Last Sensations of Sydney

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, October 8, 2005

A full circle has been made---metaphorically, not at all literally, as I jumped and swaggered and staggered my way through an entirely unorthodox Australian itinerary---as I return to the place I began. (Yes, I know I've actually been "back" to Sydney three times previously, but bear with me). I check in at a hostel across the street from the one where I first stayed, just for a bit of variety, and because I'm amused by it having a 28-bed dorm, perhaps the largest I have ever heard of. This spacious beast of a room has a whole floor to itself and is known as "The Church" due to three huge stained glass windows at the front. It's nice and anonymous.

I go out for a walk to pass the time before flying home, and to pound a bit more of Australia into the soles of my weary shoes. Things are the same; after all, it's only been ten months. But there's small things---oh, look, they've put a Coles on that corner! And they're building an office tower behind the Three Monkeys Bar! that indicate that even as my life went on after I took off into the wilds of Australia, life has gone on here just as quickly and will continue to do so, of course, after I fly away.

My trek starts at Darling Harbour, in a windy and sticky sunshine that gets warm hands in under your coat and tempts you to lean sleepily against lampposts, revelling in a good type of loneliness, the type that reminds you that we're all out here dancing through our own individual lives in our own ways, but at the same time packed together on a shrieking laughing harbourside. I wander up strange laneways and under bridges and around the harbour's edges, past the Opera House, which is glowing pink in the afternoon sun, and then into the leafy edges and shady middle of the Botanical Gardens. Resting on a golden shelf of rock by Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, where I once watched the fireworks over a new year's sky, the setting sun blinds me a bit, and suddenly I am no longer in Sydney. I can no longer quite see the outlines of the city---everything around me is fading---it quivers and disappears, becoming just a memory, a reflection in its own shimmering expanses of glass and green water.
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