Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SYDNEY! Day 1

So I got to Sydney on Thursday (the 11th) which would have still been Wednesday in California but I lost a day on the flight so it was about 830 am when I landed.

The flight wasn't actually all that bad despite being 14 hours. Qantas was pretty amazing. I highly recommend it. I had a sweet personal TV on the back of the chair in front of me and watched Inglourious Basterds and Zombieland when I wasnt sleeping or pestering my asleep aislemate to let me get out and go to the bathroom (which I do/did feel quite bad about). The food wasn't bad either considering it was airline food and all.

Flying in to Sydney was GORGEOUS. The sun was only just finishing rising and they were giving us breakfast so for once I was actually awake to see the sunrise. Here's what it looked like...



So I definitely though that was really pretty and DEFINITELY worth getting the window seat/pestering the aisle guy for.

After we started our descent we flew over Sydney and then a bit out into the hills I guess to get low enough to land? Or maybe just to show off. Either way it was BEAUTIFUL. I was totally on the right side of the plane so I saw the opera house and everything. I would have taken pictures but they said that all electronics had to be off and I didn't want to crash the plane after already surviving 14 hours in it.

Now that I'm typing this I don't think anyone would really care about anything I'm saying but maybe I'll eventually look back on this and I guess I'd like to remember (at least not to pack so much luggage!!) so...uh...sorry. You can skip to the pictures now if you want?!

Anyway, after landing stuff wasn't too bad. I did start regretting how much luggage I brought after trudging through the airport with it. The smart carts were free but it was still really heavy. And then it took FOREVER to get through customs.

It was stupid. All because I declared that I had food (2 bags of m&ms). They didn't appear to care at all that I had medicine but GOD FORBID I get m&ms into the country without standing in a GIANT customs line FOREVER. You think I'm kidding but I'm totally not. The place was PACKED. The line was like queuing outside of the little things to mark the lines because there were so many people. But anyway at least they eventually let me bring my m&ms into the country. And the workers were really nice...which seems a bit different from America where I feel like usually they're just annoyed you exist.

So then I needed a cab which getting one also had a surprisingly long line, which at least didn't take long (but honestly it was like disneyland. they had rails set up and everything it was kind of surprising...and it probably took 20 minutes).

And then my cabdriver was a nice chinese man whose accent actually wasn't bad but it was a bit funny to hear a chinese accent with an australian one as opposed to the usual american one. so that was cool actually and he was really nice. he told me to avoid kings cross (which i actually did get food at a little later [pictures to come]) which is apparently where all the prostitutes are (it is legal here though so i dont know if that makes it less sketchy? probably not).

Here are the obligatory pictures of my hotel room:





and here's the view from my 12th floor room (i moved to the 18th on day 2 [it's a composite of two photos so it's not terribly well photoshopped but i figured itd be better than two separate pictures]).



so then i checked into my hotel and after buying 24 hours of internet for 25 dollars (which is a huge ripoff by the way, but not as big of a ripoff as what happens when you want to watch shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, CW [Supernatural okay. I'm not normally inclined to watch anything on the CW...except that.] and Hulu. They tell you "Thank you for the interest in network of choice, but you're not in the us so you cant watch this neener neener neener...love, whichever network you were trying to watch." So that was pretty lame. And I think megavideo is okay here but considering they have kinda weird censorship laws I didn't want to risk it till I talked to some more knowledgeable people), told my parents I was still alive and they told me to go out into Sydney. So i did.

AND NOW...THE FUN PART

Here's what I saw on day one. It was pretty overcast but it was still really hot and humid. I decided to walk to the opera house which was only about a half hour walk away so here was my journey.

The first cool things I saw were these fountains with people walking their kids around on the rim of them. I didn't realize till I was walking back that there's this pool/aquatic center that's underground underneath them! so I thought that was pretty awesome. here it is!







And then there was this crazy church called St. Mary's Cathedral. It was huge and there were people getting married in it which was cute (as seen in the pictures).




so back when i was in europe my mom made me take about a thousand pictures of doors. they were always out of context so you could never tell when one was really cool or really huge or small or anything but my mom loved them so we have a lot of pictures of random european doors. well this one was on the cathedral and i thought it was kinda cool. so mom, this one's for you...



and then there was the Sydney Tower which apparently (or at least according to my mom) the Australians have a love hate relationship with. Some hate it cause it's an eyesore and others love it cause its a tower and that's awesome. you can make up your own mind...



so the us and australia have the same roots in Britain and everything but back in america youd never (or at least very rarely) see statues or monuments or anything to any british monarch. Australia apparently DOES NOT harbor the same disdain the us has for british monarchs...these statues were sort of everywhere. it was cool, but just very different...as seen in the next couple pictures.





All the architecture in Sydney was pretty cool. Including the hospital. Im not really sure why theres a hog boar pig thing out front of it (i may have been told the significance at some point but now i dont remember) but its pretty awesome. the building in general was just pretty cool. with or without the hog boar pig thing.



there were these sweet ibis things everywhere too. it was pretty awesome. i mean they were like something youd see in a zoo but they were just walking around and were unafraid of people. much like pigeons. i actually saw one the next day begging at these people's table. he was just sort of standing right next to them waiting for scraps. it was kinda funny. they sort of drove everyone crazy though cause everyone wanted a picture of them cause, well, theyre awesome, and for the most part the birds would turn away EVERY SINGLE TIME someone pulled out a camera. and the second you put your camera away they would turn back towards you. it was like they knew and were just toying with you and thinking "stupid human." I managed to get a picture. Not sure at this second how blurry it is, but i guess it will be apparent shortly.



and now the moment youve all been waiting for (er at least presumably since youre still reading this). WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...

THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE...and the harbor bridge.






so i guess its all downhill from here.
but anyway when i was at the opera house there were tons of tourists around but i couldnt find someone to take my picture. there were people who looked ok but then would walk away before i could get to them. and then there were sketchy people so i had to choose wisely cause i really do like my camera. so anyway i did. but shortly before that i took this picture of this dock. im not really sure why. i guess i thought it was cool that there was someone just sitting on it and its right next to the opera house so it was kinda cool someone could just sit there next to the opera house but still out on the ocean. well a few minutes after i take this picture, the girl in the picture comes up and panhandles me. the worst bit, though, is....
I THINK SHE WAS AMERICAN
hahahahahaahahahaha
EPIC AMERICA FAIL.



the botanical gardens that i walked through on my way back were GORGEOUS. and there was all this cool architecture. there was like what was once the governors house but is now like a museum or something....



and like a crazy art school which was totally sweet. like it had crazy european castle turret things but then like the asian thingys on top. it was awesome. very ARTSY some might say. god im a lame.




There were also these super awesome statues like inset into buildings. The building’d be like 3 stories and on each story thered be a statue. I didn’t really know who most of them were so I just took a picture of Athena cause well, she’s pretty awesome. And I thought it was a cool statue thing.



And then I was just walking along the street and usually the have normal cabs and everything. But I just thought this was funny cause it looked like they attached the top of a hearse to like a station wagon. And then used it as a taxi. So that was pretty weird so I figured I needed to get a picture of the hearsetaximobile because it was so weird.



MEANWHILE
There was this sweet fountain. It had a naked man (who I assumed was perseus) wrangling a minotaur, a statue of what I presumed was artemis and a naked man with goats (I could really make about 50 dumbledores brother jokes right now but ill abstain…for the first time in my life) who aside from the harry potter reference I don’t actually know who he is. But whatever. It was a cool fountain. And all these people were surrounded by turtles. Definitely don’t know the significance of the statue turtles but whatever. They were cool




And that ends my first day in Sydney tour. It took a very long time to do partly because im easily distracted and partly because the internet in Australia hates me. But whatever.

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