Down Under

Trip Start Oct 05, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, March 3, 2011

After 26 hours of travelling we finally arrived in Sydney, Australia. The plane landed about 8.30 p.m., and we had to find some place to stay. We didn't have a booking done and we were really tired. It turned out to be a lot more difficult to find a place, than we had thought. We went through several hostels, but none of them had free rooms. We soon discovered that the Mardi Gras gay and lesbian festival was taking place in Sydney this weekend, and that was the reason why everything was full. Eventually we found a room, not half as nice as the ones in Thailand, but at 4 times the price :O

The first day in Sydney we went for a walking tour along the harbor side. There were beautiful nature and parks. We also walked through the Royal Botanic Garden, with many different flowers and trees, and huge spiders :O It didn’t at all feel like we were in the middle of a big city. The tour ended at Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Opera House was millions over budget, years overdue, and a scandalous political affair affected the building process. However, today this visionary building is Australia’s most recognizable icon and since its official opening in 1973, millions have admired its soaring shell- like exterior. The building is 67 meters high, and the roof features 27 230 tonnes of Swedish tiles- 1 056 000 of them in total.

The other most recognized sight is Sydney Harbour Bridge. This is a colossal steel- arch bridge, held together by almost six million hand- driven rivets. It was very controversial both before, during and after its completion. We limbed the southeastern pylon to the "Pylon Lookout", where we got an amazing view over the city. We also got some information about the history of the bridge and the building process.

The next day we went to Darling Harbour, to visit Sydney Wildlife World. Here they had all kinds of animals; wombats, spiders, kangaroos, butterflies, crocodiles, and of course really cute koala bears. After visiting the park, we went to see the Mardi Gras parade. When we got there, we waited pretty long time, and eventually found out that it didn’t start before 7:30 p.m. Since we were catching a train to Newcastle, we decided not to wait for the parade to start. We still got a taste of it, and the streets were crowded with people, both straight and not so straight…

Next stop is Newcastle, where we are meeting two of Kaupo’s Estonian friends, Ermo and Rainer.
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