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Published: March 9th 2009
I have arrived! And what a city to arrive to. It really is as breathtaking and spectacular as everyone says. The harbor just knocks your socks off. From the "coat-hanger" Harbor Bridge, to the grandeur of the Sydney Opera House, it is quite the welcome for the weary traveler. I arrived on Friday and was met by Phil and James, two Irishmen that I met in Fiji, now in Sydney living with their other Irish friends all here for a spell to live and work. They took me around the city and we went out in the downtown for the evening. We started at an Irish bar (not surprisingly) called Scruffy McMurphys, which is actually a great place with quality Irish music and cheap Guiness. There are a ton of explants here, including a ton from Ireland, so I think that night I met more people from Europe than I did from Australia. =) Either way, we had a great night and headed out to a few dance clubs and came home properly tired and had a nice sleep.
On Friday, we took the ferry to Manly Beach. There really is no better way to see the city then from
the water. We had some spectacular views, and saw the inlet of the harbor to the expanse of the sea. It is so crazy to think that the entire harbor was bare when it was first discovered. Australia is such a young country, it's amazing that just 100 years ago its Parliament was formed.
Manly Beach was just everything a beach should be. Gorgeous white sand and turquoise water and lots of surfers and girls without bikini tops (had to throw it in there). The beach was probably only a mile long, bordered by rocky cliffs and natural pools which are carved out of the rock. We did the "Manly Scenic Walk", which is a trail around the peninsula on top of the cliffs. There was a wedding party there, and a ton of backpackers BBQing and drinking in the sun. We caught the night ferry back, and it was just as brilliant to see the harbor at night, when everything was all lit up. We went to sleep early to prepare for our hiking excursion in the morning (see Blue Mountain blog).
Saturday night was Mardi Gras, and ... well... yeah. Just take everything you are thinking
already and multiply it by 1,000 and that's what it was like. The streets were PACKED with people dressed in the most sinfully ridiculous costumes you have ever seen drinking from bottles on the street. Float after float proceeded filled with disco balls and gay men in tight white outfits and large women in a wide array of feather boas. It was like the Village People on crack. I think I'm getting old, because after the 57th scantily clad teenage girl ran me over or spilled her drink on me, I was ready to get out of the streets and head to the pub. More than ready. Anyway, I am glad I got to witness it, but once was enough for me. I had much more fun in the bar where I met up with EIGHT PEOPLE that I had met in Fiji! It was so much fun. It was one of those instances that you never actually think will happen, because in Fiji we all PROMISED to meet up, but I never thought it would happen. So we had quite the night and eight of us ended up crashing in one very small apartment. You only live once, right?
Sunday was a lot of city exploring, and today I am headed off to climb the Harbor Bridge! Yeah, that's right. I'll blog about that one soon.
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