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Published: April 3rd 2006
I love cities at night - this is the view from the park, which I visited lots. Nobody comes by late in the evenings and you feel like you have the city to yourself.
My main aim in Sydney was to have a bit of a social life and luckily I found just that. The hostel was as Helen and Jayne had promised extremely friendly and relaxed with a good mix of long and short termers. There was a group of us that were all about the same age that hung out together - Ramsey (English), Luke (English), Ross (English), Max (German) and of course Helen and Jayne (both English). Notice the cringe worthy English theme? I hate to say it but that was actually one of the things that was nice about it - kind of a taste of home for a while.
Anyway I spent about 4days there walking around Sydney and visiting the beaches etc. I ended up going to Bondi twice and absolutely loved it (I can't emphasise that enough really). The first time I went it was just me and Helen and though we spent the greater majority of our time lying in the sun doing absolutely nothing, which was bliss, we did go for a swim in the awesome waves for a while too. The second time was the real highlight for waves though. This time there were
Something different again
looking left from the same spot
four of us that went down and we had heard that all the beaches had been closed due to the rough seas so weren't expecting to be able to swim. I was the only one that brought my swimming shorts and I'm bloody glad I did now because they opened up a small stretch of the beach for swimming and the waves were over 10ft!
I never really had any success at body surfing that day because I was way out of my league but I had an awesome time being smashed about and having a go anyway. I now have a lot more respect for the sea when it gets rough and I was glad for the life guard prescence there because at times it was all too easy to see how you could be sucked out to sea.
At one point I just missed getting under one of the waves to avoid it and it picked me up and sent me hurtling into some poor unsuspecting victim that was a fair way behind me. He was also trying to get under it and probably would have succeeded too if I hadn't smashed into him, nailing him
to the floor at first and then causing both of us to be tossed around like we were rag dolls in a washing machine until the wave finally relented and dumped us both on the sand. Fortunately the other bloke saw the funny side of it and we both came up giggling like school girls before dashing in for more.
Another highlight of the time in Sydney was Jason - A random Aussie bloke that introduced himself to me and Ramsey one night in O'Malleys (the Irish pub where Helen worked and where everyone from the hostel hung out) just as we were about to leave. We'd only gone down for a quick quiet one but after he started insisting on buying us drinks one thing led to another and the next thing I know it was almost closing time. Jason said he was down in Sydney working and had come out to have a good time and pull some girls. The words Shy and Inhibited are clearly not words he has ever come across. Neither are dull, discreet or calm. At first I didn't like him and couldn't wait to get away from him but after a little
Coming back from manly
Left to right - Jayne, Ramsey, Max, Ross, Luke and then Helen
while I loved the guy. His biggest mission was to get a hold of these hot Swedish twins that loved nothing better than playing with each other while they danced. They were of course surrounded by a swarm of other blokes and his first attempts were knocked back (quite literally) repeatedly but somehow, and I don't know how this happened, there was a very sudden turnaround of events. The next thing I know is that the twins and their two other attractive swedish blonde friends were sitting at the table with us and the other blokes had cleared off!
I'd like to point out that believe it or not Ramsey and I had no intentions of trying to pull any of them but were definately in no rush to leave by this stage. Anyway the evening went on from there and they turned out to be really nice girls who kind of agreed to meet us the next night in the same place. Jason didn't get anywhere with them though and swiftly moved onto trying it on with anything he could get his hands on after they had left. To his credit he didn't upset even one girl in
there and seemed to know exactly how cheeky he could be with all of them but unfortunately for him didn't quite get anywhere. He eventually got kicked out for looking drunk (they do that a lot in Sydney apparently even if you're not causing any trouble) and so we said our goodbye's there never to see him again and went home to our beds. For those who are wondering (Grant) we never saw the twins again as the next night we all went out to a different place.
For my final night in Sydney I had tried to save a nights accomodation fee's by planning to stay out all night until 5am, when I had to leave to catch my flight back to Brisbane, and succeeded too. We all went out to a place called world bar, which is open 24hrs and serves alcohol in tea pots, but most people headed back at around 1am. Helen didn't give up though and so we both headed down to the botanical gardens where you have great views of the Operah house etc and hung out there enjoying the views and piece and quiet which that time of the morning brings.
Fortunately we didn't fall asleep on the grass there, though we came close, and I managed to catch my flight out of there which brought and end to my time in Sydney. Overall I'd say I really enjoyed Sydney but that Melbourne was probably my favourite.
Sydney isn't quite as welcoming as Melbourne but it does have some nice touches and has tons of things to keep you occupied. For example one thing that I particularly liked was the sign at the entrance to the botanical gardens. In a lot of places like that they will keep the public off the grass etc in an attempt to preserve the appearance of the place but that of course spoils the whole fun of a park. The botanical gardens in Sydney, however, have a welcome sign that reads something like 'Welcome to the botanical gardens, here for everyone to enjoy. We would like to encourage you to walk on the grass, hug the trees, sing to the birds and smell the flowers' etc etc. Perhaps it's not really that significant but to me it just showed that the city slickers here weren't too detached from some of the finer pleasures of
life like they are in other mega cities and that they still have time to relax and enjoy themselves.
It was the 29/03/06 when I flew out of sydney early in the morning.
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