Top 10 things we learned “Down Under”

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top-ten-gold.jpgWell, we are finally back in the states. It’s always nice to get away, but somehow nicer to get home. Having visited Sydney once before, I think it’s safe to say it’s a place where we could easily live, if it weren’t for those pesky immigration laws… Auckland on the other hand, would require another visit to be sure.

Coming back from Sydney via Auckland is a fifteen hour plus journey, and it afforded me plenty of time to reflect on our trip. Below is a list of the more interesting tidbits we learned over the course of our stay…

  1. Pedestrians seem to have no rights in Sydney, and Auckland fewer still.
  2. There are so many Thai restaurants in Sydney, it’s clear they are running out of names… some of them include: Thainatown, Thainesia, Thaifoon, Spice I Am, Bad Thai Kitchen… I could go on.
  3. Aussies and NZ love their football, err I mean rugby, err is there a difference? And after catching a few games on the tele, it’s easy to understand why.
  4. Weather men (and women) are just a clueless as they are back home. Maybe more so.
  5. And on the odd chance they did get it right, the showers were never scattered, they were simply “odd”.
  6. No one has an iPhone. No… really.
  7. Choose your lodging carefully – internet access can be a bitch.
  8. A decent brekki will run you $20 minimum.
  9. The hosts on the NZ morning shows are a surly lot.
  10. Unfortunately the Kylie Minogue Museum is in Melbourne, not Sydney

Well, that is all. I hoped you enjoyed the posts and pictures during our trip. Now it’s back to business as usual.

Hillary… why are you still in the race? 🙂

Bondi Beach and the Blue Mountains

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Bondi Beach is perhaps one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever visited. The deep blue water punctuated by the white waves as they crashed just off shores was more than a little inviting, even to us non-surfers. As we walked the sandy beach surfers took to the water making up the difference, and by end of day there were too many to count.

We followed up the trip to Bondi Beach to the Blue Mountains. A two hour ride by train west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are one of the more popular destinations outside of Sydney, particularly to those wanting to get away from urban center. The most famous attraction in the Blue Mountains is the Three Sisters, 3 rugged towers of rock reaching for the sky before giving way to the deep blue of the valley below.

We were lucky to catch the Three Sisters at magic hour, just before sunset. The views were spectacular. While I had visited the Blue Mountains on my previous trip to Sydney in 2001… the views continue to inspire. But as the sun continued to drop below the horizon, so did the temperature… and it was time to head home.

Another Sunny Day in Sydney

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Fortunately we were rewarded with another sunny day and spent our time at the Rocks and the Botanical Gardens.

The Rocks is an outdoor market at the base of Sydney Harbor bridge selling a broad variety local foods and crafts. Everything from aboriginal carvings to gluten-free fudge (which was particularly tasty). We might have some left when we get home to share with friends… we might not. 🙂

After spending the morning at the Rocks we visited the Botanical Gardens, a huge swath of rolling green hills near the Sydney Opera House. The park is home to many native fauna and wildlife, including whole cities of fruit bats perched in the trees, and a flock of cockatoos raising a ruckus as they moved throughout the park.

Today we are we heading out to Bondi Beach, a popular surfing destination here in Sydney, and the one of their most well known beaches. I doubt will do much surfing tho.. until tomorrow…

Out and about Sydney

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One thing we have quickly learned about Sydney is that the weather is much like it is in San Francisco. Unpredictable. The promised forecasts have rarely come true, and for the most part we’ve been lucky. Thanks to the lack of rain we have been able to walk all over the city, visit the Sydney Opera house, and take a ferry out to Manly Beach. Finally toward the close of yesterday did the storm clouds roll in, with the promise of much rain today.

But this morning we woke up, nary a cloud in the sky. Our plans of taking in a movie during the inclement weather seem to have been dashed. My vote is for the botanical gardens… we’ll see.

To the right, please enjoy a few of the photos from the past few days.