Sunday, February 20, 2011

Post Eleven: Sydney Experiences...Anyone know how to get to Wynyard? No?...Cool...(To be said in the Mitch Hedberg voice).

First view of Sydney
OK! So, Sydney is perhaps one of the more awesome cities in the world. That is the an understatement. Sydney is amazing!! I have now been to Sydney three times, first two to pretty much the same area (the Harbor and the Rocks) and then of course to the world famous Bondi beach.

Trip 1: Karen, Angie (two DLC residents) and I departed for Sydney around 3:45pm Thursday. We had an international students harbor cruise that night around 7:30 leaving from the Man O War steps near the Opera house. So we decided to go early and find our way from the station to the steps (no idea where either of them were), and then tour around the Opera house area if we got there early enough. The Uni has its own train station, so getting on was no problem, we navigated the train system using the maps (I am getting better at this) and entered Sydney at Wynyard station. Remember this, we will come back to it...literally. Leaving Wynyard we turned down, yes, down, the harbor is down from everywhere else in Sydney, makes it easy to find. Anyway, we turned down and walked down the gorgeous George street, home of the most famous hotels (Shangri-La, George Street, Hilton, etc.) to the Quay. From the Quay one can see all of the ferries, the Opera house, and the harbor bridge, it was a lovely bright evening and we continued down the warf and through the Kings Gardens for the couple hours we had.
Seeing the Opera House for the first time, and Giant Flying Foxes (bats) in the Kings Garden!
Not from the Harbor Cruise, from a DLC orientation event...still...

 The cruise was...interesting. We boarded the boat along with 400 other study abroad and exchange students and then tooled around the harbor for three hours. It was fun to watch the sun set over the operahouse and the bridge. This experience was slightly dampened by the bar and the cloud of cigarette smoke, but seeing the city light up from the water was a special experience. and there was free pizza. OH! by the way! PIZZA HERE IS NOT PIZZA! You thought the US doesn't put enough sauce on the pizza? FALSE. compared to here the US pizza is drowning in sauce! There is typically no tomato sauce on the pizza! Remember this if ever you wish to order pizza the real way and ask for sauce. otherwise you get cheesy bread with onions and mushrooms. However, the pizza on the boat at least had enough sauce that one could see a few red flecks, so, not a total loss.


The trip ended with the boat docking at a totally different warf. This was a problem. the harbor bridge (the landmark that one can see from almost anywhere near the harbor) was nowhere to be seen. We docked and were hussled out, and then what? even the advisors who brought us on this trip did not know how to get to Wynyard station. so now you have over 400 people milling around the warf with no clue in the world how to get home to Uni! Luckily at least the advisors THOUGHT they knew where George street was, so we headed up. upon reaching the street we could not tell which way to turn but THEN dear readers my excellent directional skills kicked in and I said "hey, I know where we are going we turn left to get to Wynyard" my logic was based on that, while non of the shops nearby looked familiar, it was down to the harbor and if NONE of the shops were recognizable then we must be UP from where we came. Turned out I was right. Be proud.

Angie, Karen (from Oberlin College!), and me and the Bridge in the background
Trip 2: The Harbor Bridge. Saturday was not particularly special, it was sunny and hot. We decided to go to the city again (get in as much as we could before school starts). Train navigation. I am memorizing the stations for here too! no Odawaras in Sydney though. We went to Luna park, the oldest amusement park in Australia (built in the early 30s) free admission it is like a carnival more than anything. Then we walked over the Harbor Bridge and up one of the Pylons.

On the crossing
The Harbor bridge is pretty amazing, and actually I realize that it is the first big bridge I have walked on...I think...anyway it is the heaviest in the world (for its size) and the entire bridge is hinged at the top because the steel expands and shrinks 118 inches with the weather!

Cool facts, apparently there used to be a cattery at the top of the bridge pylon. The pylons are actually purely asthetic, added because they make the bridge look more imposing.

Made from locally grown chilies
After crossing, we then spotted the street fair that takes place every weekend in the Rocks (oldest part of Sydney) so we walked that a bit.

Time to head back, but wait, we were now across the bridge and far from our station (North Sydney in this case) do we head back where we came? a long walk? or do we head forward to Wynyard? Karen and Angie were not sure, what if we got lost? Never fear! Ariana is here! I  remembered that we were near this area when we came to the harbor cruise, so we must be near Wynyard right? Map check, yes, there was George street right in front of us! but where now? Haha! That building that looks like a huge smokestack  is right across from the station I remember!!!! We made it home.

Trip 3: Bondi beach!!! we woke early so that we could make the two hour trip and have some time in the beach. the trip took a long time due to construction on the train lines. But thanks to Karen's innate sense of direction (NSEW which we had relied on before) we found our way to Bondi!!!!!!!!!!

the beach was wonderful, the sand hot, water cool, and I was not even the whitest person there! We also managed to avoid the 'bluebottles' (Man O War jellyfish) that were actually fairly numerous that day. Then we returned to DLC (we rode a bus back to Bondi junction, from there train to Town Hall, then to Wynyard, then North Sydney, then finally Macquarie Uni...getting better and better!) tired and after a loooooooong dinner in which we met a very chatty Aussie who is really fun to talk to and reminds me of Albert Rivero, we were ready for some good sleep before classes commence tomorrow.

Lovely :) even in Australia they have pretty names.

1 comment:

  1. Ariana! Wow! Such amazing (if not frustrating) experiences! I am amazed at your directional senses, it's almost like you're a different person! :)