Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm home

My semester in Sydney has come to an end, but since I was trying to fit in as much exploring as possible in the last few weeks...not to mention deal with final papers and exams...updating was difficult. Now that I'm home and wanting to relive the experience, I'm ready to start sharing all the photos and stories from my last month abroad.

I wish I could say the above photo is my own, but the credit goes to my friend Becca. I believe it's from a beach in Cairns.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

If you can see this, you’re not lost

Even as someone who sets out to explore and “get lost,” I like knowing where I am. Luckily Sydney has a recognizable skyline, including the Sydney Tower, about a thousand feet high. Also known as the Centerpoint Tower, it’s my point of reference wherever I go, and I’ve seen it from nearly every angle and varying distances.

From Glebe (southwest):

From Rose Bay (east):

From Centennial Park (southeast):

From Kirribilli (north):

From Manly (northeast):

From Royal National Park (south):

Final word about the Coogee-Bondi Walk

Another highlight of the 6km walk between the two beaches is Waverly Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1877, and most of the graves along the coastal edge are pretty old, but people can still be buried there today. I read they have some 50,000 gravesites and memorials on more than 40 acres. We just saw the very outskirts overlooking the water, but it seems like if you’re going to stay somewhere for Ever, then Waverly wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer, I Miss You

Our Coogee-to-Bondi walk made me long for a warm beach day again, but at this point, the only way to get in the water is in a wetsuit, like the surfers we watched at Bronte Beach.

Though I’m not ready for my semester abroad to come to an end, as it will in less than three weeks, at least I have summer back home to look forward to.

Side note: Bronte has the nicest looking rock pool of all the beaches I’ve seen here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Perfect Kite-Flying Day

Sydney has been going through another rainy spell, but Saturday offered some sunny respite. We took advantage by finally doing the popular walk from Coogee Beach along the coast to Bondi Beach. On the bus ride over, we drove past a hilly park I thought would be perfect for flying kites. I don’t remember ever flying a kite in my life so I don’t know much about it, but I imagined that would be a good location.

Coincidentally, on our walk later we spotted a few wind gliders and a kite in the sky near Bronte Beach. I’d wanted to ask the kite-flyer if I could take a turn, but then I saw it was just a little boy, and kids that age aren’t great sharers so I didn’t bother. I’ll just have to get my own kite and head to the park sometime.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting Close to Nature

At Featherdale Wildlife Park kangaroos and wallabies hop around freely so you can feed them (but also have sanctuaries where people aren’t allowed to go). This albino wallaby and her joey were in a protected area though.

The koalas are in open stalls, and there is usually at least one outside on a branch that you can touch and get a picture with (without having to pay extra like some zoos here make you do).

Many birds, like ibises, geese and this pheasant, are able to roam wherever they like in the park.

They let emus walk around too, which is a little scary, especially when you’re carrying kangaroo food because they’re just as hungry, but twice as tall. At least they keep the cassowaries, like this one, mostly enclosed. These guys have the body of an emu or ostrich, the neck of a turkey and a horn like a rhino. They freak me out.

They have some brilliant looking birds. This one reminds me of a villain glaring from behind his cape. I think he just had an itch though. Do birds get itchy?

This bird was my favorite because we made a personal connection. I realized if I bounced up and down or side to side, the cockatoo would imitate me. If I raised my arms, he’d flap his wings. He also knew how to say hello and bye-bye. He was my buddy.

And if you weren’t convinced already that Featherdale is worth the 50-minute train ride from the city, there are penguins.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tah-Man to the Rugby Rescue!

A few weeks ago I caught the last quarter of a Rugby Union match at Sydney Football Stadium. We would have seen more of the game if we hadn’t taken the train in the wrong direction first (which was not my doing). Anyway, we were able to see the New South Wales Waratahs wrap up the win and celebrate with Tah Man. I have to say, the mascot is a lot tougher looking than an actual Waratah, which is the state flower.