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Australia 2009

During the better part of October 2009, while the incessant, cold, wet, autumn rain was falling in D.C., my good friend Lenny and I embarked on a journey of adventure and discovery down under in magnificent Australia. We covered nearly 2500km of urban scenes, rolling farmlands, snowy peaks, rugged coastline, and deep blue lakes. This page is a short recount of our trip, mostly told through photos. If you are short on time, feel free to skip to the page with only the best photos and no narrative:

We arrived in Sydney on 20 October, having skipped the 19th somewhere over the international dateline, which may have been a good thing since we avoided the date of the end of the world in the movie Knowing.

The hotel we had chosen was the Citigate Central Sydney, which was ideally situated within walking distance of Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, and lots of key points of interest. From the tenth floor, one got a great view of Sydney's University of Technology (which had a bonza coffee shop serving my favorite OZ drink, the Flat White) and a creative pay parking lot diguised with fake building walls.


Our first order of business was to find something to eat, so we had brunch at an outdoor cafe in Darling Harbour.

Later in the afternoon we visited the Powerhouse Museum, a science museum with remarkably diverse exhibits of striking deep space photos, steam engines, planes, musical instruments, and believe it or not, Macedonian aprons.

We had opera tickets to see a modern production of Cosi fan tutte (in English) at the iconic Opera House that evening, which turned out not to be a good idea after going for nearly two days with practically no sleep. During the intermission Lenny and I made a pact to elbow one another if we noticed any signs of dozing off. This collaborative effort greatly helped minimize embarassing head jerks.

Sydney: Day 2

Well rested and much less zombie-like, Lenny brilliantly suggested a bike tour of Sydney in the morning. We made it to Bonza Bike Tours in the nick of time for their 10am tour and got the last two spots in the group. Our tour guide suggested I leave my backpack behind, which I agreed to since my camera managed to fit easily in the handlebar pouch. I didn't realize, however, that my main battery as well as my spare were in the backpack. So, you'll have to rely on your imagination for this part of the trip as I have no photos.

After the bike tour, we explored more of the city on foot. Some landmarks we walked by include the Sydney Conservatorium of Music...


... St. Mary's Cathedral, the largest church in Australia, as seen from Hyde Park...


... and the water fountain in Hyde Park, which appeared to be a town-square gathering place of sorts...


... on which a guitarist was trying to capitalize. It can be difficult to be an aspiring musician, however.

In the evening we trekked back to Circular Quay for some night shots.




And listened to some live music at the Tokyo Hotel in Darling Harbour.


Part 2 » (On the road to Melbourne)