Sydney, Sydney, Sydney!!!
Trip Start May 16, 2006
41Trip End Aug 15, 2006
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I know why it is so hard to get an Australian work visa. Anyone who comes to visit here says "I could live here". Sydney is pretty awesome. The city is so alive and vibrant, the streets are filled with people. It is very liveable. I understand the population is around 4 million and its is also a huge city geographically. I forget the exact numbers. From what i have seen SYD is rather affluent. Im sure there are slums somewhere but i never saw any sign of them.
Additonally the city is so clean. Lttle to no graffiti, no trash. The city is very "green". Everyone has shopping bags they carry grocery shopping so they dont have to use plastic bags. In the restrooms you will not find paper towels and the blow dryers only blow cool air
The weather was pretty good while in SYD. Thursday I went to the Zoo and for a beach hike. Friday was a museum and shopping day as it rained most of the day. I had a chance to go to the two main beach towns in the SYD suburbs. Bondi and Manley. Thursday I did the Bondi Beach to Coogee hike. Unfortuately I got there a little late as the sun was setting. But I had a nice walk anyway. The coastline is beautiful. The Bondi hike reminded me of Laguna Beach in California. Lots of cliffs and crashing surf. The trip to Manley on Saturday was awesome. Again I arrived a little late as the weather was not so good in the AM, the weather broke so I hopped on the ferry about 4pm for the 30 minute trip. The beach in Manley was much prettier thatn Bondi. There is a walkway the length of the beach. There were lots of surfer riding the waves, which were pretty big. The park area by the beach was beautiful. It was filled with Norfolk Island Pines. I have always loved that plant. Norfolks are the evergreen trees that are very symmetrical. These Norfolks were huge! Norfolks for us in North Carolina are house plants, the ones you see at Christmas with bows on them. Well anyway I have lots of pictures of them, so if you still are not sure, check out the pics when i get them uploaded
I have been a little disappointed with the cuisine. I have had to eat at the cheaper places because its so expensive here. But nothing I have had so far has been "really" good. I did find one value though. Steak, fries and a bit of salad for $6 AUS. To get that price you had to buy a beer. Now that was really twisting my arm. That may have been one of the best meals as well. I had Thai in Manley. It was pretty good, except the Tom Yum did not have lemon grass or galanga the two main ingredients of Tom Yum. But its was not too bad.
The place where I stayed was the SYD Central YHA. It was the best hostel of the trip. Clean, well run and great location by the Central rail station. One night all my roomies were Japanese. One guy had a very limited knowledge of English but I really chatted him up. He would say what he wanted to say to me in English in Japanese, then attempt it in English. It made for interesting conversation. In the end I shared with him a coupon book I found for discounts at museums and such. He in turn gave me a handkerchief made in Japan. It was one of those moments of travel that make you really appreciate being able to do so.