returning with a rack full of neckties.  Aussie men are dressed to the nines in their stylish suits, shirts, and ties, particularly the young people, and Americans could learn a thing or two.

Tomorrow we set about on a road trip, driving first to Canberra, the nation’s capital, and spending one night there.  Then on Thursday we head to Melbourne and the State of Victoria for the last leg of our Australian journey.  Stay tuned for more!

-Chris

moosegal says:
I'm so jealous of this trip. AND, I have to say your photos are AMAZING!!!
Posted on: Jun 15, 2006
supermanjay says:
Dr Shelia sends her comment... SO... SOO....SOOO.... SOOO WHAT! lol she says hi!!!!
Posted on: May 31, 2006
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Were obsessed with taking picture…
We're obsessed with taking pictur…
Chriss turn to try and be artisti…
Chris's turn to try and be artist…
Someone got to the fountain before…
Someone got to the fountain befor…
Cool shot.
Cool shot.
Awesome shot of the Harbour Bridge
Awesome shot of the Harbour Bridge
Thousands of fox bats over the Roy…
Thousands of fox bats over the Ro…
The Falkland Pine. A closeup
The Falkland Pine. A closeup
Cockatoo...we think.  They were ev…
Cockatoo...we think. They were e…
Ship masts rising out of...restaur…
Ship masts rising out of...restau…
I dont know what this is, but its…
I don't know what this is, but it…
Sheldon being artistic again...
Sheldon being artistic again...
Great view of the Sydney Harbor.
Great view of the Sydney Harbor.
View of Sydney from the Harbor Bri…
View of Sydney from the Harbor Br…
Tres Amigos in Sydney being as tou…
Tres Amigos in Sydney being as to…
Chris was tickled by this painted …
Chris was tickled by this painted…
Sydney
photo by: Sunflower300