Hello from Sydney to everyone!
I have been lucky enough with the weather and although it was quite windy yesterday, the sun has been shining for three days while I was here.
After leaving CoffsHarbour on Monday and a horrible, horrible bus journey down to Newcastle I checked into a really nice YHA with open fires and leather chairs! Oh, what a treat this was. Nice comfy mattresses and warm duvets as well, I was so in heaven! But unfortunately, I was unable to meet up with Craig as he had the flu (well, man flu I assume...) but was glad that he didn't pass it on to me. That would have been really the last thing I wanted to take with me to England! Newcastle is a bit industrial and still being done up but nonetheless a rather pleasant city. Saw some whales passing by and was smiling again all afternoon as you can probably imagine! Went on a bit of an adventure trip as well, to a local wildlife park that can be reached by public transport. What they didn't tell me is that you have to walk on a road without any pedestrian walkways to get back to the bus stop. So I scrambled through bushes and trees in order not to get run over by a car or bus!!!! And public transport in Newcastle isn't quite the same as in London. Buses run about once an hour but hey, I was lucky, I only had to wait for 15 minutes (after finding the right bus stop that is). The locals didn't seem to know much about public transport and they didn't know which side of the road I had to wait for the bus back to Newcastle!!! But you'll be pleased to know that I managed and got home safely.
On Wednesday, I moved on to Sydney. And although I couldn't stop smiling walking around town, Sydney did not make the same impression on me as Melbourne had. It just hasn't got the same character. So on my first day, I went to the Botanical Gardens to have a look at the famous Opera House and the HarbourBridge. Yes, it looks like the postcards but not quite as nice. For me, it didn't have the 'wow' factor that for example the Taj Mahal had. The only thing I could think of looking at the Opera House was that it's not white, it's filthy beige and could do with a lick of paint! Not very romantic I know but hey, they were my impressions. Went to see Lou again to have dinner in her flat on Wednesday night. She and Scott are living in a very nice flat in Manly and the ferry ride across is very pleasant and you get to see Sydney at night, an added bonus.
And yesterday was my proper tourist day. As I only have a couple of days in Sydney, I decided to hop onto one of the sightseeing buses. I must say they were actually quite good and I went all the way to Bondi Beach and then back via the racecourse. And then obviously all the way around town. It still strikes me as odd that Australia is so new. There is nothing older than a couple of hundred years at most and often the Australians would consider a church 'old' if it was older than 100 years, which in European terms certainly would be considered 'new'. Odd. It is hard to grasp that Australia was really only settled (by Europeans) in 1770. It still feels weird to me. So I am leaving Sydney behind this afternoon to make my way to see Snoozy Pete, my penultimate stop before coming home. Although staying in Canberra might be a challenge that I may not survive.... According to the weather forecast, maximum temperature for this weekend is 15degrees but it drops to 0degrees at night time!!!! I so hope Pete has got enough woolly blankets and some heating in his house!!! So you know, if you don't hear from me after the weekend, my trip ended by freezing to death...
Admittedly, London can get equally cold but at least I possess some winter gear at home! Here, I am still travelling with a summer wardrobe!
Anyway, I hope you all have a good weekend (the last weekend without me... ;o) ) and I hopefully will let you know that I have survived those freezing temperatures next week!
Take care and keep smiling,