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Posts Tagged ‘sydney’

So it’s our last day in Australia! TEAR! In true backpacker fashion, I’ve had far too little sleep, may still be a little drunk and I’m heading to the airport in about 3 hours.

Yesterday I spent most of the day hanging out with my good (Australian!) friend, Ben. It was great to see him again but very sad. Hopefully he and I will cross paths in Europe in 2010 when I hopefully head out to Amsterdam and either Dublin, Norway, or London. Already planning the next trip, ay? Sounds like a traveler has been born.

Here is a video we made while waiting for my train to take me back into the city from Bondi Junction.

Next stop: Fiji! We will be staying there for 5 days, then heading to San Francisco (via LA). I’m looking forward to both! From there, Kelly and I split up! I head off to Vancouver to visit some friends and family while she heads to Calgary to go skiing in Fernie.

Our grand adventure is coming to an end however, I am most likely going to continue to update this blog for some time with pictures and the mass amount of videos I have. I can’t decide if that makes me pathetic or just normal? Readers?

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So this post may be a little loopy. Sorry about it but I haven’t slept since 6am yesterday morning, Thailand time. So that would make it…. more than 26 hours since I’ve slept. Oh boy. Brace yourselves.

Yesterday, we woke up early and Kelly’s aunt, Kim (who is lovely and it’s a shame we only met her the last couple days of our Thailand trip – even though we were staying in her condo every time we were in Bangkok) took us to the Jim Thompson Teak House in Bangkok. It was one of the things on the list I hadn’t yet done so that was really nice. Aunt Jan, you were right – the place was like an oasis admists the bustle, noise and pollution of Bangkok. It was nice to step away from that for just a little bit.

Then we got some food on the street (so good!) and went back to pack and head out. Poor Kelly got food poisoning in Koh Chang (I got to watch some pretty spectacular projectile vomiting, let me tell you!) and so she hasn’t been 100% since. So I don’t think the flight was too kind on her – though at least she managed to get a couple hours of sleep. I didn’t get any, sadly but I did watch a lot of good TV shows and films! Woo! (Love British Airways, by the way. Good food, good entertainment. I think Kelly and I’s favourite part though is the man who says, “Cheerio!” as we leave the plane. I realize that may seem silly but then again, what do you expect from us? Cheerio!)

So now we’re back in Sydney. Kelly is off on her last sail around Sydney Harbour and I am valiantly fighting my body’s rebellion due to lack of sleep. We’ll see how long I last. (I’m betting on out by 3pm, right on the dot!)

So, we fly out on Monday for Fiji. Should be most excellent! I enjoyed my trip to Thailand and it was good for me to stretch my comfort zone to include countries that don’t speak English, French or Spanish. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed trying to use my minimal Thai wherever I could. (Sa-wah-dii kha, khap kun kha, chai!, mai chai … that’s really all I have… haha.)

While we were there, we (in no specific order):

– Went to a lady boy show

– Went to the weekend market

– Did a LOT of shopping (got pretty good at haggling over a price on the calculator hehe)

– Saw the Jim Thompson house

– Did a 3 day/2 night jungle trek (our guide was SHORTER than me, which I know is hard to believe but it’s true! We followed a Thai midget around the jungle for 3 days ahaaaaa) which included elephant riding and bamboo rafting

– Went and did the beach/island scene at Koh Chang

– Saw Grand Palace and Wat Pho

– Did a Thai cooking class

– Learned that Thai men? Are the most awkward flirts ever! Seriously

– And basically had a good time! Ate a LOT of delicious, delicious food!

It was nice but I am glad to be back in Australia with normal toilets and English and that feeling of “home” – because Sydney definitely feels a little like home now. It’s nice. I will be very sad to leave.

I should probably go make sure I don’t die. Sa-Wah-Dii Kha for now!

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The last 2.5 minutes of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. Absolutely unreal. This will definitely rank as one of my top New Year’s Eves ever. You can hear our friend Richard, whose boat we were on, laughing in the background. He was just as blown away as we were I think.

I’ve never seen so many fireworks in my life. Sorry, Halifax, but you got nothing on Sydney. The whole night was a wonderful time, as we pulled into the harbour sometime around 6pm, feasted on pita, dip, olives, prawns, smoked oysters and drank Gin n Tonics, champagne and red wine.

I normally get sea-sick so Tim, Richard’s brother (who you saw earlier in the previous video), was nice enough to construct motion-sickness bracelets for both wrists for me. I think they helped because by the time night fell, I was feeling much better. It was a lovely evening. The wind was low, it was somewhat warm, we saw a fantastic sunset happen right behind the Opera House and then we got to top it off with the best fireworks I’ve ever seen.

2009 has been good to me already!

Here are some pictures from the night:

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Mostly for the parents. Can you feel the excitement building?!

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Just some quick housekeeping notes:

  • I would like to send a very special shoutout to my Aunt Jean who sent a sweet Christmas card to our doorstep. Kelly would like to say “thank you!” for also addressing it to her. She felt honoured. Thanks, Jean! You da best.
  • And a special thanks to Grandma Ruth as well… I’m not sure if she’ll ever see this or not but I’m relying on extended family members *cough*Jean*cough* to show her that here I am! Saying THANK YOU! for the Christmas card as well and the present. I haven’t quite yet decided what to do with it, but I’m sure I’ll find something in Melbourne. I’ll be sure to send a picture your way.
  • To my lovely brother, Nathan: I am not bringing you back rocks from NZ. I’m worried enough as is about my weight restrictions because I have too many clothes, haha. I will promise to bring back memories. And maybe some pictures of LOTR-esque scenery.
  • Kelly may or may not make a special appearance on this blog to talk about the tattoo she got a couple days ago. She’s been very excited, and perhaps she is excited enough to actually blog? Wonders may never cease.
  • I have toyed with the idea of a tattoo commemorating the Australia trip but. I’m just not really a tattoo person. So rest easy, parents. My body has not yet been marked. And doubtful it will ever be. I live vicariously through others.
  • There have been a couple of exciting purchases in the last few days, namely theatre tickets! Hurrah! I’m going to be all cultural… ‘n stuffs. Kelly and I have bought tickets to see Wicked in Melbourne on Boxing Day. Very exciting; I’ve read the book and enjoyed it. And yes, I am aware the play is only loosely based on the book but still! It’s kind of like Broadway, right?
  • Kelly, Rachelle and I have also purchased tickets to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: All 37 plays in 97 minutes at the Syndey Opera House in January. I’ve been told by several people it is absolutely hilarious so I am also very much looking forward to that! A cultural education, I haz it.
  • Finally, I leave you with some awe-inpiring photos of what I will be doing this New Year’s Eve, which is namely: Kelly, Rachelle and I have managed to secure ourselves a spot on a friend’s boat so we are going to watch the world renown Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks from the Sydney Harbour. I really wanted to write the second part of that sentence in caps BECAUSE I AM JUST SO EXCITED but it was a lot of words. BUT I AM EXCITED, OK!? 😀

To everyone reading, I leave in a couple days for my Outback trip and may not be able to update until afterwards. So have a safe and happy holidays and I hope all my northern hemisphere friends are enjoying the snow and cold… or maybe not! 😉


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The tour guide is explaining about how they constructed the “sails” using concrete ribs.

Well, I finally did the Sydney Opera House tour today. I bought the tickets online for $27.50 and saved myself some percentage. However, I misjudged how long it would take me to get from my house to the Opera House and ended up running from Circular Quay to the Opera House in 33 degree heat. Arriving a sweaty mess, I got lost figuring how to get inside. Definitely missed the tour but I managed to change my ticket for an 11.30am tour so all was well.

It was a good tour – our guide was a little less engaging than I would have liked but he was a good speaker and kept us moving along quickly with little delay. I expected to see a little more, I guess, but I did enjoy what I saw. We got to sit in one of the smaller venues (of which there are three), and sit in both of the bigger venues. The first big room we went into where the symphony plays was breathtaking.

They have some kind of electrical organ (I’m sorry, I forget the actual name of it) that was massive at the end of the room. It took the entire length and width of one side of the room. Our tour guide explained that it was the biggest in the world and had taken the creator TEN YEARS to make it. And that we only saw 150 (or some small number) of the pipes in the front but that in behind the wall there were 10,000 more pipes that stretched back 80 meters and was 3 stories high. He said that once the creator finished making the organ, it took him 2 years to tune it. That was definitely impressive.

We also learned about the making of the Opera House and how the final design picked was initially rejected. Learned all about the rocky relationship Jørn Utzon, the architect of the Opera House, had with Sydney and how he had never saw his final design in person. That was very interesting to me. The plan was initially supposed to take 3 years to complete and cost $7 million but ended up taking 13 years and $105 million.

Anyway, it was a good tour and I would recommend it. And now, some pictures!

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Trying a new way to show the images.

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