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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Australia log part 1

[Posted for my brother, who's currently in Australia]
Story thus far. Spent 4 days in Sydney and now I regret giving up the chance I had to move here....that was 10 years ago, or close to it.

Its one of the best cities I've been to. Its probably because its one of those (trap the tourist) weeks where the weather is spectacular and everything just goes right.

To recap, I'm here for work from the 17th of Mar to the 20th. I finished my work on the 17th though and as there was no issues from then on, I had the time to explore aside from the times I had to work.

We stayed at the sheraton on the park and it was a great hotel. For 350 a night, I shouldn't expect anything less. Walk in closet, big bathroom, nice bed. Enough talk of the hotel though.

The city of sydney is beautiful. Not classic beautiful like some would liken to european cities, but its very charming much in its own way. The weather is far preferrable to san francisco's for its warmth and nice wind and the only detractable point is that its far more humid than I could really say I like.

Like I said, I was in sydney probably during its best weather period, the temperature rarely peaking above 25c and the wind always providing a nice pleasant breeze. I never needed a jacket at night, and never needed more than shorts in the day.

The sights.....let's start with where our office was, on beautiful darling harbour. The chinese name for it translates to lover's harbour which is close enough I guess. And quite accurate to boot. Its a lovely walkway with gorgeous views on one side and excellent eating on the other. Some tourists attractions such as the wild life park where one could see kangaroos and koalas as well as a smallish but well equipped aquarium rounds up darling harbour.

Then we have the thematic sydney attraction, harbour bridge and the sydney opera house. Its lovely in the day, and even lovelier at night, the two providing close to unlimited amounts of photo oppurtinities, and even more on a moonlit night with an actual darling of yours.

Finally, the city itself. Vibrant, alive, and positively....happening. The downtown area is very busy without being threatening, full of attractions in and of itself, such as the sydney tower, as well as hotels and shopping. Chinatown is quite close and you can get every type of cuisine you desire within a 5 minutes walk. Sydney is fairly incredible in that everything is quite....integrated. You never felt the segregation that one gets in say, SF's chinatown....where its a distinct world from the italian populace in North Beach. Here in Sydney, it all blends and flows and just feels more like a melting pot than anyplace else I've experienced with a big caucasian, asian, and middle eastern populace.

The only downside? Price. Food is expensive with meals for one starting at 6 dollars with that being the cheapest streetside options. We had an ordinary chinese meal for 5 which cost us 150 AUD and would have cost us no more than 50 or 60 in the US!

Smaller portions to boot, but that's a given. But the price just kills.

That's all I have so far for sydney....stay tuned for the rest of Oz. Pictures when I get back.

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