Sunday, April 11, 2010
What to say about Sydney? It seemed like a really nice city and Aya and I enjoyed our time there. Before coming to Australia I read a history of Sydney, which is really the history of the beginning of European settlement of Australia. It was quite interesting. I enjoyed much of the story, but was quick to note two pieces of trivia about the name Sydney. First, the city is named after a lord Sydney of England. This is funny to me for two reasons. First, he never saw Australia and second it wasn't even his real name. He had changed his name mid-life. The second bit of trivia is that the city was not intentioned to be called as such, it was supposed to be called Albion. Sydney was just the name of that particular cove, but the name caught on.
We decided to stay somewhere nicer than usual and booked into the Lord Nelson Hotel. Located in the neighborhood of the Rocks, in a building that was about 150 years old. Coincidentally it was really close to the original site of the first settlement.The hotel was nice. Our rooms were small, but comfortable and there was a bar on the first floor serving delicious beer and a barista on the second floor with some tasty food.
Since we only had 1 full day in Sydney, the first day we got there in the early afternoon, we decided to make the most of it. On the first day we just wandered around the Rocks neighborhood which had great views of the majestic Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. That night we caught a night cruise on board a Captain Cook dinner cruise. I was unsure if the cruise would be worth it since it was about 80 dollars each, but it turned out pretty good. We had a 3 course meal that was well made and we could drink as much as we wanted. We also had a nice view of Sydney Harbor as we made our way first to Darling Harbor and then out to Port Jackson. When we started it was dusk, but by the time we returned 2 hours later it was dark. Both evening and night views were great.
On the second day we walked around some parts of Sydney going to the Aquarium and China town in the morning. I had found a walking guide online and although we didn’t follow it to the letter we took some of the directions found therein to make our way around. In the afternoon we made our way the Australian National Museum. It was pretty cool. They had an exhibit where various animals were displayed as only a set of re-constructed bones. I think bones are fascinating. There was also a nice exhibit on Aborigine culture and displays of Australian mega fauna that I quite liked since mega fauna is really interesting to me. It was a good walk, but by the evening our feet were getting tired so we took a subway back to Circular Quay. We managed enough energy to walk midway across the Harbor Bridge, which had a great view. That night we ate at the bar in the hotel, having some pizza and olives that were delicious, along with some delicious beer made on property. Unfortunately we didn’t have much more time and the next morning I was off to New Zealand and Aya back to Cairns to catch her flight home.
A few of my friends, jokingly, have said that it’s a bit strange that I posted first on New Zealand and it has taken me so long to post this one. Perhaps that I didn’t say much about Aya is what they find strange. Aya is becoming like my right arm. It just seems normal to have her around and when I went to New Zealand I was a bit lonely. Traveling was still fun, but not having someone to share the views with didn’t feel quite right. Coming back to Japan and finally meeting up with Aya was a bit of a relief. As much as I grumble about not having enough alone time it seems that I have come to enjoy her company.