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Published: February 20th 2008
So there I am, yawning away having spent 17 hours on a coach, numb bum starting to bug me. Decide we must be close now so time to try and look slightly presentable otherwise they won't let me into the hostel. Start brushing hair then all of a sudden look up. I'm on a nice looking bridge and there's a really odd looking building appearing from behind a pillar.
Sydney Opera House comes fully into view and literally takes my breath away. It's stunning. However many pictures you see of it, nothing can compare to seeing these thing close up. It's like the Eifel Tower. You know what it looks like, you've heard how tall it is, but it doesn't sink in till you're standing below it.
I suddenly remember my hair is disturbing, half brushed, hairbrush hanging from 1 side, and the bus stop is max 1 min away. Quickly get myself presentable, get chucked off the bus and follow all my fellow passengers, dreary eyed, stumbling into the city.
After quick kip (well 4 hours - not worked out how to sleep properly on the coach) I wander aimlessly into the big wide world. Walk back to station
and pick a destination at random. Arrive at one of the most beautiful ferry terminals in the world. Actual ferries largely in the way of the view (and an enormous teddy - will let you know when I've worked out what that's for) but the bridge can't hide itself. Wow. The more you look at it, the prettier it becomes. Albeit just a slightly larger version of the one in Ironbridge, it has a certain charm that can't be denied. Walk around the Quayside and appear at the bottom of the Opera House. The donkey (see previous blog) being the most impressive thing in sight.
Find a really nice spot on the opposite bank from the opera house. Grinning like a little kid. Doesn't feel real that I'm actually in Sydney. Somewhere I've known about most of my life, seen countless pictures, though know relatively little about. Just being here is amazing.
Continue on round to the botanical gardens. Their main purpose is to provide somewhere to sit and stare at the habour. Spectacular views in all directions. The city itself positively shimmering in the midday sun. Gardens nice enough. Incredibly neat, with a few pretty fountains, and enormous old trees. Didn't get excited about the green things till saw hundreds and hundeds of bats sleeping in the trees. Occasionally stiring to stretch and keep themselves cool. Rather wonderful. Ahhhhh...... Sorry, where was I. Will shut up about bats now.
Today I ignored any compulsion to be cultural and went to the zoo and aquarium. Sharks, Seals, Nemo, Meercats, Red Pandas, Flying Foxes, Otters.... Right cute. Back to being a little kid.
Watched a few young mothers with some very young children, most of whom can't see over the walls to the enclosures. Mothers to engrossed in fluffy animals to be too fussed about lifting them up for a proper view. I can't work out why you bother to bring the kid. Leave it with Daddy in the hotel room, (give them both a psp/ds to shut them up) and stop pretending you weren't just looking for an excuse to go yourself. If you're too young to see over the tiny fences, you probably won't know why you're here, and certainly won't remember you were there years later. Sorry parents, but my memories of childhood are really vague from when I was a tot. I must have enjoyed it, still watch Superted, Pingu and Ivor, but otherwise I've grown up a nice well rounded, sophiticated adult afterall. Ok, scrap that. Anyway, I blame you 2 for giving me this desire to see the world. Tudweiliog, Brecon in the rain, the Somme, Bach's homeland... made me realise there was something else out there. (Barcelona, Bruge, Switzerland, Seoul, Pembroke, Yorkshire Dales... ok, why did I have to come this far to discover myself, oh yeah, 2 nights at a B&B in the dales + train fare costs as much as my round the world flight ticket)
Anyway, enjoying the time to sit and relax. Even starting to think about the future. Quickly drown my brain out with Meat Loaf when threatened by serious thougts. They might lead to jobs, careers, responsibility. Ick.
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