Historic Sydney

Sydney Travel Blog

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Omnipresent Ugg boots - authentic Oz porn!
The fastest way to get to The Rocks, where we were staying, is by train. It's all terribly efficient, and coming from a country where public transport barely exists, I still find myself being impressed by such simple matters. A few minutes later, there we were - Circular Quay!

Strolling through the meandering crowds past the busy ferry wharves, the hum of the traffic a few metres away, I was struck by two things:

1) Sydney is big on ice cream. **Really** big on ice cream! Ice cream sellers jostled for position cheek-by-jowl on every block, on every corner, on every spot big enough to fit an ice cream outlet.
2) Smoking is big in Sydney. Everywhere you turn, people have cigarettes in their hands or mouths. This conflicted a little with the image I'd encountered of Sydney as a city of fit, energetic young people, but I suppose if national sports heroes like Shane Warne smoke openly and proudly, the locals aren't likely to see it as a contradiction.

The other abiding impression I was left with was of historicity. It's been said that New Zealand is like England in the 1950s. I found Sydney to be very much like South Africa in the 1970s. Not only because of the ubiquity of tie-dye and surferwear: everything, from shop displays to behaviour to architecture seemed to resonate with a 70s beat. But instead of feeling trapped on the set of That 70s Show and fearing that Ashton Kucher might saunter out of an ice cream shop smoking a cigarette, it felt quaint, familiar, friendly.

Enough, at least, to overlook the omnipresent Ugg boots - Ozzie porn - that leered out of shop windows, defying the passage of time that had consigned them to being so last winter, the detritus of a fashion faux pas hastily forgotten by the rest of the world. (Whoever would have thought that wearing your slippers out would become high fashion? Whatever next - curlers as haute couture?)
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After a twelve hour fight that covered twenty hours, I arrived in Sydney. Touching down, I epected the horror to continue, and was gobsmacked to discover... it was over!

The last hour or so of the flight had dangled some "best places to go in Sydney" carrots in front of me, and I was rather keen to get out into it. And so, after a surprisingly short wait at the luggage carousel, and the quickest of interactions at customs & immigration (where their only concern seemed to be the illicit smuggling in of foodstuffs. Anything from a contraband packet of peanuts to an unfinished baby's bottle was pounced on) - "you've ticked that you've been in Africa in the last 6 weeks. Where in Africa have you been?" [This on a flight from Johannesburg....]

"South Africa."

"Oh. That's all right!" Stamp. Scan. In you go.

And, a few minutes later, I was on the train on the way to my hotel.

Omnipresent Ugg boots - authentic …
Omnipresent Ugg boots - authentic…
photo by: Sunflower300