My first full day in Sydney

Trip Start Jan 31, 2012
1
4
27
Trip End Jul 29, 2012


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Where I stayed
Kings Cross Backpackers

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Saturday, February 4, 2012

  After my 12 glorious hours of sleep, I knew that I wanted to go out and start seeing Sydney. Before I left I had booked some of the more important tours for my time here in Australia, and my first one was a 10 am tour of the Sydney Opera House. After a much closer investigation of the metro or "tube" I made it no problem to the House as they call it here. Unfortunately it was still drizzly and overcast. The tour of the House was great, it was about an hour and a half long, our tour guide was very well informed, they showed two well made videos on the design and construction of the building. We got to see much of the interior, including both of the main performance halls, and one of the smaller halls (there are 5 in all). If you're interested I highly suggest reading about the history of the building, it's very interesting. (click here for a link to the Wikipedia page) Both the interior and exterior of this structure are just amazing. I felt like I was walking through a work of art, it is very simple, and grand, it reminded me a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright's work. I tried to take as many pictures as I could, but unfortunately due to copyright I was not able to take pictures in any of the performance halls.

  By the time that I tore myself away, I was already getting hungry for lunch. So I decided to walk back down George St. to see what there was to eat. What I realized is that not only are there stores and eateries along the street, but there was shopping center after shopping center coming off of the street as well, each with its own food court. I finally peeled off Georgia St. to explore the Pitt St. mall, it's an open air mall with a shopping center on each side. The entire area was packed with people shopping, and locals getting lunch. I finally went into one of the shopping malls that had an entire floor devoted to a food court. There were so many good choices, at least 12-15 places to eat. I had a small pie (which seems to be fairly popular food choice here) with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. The food choices here are very similar to what you see in America: soups, sandwiches, burgers, indian, asian, italian, thai, really healthy, mexican (this one surprised me), pies, and mediterranean. But the food seems to be more authentic here, not as doctored up as it is in America. Also they have gelatto, which I'm not complaining about.

 I then proceeded to do the geekiest things that I could find in the city, since it was still gray and wet outside. I headed off to town hall, where'd I'd seen advertisements for a Lego exhibit, which I couldn't keep myself away from. It was an art exhibit by a New York artist named Nathan Sawaya, who decided to use Legos as his medium. It was a very cool exhibit, both seeing the art, and how he portrayed it through the medium. If you want to read a short explanation about the exhibit click here.

 Next I went to the Powerhouse Museum, where there was a traveling Harry Potter exhibit. It contained a large number of original props used throughout the entire movie series. It was amazing how much attention to detail there was on things such as books that are never even shot up close. They had many of the notable costumes, recreations of parts of the sets (Hagrid's hut was the cool one), and many different props used. Some of the highlights were the wands, the Buckbeak model, the horcruxes and deathly hallows, throwing a quaffle, and gryfindor sword. One noticeable thing was that many of props and costumes were smaller then I'd imagined based on the movies. It was a very enjoyable exhibit, sadly there were no pictures allowed in the exhibit because of copyright.

 Afterwards, I was totally worn out and went back to my hostel. Later, I went out for a cheap couple slices of meat lovers bbq pizza (only in Sydney..), then decided to try and meet some of my fellow hostel-mates in a poker game in the main room. The game was enjoyable and I met a group of people from England, a guy from Ireland, and another from Germany. I had a lot of fun talking with them about all sorts of different random topics, and hearing about their travel plans for Australia, and sharing my own. One thing that I didn't realize was that a fair amount of the people staying in the hostel are here for extended stays as they work. After going all in on a not very good hand, I went up to bed, exhausted once again.

 At the end of most of my blogs I'm going to try and have the last paragraph be a thoughts of the day section. The thing that I really started to notice today is that Sydney feels like a cross between an American and a European city. The cars here are slightly larger, there's more burger and fastfood type places, most people drink soda with their meals (especially lunch). But there is still a prevailing feel of being in a European city in many ways. It's fun to listen to the way people speak here. They're speaking the same language, but use many different words then us (rubbish seems to be a fan favorite), speak faster, have an accent, and have a slightly different idiom. I'm already catching myself using some of their words, and I've started to notice that my accent sounds funny instead of the other way around. Saturday is supposed to actually be sunny, so I'm very excited to go do some things outside for a change!

 As a reminder, if you want to know when I make new posts, on the right side (this way --->) there are a few different buttons, one says "get email updates", this will keep you informed on my every letter. Also don't forget to check out my Flickr if you want to see the photos that didn't make it on here. As always thanks for all of the support

 J Smith
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Comments

Mom on

Justin,
You are blowing me away with these entries. You sound quite urbane and sophisticated. :) I love the pics of "the House" interiors.......just beautiful. A Lego AND a Harry Potter exhibit?? Wow......geek heaven. Glad you're getting to interact with some people. This is pretty much working out just as we hoped, no?

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