sunnuntai 12. huhtikuuta 2009

Sydney, Sydney, Sydney

I have been busy getting to know Sydney: the first day I spent here, I first walked around the city for five hours, and then continued running for one hour. I haven't been still much after that either.

I first stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton at Darling Harbour. It is a great location: you are wthin walking distance from everywhere. Well, everywhere I have been to: The Opera House(2.), Circular Quay, The Rocks, The Royal Botanical Garden (+ other parks 4.), the shopping (6.). The Sydney Tower. The Sydney Acquarium (3.) The Harbour Bridge (5.). And of course, the Darling Harbour (1.). Good hotel, great location, if you ask me.

There are dozenz and dozens of restaurants at the Darling Harbour. And let me tell you, I have yet to have anything but good food in this country! During the Easter weekend Darling Harbour hosted "one of Australia's largest street theatre and human circus events", the Hoopla Festival. Day or night, whenever I would walk around the harbour, there seemed to be someone performing. Travelling alone isn't great, but it is great to be able to stop whenever you want. To watch a show, for example :o)

I also went to a see a play, The Alchemist (novel by Paul Coelho), playing at the famed Sydney Opera House. I also learned that a teather play in (Australian) English is remarkable more difficult to understand than a movie. Well, for someone who's not native speaker. Not impossible, but required a lot of concentration. It was ok, but not suberb. But I got to see the Opera House from inside, a bit at least. Which was ok, too, but not suberb. I mean, it was just brownish, harsh stone surfaces, as far as I could see.

The Sydney Acquarium (and the Wildlife Center, which I passed, 'cause I plan to go to a wildlife santuary near Melbourne next weekend) is just across the street from my hotel. It was educative: now I know that alligators don't live in Australia, only crocodiles do. And I can tell the two apart. Well, if I'll have time to contemplate their teeth.

I also met some animals I don't think I had met before. The platypus (eli nokkaeläin, suomeksi) and dugongs (ja se olisi sitten merilehmä). Dugong featured below in a messy shot eating salad. Really, he was most enthusiastic about the lettuce that was provided for him. Her? How do I know which? (Oli miten oli, mutta tämä saattaa olla kytköksissä lajin lehmä-nimeen... Asiaa tutkitaan.) I should follow the suit, since my half-marathon is closing by, and I weigh more than last year, which makes it heavier to run. Even couple of kilos make a huge difference, you see.

There were also a lot of other things, like these glowing jelly-fishes.

And sharks. I know animals are not mean or capable of hatred as a feeling, but look at the eye and the expression of this guy. He is just evil, there is no going around that.

I have also spent some hours reading, walking and running in the close by parks: the Hyde Park and the Royal Botanical Garden. To be able to smell the soild. And grass. And flowers. And to see all the green and all the water around! It'll just make your heart sing.

And look at what they say:

After all the Shanghai whistle-blowing (if you dare to step on the grass) this is just a blissful sign. Could I take one home with me?

There were also hundrets (that's my educated guess) of bats in the Botanical Garden. They say at dusk they leave their home trees and fly as a huge horde to eat. Not on human blood and flesh, incase you have recently seen the movie Twilight. I didn't have time to wait around for dusk (I wanted to go see some more Hoopla-shows) but during the day the bats were scrieking and wrestling with one-another. Propably for the best branches.

Night view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Can you see the small dots on the bridge (on the picture below)? Not the fence, but the other ones. They are people. You get to climb the bridge, for hefty 180 AUD, which is about 90 euros. I am often all for this kind of things, but that seemed a bit expensive. So instead I just decided to cross the bridge and do the pylon climb, which will take you to 80+ meters compared to 130 meters of the bridge climb, but it'll also only cost you 9,5 AUD. I actually ended up crossing the bridge couple of times more than planned, since I got lost. I am not sure how anyone can get lost in this city, it is as easy to navigate here as it is in your own home. Really, I mean it.

I try to avoid shopping, since I am suppose to save money for a house, but this is such a great shopping city, that it is hard. I mean, in Shanghai you have all the top-end brands, but the nice quality, nice-style affordable range is somewhat limited. Plus it is off-putting that whenever you go to a shop, someone is following you mere millimeters from your elbow. But here: I have time. There are shops. There is plentiful of nice shops. Atmosphere is relaxed. Ahhh... A shoe-shop called Wittner was a really nice found. I think I have seen it before, but cannot remember where. Anyway: their shoes are modern and stylish, affordable and real leather both outside and inside. That is really something you are hard pressed to find in Shanghai.

And another thing I will miss: David Jones delicacy department. The smoothies they make from fresh fruits or berries, skim-milk and low-fat youghurt. Mmm... Not to even mention the cheece counter which is about 20 meters long. Or the bakery. Or the antipasti counter... Excuse me, I need to go get a tissue to clean the drool on the keyboard.

4 kommenttia:

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Niinpa niin...taas yksi Sydneyn viema...On se kylla ihana paikka, kuvatkin naytti hyvilta!Voidaan perustaa sinne joku mehubaari ja ruveta elamaan rantaelamaa, ma olen mukana!Elina

Eeva kirjoitti...

Jooo! I am in! Jäänkö mä tänne ootteleen että tuut?

Ps. Vaikka perheellinen onkin, niin se täytyy sanoa että aika paljon kevyempiä katsella on nämä aussi-miehet kuin kiinalaiset.

Anonyymi kirjoitti...

Aivan...sama mielessa kylla myos taalla. Ja ne on niin ystavallisia. Ja rentoja. Ja surffillisia. Jatkan kateilua taalla.. Elina

Eeva kirjoitti...

What?!? I guess this means you are not coming. Nyyh ;o)