Books I've Read

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Had a lovely Aussie Easter. I went to church on Good Friday as well as Easter Sunday as there were special services. But then as is tradition in Oz. I also had a beautiful BBQ on the beach. We grilled up veggies and other yummys. Chatting away with Tara, Leanne, Jes, and Tara's friend Julllian (Who I hope will forgive if I spelt his name wrong). It was great. The fact that the sun got hidden by the clouds as we actually left the BBQ area and went to the sandy bit of the beach wasn't even a bad thing. But we did start walking as a light drizzle began to fall. I need to head to bed as a long day awaits me tomorrow. Fourth last day!! Which is why I am posting. I will be soon headed out for adventures travelling through Australia. I will try and post Sydney pictures and shore a few more of those adventures. But I am not going to try and catch up on all the details as that will take forever!! So in the interest of keeping up to date I will not be filling in all the gaps. It just means that you will have to come visit me (or I to you) to see all my hundreds of photos. hehe!!

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

First Full Oz Day

I was so excited. I woke up and got ready to explore this new place I was in. I looked out the window and what did I see....beautiful bight sunshine....NO. It was a grey, very rain threatening clouds loomed over head. BUT weather smeather I was in Australia and I was NOT going to let a little rain stop me. So as pre-arranged I met Leanne and off on our adventure we went armed with raincoats and good spirits. Leanne being the veteran of Sydney (a few days more than me) knew which bus to take and after a short journey she was telling me to get off at the right stop. Funnily enough I was SO busy chatting away to this new friend that I almost missed my first sight of the harbour bridge and the opera house. Thankfully Leanne was there to point them out. I went a little photo crazy and so I have created a little slide show. But being that I am way behind...I'm warning you there will be more to come.

These structures are just that...only buildings but nonetheless there are fairly impressive. It is easy to see how they have become quite iconic in nature. The next four pictures of a friendly spider, Cockatoos, and a weird flower I saw in the Royal Botanical GardensAfter wandering about a bit in circular Quay Leanne and I decided rain or no rain. The Royal Botanical Gardens (right next door to the Opera house) would be our next exploration. We set off with the goal of finding Mrs. Macquire's chair. as it was to have stunning views of the harbour. But either the trees were hanging down low from the weight of the wet OR they have moved her chair (see photo for the view taken sitting in her chair). Now I highly doubt that the chair has been moved as from the next photo you can see that it is actually a HUGE rock. So I think the "view" was the harbour traffic that would have been going by not the "view" though of Sydney harbour now with the bridge and the opera house.We wandered around and to our surprise we found this castle like structure in the middle of the garden. Now it had actually begun to drizzle in earnest and we were beginning to get wet SO an indoor tour sounded pretty good. So we inquired at the gate house learned that the tour was free (yipee) and that the next one wasn't for another half hour. Determined to not let the now rain win we wandered about the garden of the structure until we were thoroughly damp and then took refuge in the portecastle (I think that is what it is called--the carriage shelter by the front door).
The tour was lovely and guided by this wonderful woman who was a volunteer and was rammed with good stories, interesting facts and history. The inside of the building was quite beautiful and I would recommend the tour to anyone who enjoys history and the insides of older buildings. the ceilings were very interesting the one in the large ballroom fascinated me as it was a combination between a Victorian mural ceiling and what looked like Australian Aboriginal painting. I was too chicken to ask if my guess was right SO when you come visit you'll have to find out for me.
By this time is was really chucking it down and we decided to head our of the garden and NO not for home...we are not made of stuff that melts....just that shivers...but for the Rocks and the market there.
It was pretty much abandoned. We wandered around a bit but the chill and the hunger were beginning to win and so we decided a bit of hot food would be good. A stop for wedges with heavy/sour cream and sweet chili sauce latter we again braved the outdoors. To our wonder and delight the rain had finally seen that we were going to continue no matter what and SO gave up and went home. The transformation of the market we stunning. It was rammed with people and the stalls were doing good business. After tasting a bit of this and that. It was off to see if we could climb the Pylon. So we found our way up onto the bridge and then over it. The pylon was closed and we were surprised to find out that the sun was soon to set being 17.45. But we hadn't come this far to quit so we finished walking the span of the harbour bridge and back. By the time we made it back to the Rocks it was abandoned once again this time because everything was shut. After a bit more we hopped back on the bus back to Randwick. Stopping at the Coles (a food shop) for what was needed for groceries. It was just past 22.00 by the time we parted company. It was a 12 hour adventure day. I was exhausted but excited for the next day.

Oh I nearly forgot in Circular Quay there was also this random sculpture of an woman made from real peaches. How funny it that!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Flight to Aus

What can I say. 14 hours on a plane is a VERY long time. hehe!! It gets even longer when you are afriad of you seat mate who appeared mentally unstable and kept telling stories about his uncle who killed someone in South Africa. I would need to go to the bathroom and it would take forever (or until my bladder was spasming) before I would get brave enough. But aside from that the flight was great. Quantas (free plug here--the next one will cost them...hehe) is great. Good food. Great snacks (bag of mixed candy and fresh fruit on request). Good service. And the sunrise I saw spectacular!! This is only one of tons of pictures I took as the sun came up in a work of clouds and ocean.
First view of Sydney bridge and Opera house
As we got closer the piolet announced that the weather was no good. Which was a bit consouling as due to my seat I knew I wasn't going to get a good view flying in. But I got a surprise and I did get a sneak peak of the two most famous landmarks in sydney. So I was pretty happy about that.
"My" plane
The airport and customs was pretty much typical. and after long lines with cranky tired jet lagged tourist and locals I was set free onto Australian soil. If I was SO exhausted I would have been stupid excited. hehe!! With a little help from the information ladies and friendly locals I got the right bus and told the driver to please let me know when we got to the Price of Wales Hospital. Unfortunaley he did not understand/forgot about me. So I got dropped off two stops past mine. Which in Sydney is a considerable walk. So I made quite the entrance in to the hospital. Barely walking after lugging my three bags (a backpack, carry on, and a soft suitcase weighing over 25kilos!) I stumbled into the hospital entrance, panting asking how much further I had to go to get to the residence...Unfortunaltey it was a ways SO I asked if the kind woman would watch my 25+kilo bag while I got the rest of my stuff to the Rez. After a bit of shuttling back and forth I crashed on my bed settling my alarm for one hour. I wanted to make sure I would sleep that night.
Coogee Beach
So I think the flight affected my sense of direction as the ten mintue walk to the beach took me over and hour. hehe! But I found it at last and it was beautiful!!! I stayed there for a few hours wandering about just loving being my the sea. you know how sometimes even though you are miles and miles away from home and yet you know you are where you belong. That was me. I was by the sea and the sreaming in my viens to be near salt water quited to a contented purr. The surf was pretty big with I would guess over 1.5 meter waves.
Cliff's at Coogee Beach
The sun was out and the Austrailian sand stone gleamed. I watched crabs scramble and tourist like me take pictures while locals surfed and body boarded. So amazing. But soon my tummy was rumbling and having no food or any clue where to get food I left the beach behind with a promise to return soon!!
Happy on the beach!
Food was pretty easy to locate and soon I was sitting in the common room eating and making new friends. We all went out for a bit that night. Getting to know one another and somehow I managed to stay awake until 10pm at which time I surrendered to sleep with plans to hang out with one of the girls I had met to explore the next day! If this was any indication of my adventures I knew I was in for a GREAT trip!
Random beach sculpture I liked at Coogee

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So it took a bit

So I'm only 3 weeks behind...heehee It will get worse yet. I will make an effort to actually get some Oz pictures up later this week. I promise. I know have found good reliable internet.