The Sydney Oprea House.
For a longtime I had been keen on going to Australia. It seemed during those days of the late '80's and early "90's, Australia was all the rage. Paul Hogan, Jacko, American Express' "Watson Bay" commercial and Foster's "oil can" beer were everywhere. I remember going to an "Australian Fortnight" exibition Neimann-Marcus was having. Anyway, I had gotten my Australian Visa a month earlier and headed to Sydney
on March 4th. My trip had started in Austin, Texas, made my connection in Dallas and on to Honolulu. The flight from Austin started my longest trip to date. I'd never spent so much time traveling to one place! The fact I was flying first class all the way there, helped ease my pain. :) I arrived and set out to find lodging.
Opera House and Bridge.
I found an inexpensive hotel in downtown Sydney (can't even remember the name), reasonably close to all I had wanted to take in and was off. I headed straight to Sydney Harbour
and took in all the sites. The Opera House, Harbour Bridge and "The Rocks". While popping inside one of the many shops The Rocks housed, I met an interesting fellow. An Anglo guy was running the shop, selling Outback knicknacks, talking to some Japanese tourists in Japanese! I commentted on his ability of language and struck up a conversation. His name was Ron. We exchanged stories and by chats end, had been invited to meet up with him and his friends an a bar in a nearby hotel. Talk about friendly! I said I'd meet them around eight and went about my sightseeing.
Sydney Opra House and Harbour Bridge.
I took a harbour cruise, grabbed some lunch and bought a ticket for the next day out to Katoomba
to see the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves. I stolled all the way to Sydney Aquarium, then took the skytram farther into the city. I took in the Opal Exchange then headed back to the hotel for a shower and a rest. I made it back to the Cay to the Observer Hotel and met up with my new Aussie aquaintance, Ron. He and his friends were a blast! I got to the bar and he and a couple of his friends were already there. There was a 3-piece band playing classic American tunes and we soon had the party started. They sucummoned to singing every song played, the whole bar did really! We all got along nicely. Ron had introduced me to his friend Madelene, a rabid "Twin Peaks" fan.
"The Rocks" at Sydney Cay.
Seems TV back in the States, was running a season ahead of Aussie TV. She grilled me on every detail! We were later joined by the groups Tasmanian buddy. He tried to teach me the finer points about cider ale, but after a taste told him I needed something a little more meaty. So began my association with VB's (Victoria Bitters). Great stuff! I drank it the rest of the trip. The group busted up and Madelene and I headed for the beach to continue of discussion of "Twin Peaks". I took in the night sky. How different it was compared to the one I knew. For the first time I was able to see my birthsign constellation (Capricorn) clearly. And of course the Southern Cross. That was cool. I put Madelene into a cab, as she was getting weary, and went back to the hotel for a much needed sleep. What a great first day in Oz!