If you travel Australia, you pretty soon will find out, that everybody else is doing the same stuff, at the same time. When I woke up that morning in Sydney I met Uwe (a guy from Germany) again. We where staying in the same room – in one of the biggest hostels in the world! For explanation,I first met Uwe in Darwin, later again in Alice Springs and Adelaide and finally in Sydney, thousands of kilometres away from where we first met.
But we never planed to meet at all those places! We spent the rest of the day together, exploring the city. Our walking tour started at Circular Quay, which is kind of centre for transportation. You can catch ferries, trains and busses going to every direction at this place.
There are also plenty of restaurants and little shops around and plenty of street artists, which creates a very relaxed and funny atmosphere.
Next was a walk to the “Opera House”, which took us about 5 to 10 minutes from Circular Quay. We continued our tour with a quick walk through the “Royal Botanical Gardens”, passing by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, before we did some shopping at Martin’s Place. St. Mary’ Cathedral and Hyde Park were the two major spots on our way to Oxford street. We actually bumped into a wedding at St. Mary’s Cathedral but in order not to make the whole thing a “Two funerals and a wedding” we headed on to the “Australian Museum”.
The Museum looked kind of interesting, but six dollars admission and not being in the mood for natural history and cultural diversity, we just had a quick look at the lobby and the museum shop, those parts where free of charge. Finally, we experienced Oxford street, but compared to the description in the guidebook I thought it’s quiet boring and not worth to be visited during the daytime.
At night I watched the rugby game Australians (Wallabies) VS New Zealand (All Blacks) at a pub next to the hostel. The atmosphere there was gorgeous since both nationalities where represented in the pub and every time one of the teams scored one of the groups in the pub would jump up and scream and clap their hands. Australia finally won the game, 26/23, after an amazing turnover in the last fifteen minutes.
I finished the day with a walk to the Opera House and a short visit at “Kings Cross”. Lot’s of Australians where celebrating their victory on the streets and it was kind a fun to watch them. My visit at Kings Cross at 11:00 p.m. at night was pretty scary, after five minutes, walking around I already got the offer to try Cannabis, which was a sign for me to take the next train back to hostel…
2nd of September, Manly
Following an invitation of Karen to visit her, I took a ferry to Manly in the morning. It was a very sunny day and I enjoyed sitting on the outside of the boat, looking at the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Lots of people from Sydney come over to Manly on weekends to relax at the beach. Karen showed me around and also forced me to try my first “meat pie” an Australian speciality you must not miss if you spend some time “Down Under”.
3rd of September, The Rocks, Sydney Olympic Centre
Another day of exploring Sydney, this time with a friend I first met in Bangkok on a bus. We started at “The Rocks”, Sydney’s first European settlement. Former a place for convicts, whalers, prostitutes and street gangs, today a charming place with lot’s of old colonial buildings.
After our tour trough the early history of Sydney we went straight to a very futuristic place of Sydney, the Olympic Centre. The Olympic Summer Games where held in Sydney last September. You might remember the reports about the games, millions of people and more then 20.000 athletes. When we got there, the whole area was nearly deserted, a few people here and there and I felt like an little ant, compared to the massive stadiums and the huge parks.