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January 13th 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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We woke up in the morning to the beautiful view outside our room (THANK YOU POINTS!). after a quick morning flight we arrived in sydney! was SUPER excited to get on a subway and they have these cool double decker cars that reminded me of the magic bus in the harry potter movies so i was mentally pissing my pants with excitement tee hee. our hotel overlooked hyde park and from the pool at the top of the building you had a great view of the city :] sydney was our last stop in australia and i was a bit travel weary, but i finally wasn't sick. when we got to the hotel i decided to take a nap and susan went off on one of her walking adventures

By this point in our trip, we have definitely hit a good rhythym together. I go off for long walks and get to see everything that tourists see and drink coffee at sidewalk cafes, while Toisha hangs out at the hotel and enjoys the comforts of the bed and flatscreen TV. I only had time to do a short walk when we got to Sydney so I went across the park, through a cathedral (which is much more impressive on the outside than on the inside), and to the National Gallery of Victoria. IT WAS AN EXCELLENT MUSEUM. We were planning on going the next day, but I took the chance to wander through the modern art, european art, and asian art rooms. The collection was excellent, and they had things that were uniquely Australian so you couldn't have seen it anywhere else. (They also were showing the impressionists from the Fine Art Museum in Boston, and it was funny to see the long queues of people to see something that I used to enjoy back in Boston for hours).

Once she got back we made our way down to the quay and got our first glimpse of the opera house which IS as beautiful as all of the photos - except it wasn't exactly the snowy white color that we had expected more a dirty ivory color - there was something calm and graceful about the lines of the structure. the harbour bridge really isn't worth mentioning. it was just a bridge. i'm not exactly sure why it's famous... we decided to have lunch in an area called the rocks. there were a lot of old buildings and cobble stone streets here and you could see the modern skyline in the back. i'm a sucker for the juxtaposition of new and old so i liked this area. after lunch we went the the museum of contemporary art (free!) and milled about for about an hour. the yinka shonibare exhibition was really cool, esp. the dorian grey and diary of a victorian dandy series. he's worth looking up. other than that the museum was sort of a bust, but we did pick up a great book (stuff white people like - you can check out the website) that kept us laughing during the rains in new zealand.

after the museum we decided to heed the advice of the folks we met at woodford and take the ferry to manly beach. the ferry ride was cool, we got to go right past the opera house! manly beach was super crowded with teens, tweens and tourist. it was also pretty small and full of rubbish - reminded me of coney island. i decided to get my ocean photo here since it was safe from the stingers and my loving partner let a wave come up on me and flood my shoes. hmmph. so that ended our experience of the beach. the ferry ride back had the classic view of the opera house and bridge and if you take the last ferry out you could probably get a really nice sunset, skyline photo (we didn't though - we were too tired to wait another hour). we headed back to the hotel with plans to go the the gay district, but instead we wound up going swimming on the top floor and watching the sun set on the city, playing checkers and then going to bed because we are old and lame.

the next morning susan got up early and headed out to the botanical garden. I paid for a bus to take me to the circular quay and then walked back to the hotel from there. I was able to walk around the backside of the opera house (by the way, the two days we were in sydney were the only 2 days in january that everything was dark throughout the city - and that during the Sydney Festival too - which was sad). I had not been very impressed the day before when Toisha was waxing on about how lovely it was. But in the morning light, it is quite white and I could kind of envision the sails - anyhow, I liked it. But, of course, I like trees better than architecture so I headed into the botanical gardens. The Melbourne gardens are better than the Sydney ones in terms of design, but I finally found my fruit bats in Sydney! Hundreds of them resting in the trees and flying about - it was very cool. They were kind of cute and kind of vampire like with their furry brown heads and black wrap-around wings. AND I discovered the fern house, which is like a dream come true for a fern lover like me. They had more ferns than I have seen in my life (and I've seen a lot). The only thing that would have been better is better signage - you couldn't quite tell which name went with which plant. And then I met up with Toisha and Scott at the art gallery.

i caught up with her at the art gallery of NSW (free!). this was an interesting museum - both of the museums we went to were australian artist and i would say this was probably the better of the two, but it wasn't anything you would pay to go to (that's toisha's opinion - I thought this was definitely a great museum. they had several rooms dedicated to australian artists and you won't see that anywhere else. And the art from elsewhere in the world were very well selected, even if they weren't all famous pieces. But coolest of all was a photo exhibit on the top floor that had Harry Potter like pictures that moved!)

our friend scott (we met him at woodford) met up with us and we went walking through the fruit bat trees. there were TONS of bats and we even saw one piss while in flight - cool, but scary 'cause really who would want to get pissed on by a bat? we made our way to the gay district which was considerably bigger (and more clearly gay) than melbourne's and had lunch. I (susan) tried ginger beer - the alcoholic version - which was a bit too bitter for me. then it was back to the hotel and off to the airport as we would make our way to middle earth the next day!

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