26 January 2015

Day 1: Sydney Tour

                                                                                                                   Date: 27 Dec 2012

Rule #1. Always look to your Right.

This is a serious rule folks, do you know how many first time US visitor pedestrians are killed annually by vehicular accidents? Well, neither do I!! But the fact is, here, vehicles do come from the direction your muscle memory is not accustomed to!! So for your well being and health just do yourself a favor and look Right. Thank you kindly!!

Rule #2. Find a local giving a free tour!!!
                 We just happened to find this guy(I have to admit I was a little enthralled with how much his messenger bag looked like a cartoon, so I may have followed him regardless) and his shirt was inviting enough for us to hop on board!!

This local had so many gems and tidbits of information about Sydney that there is no way Ken and I could keep up with it all!!

Just bits and pieces like the tidbit about the picture to the above.... Some people rub this boars.... Er, "nether regions" for good luck!! Why? Well we missed that fact.... Something to do with the hospital at one time turned brewery(to save it financially) behind him?
Yeah, we'll just go with that.....

And in the pic to the left is the Coat Of Arms of Australia. Also the official seal of this great land, featuring a kangaroo and an emu, it is often claimed these animals were chosen because neither animal can move backwards, only forward, symbolizing steadiness and progress and the will to never back down. (In reality both animals can move backwards- though infrequently

"Forgotten Songs" was approached by going into a building, underground through a secret tunnel, into Narnia and back and out another faraway door(a few streets away) to enter this amazing alleyway that is called forgotten songs for all the bird cages suspended above your head. Bird calls from a hidden recording chortle gently all around you as you ponder this.    http://vimeo.com/46343645

This "art walk" was created to commemorate over 50 types of birds that once lived here in central Sydney, but the growing European influx of a new city created habitat loss and pushed the birds out to the suburbs and some leaning towards being on the endangered/extinct list.

              We tried to find this hidden secret again, even retracing what we thought were our exact steps.... But apparently we lost the way along with the forgotten songs!!! Looking back now, ask a local to point you toward Angel Place and you will be on the right track in finding this wonder!!!
                10 years ago while in Oz with my brother and dad, we visited this tavern below. The Hero Of Waterloo, located in the historic "rocks" of Sydney we had a lovely drink here!

      Currently, the tour guide proceeds to tell us the story of how the exiled of the British were sent to Australia to serve time, only not having enough prisons to go around, eventually they were set free on a type of probation....some of them became barkeeps. An honest profession; unless you began rum smuggling and lured young travelers and the like that wouldn't be readily missed into the tavern with free drinks and cheap meals until they passed out. They were then dropped through a trapdoor and stored in the basement to awake in the morning shanghaied aboard a clipper and sold for profit!!

No, I'm not thirsty anymore thanks...... (at least not here- gulp!!) Also, the link that I found on this place(to verify these facts) gives ghost tours claiming the wife of a publican that was pushed down the stairwell here still frequents these walls.
        Maybe next time we will do the "ghost tour"!! Maybe....
              Ken, waiting......maybe for lunch?!


Can you see the people doing the bridge walk? The Sydney landmark is playfully called "the coat hanger" by locals.

*Note: the tour guide DID ask for donations/tip afterwards, but only what you thought the tour was worth. In our opinion, we would definitely recommend this tour and we "donated"(hey you gotta make a living right?!) a few coins- which Ken got a kick out of the fact that there are $1 and $2 coins!! And our guide received a bonus of an Alaskan quarter(with the grizzly bear on it) which is always a hit with locals and travelers from other countries we meet while trekking!!
Guess what rule #3 is? To enjoy Australia Day which is today!! January 26th 2015!! Cheers!!!

19 January 2015

Australia: 2013 revisited!


       And welcome back!! (or at least to me) I haven't blog-enlightened you regularly for a while- almost 2 years!!! Please excuse my extended absence. Here is where I intend to catch up!!

       Honestly, I regret NOT recording/writing while traveling as I normally do, as some of my memories of this trip are slowly drifting. Not to worry, they are still intact. Especially since my handy dandy travel partner- aka Ken- also has a fantastic memory for all those little details, so we can piece our experiences together. Not to forget to mention his memory especially of every single rare car that he saw throughout these next 4 weeks. We spent our time in 5 different states while visiting the great land of Australia 2013!!! A revisit for me- but a new place to explore for Ken!!
    I (with some crucial aide from Ken) will cover these 4 weeks one-by-one over the next few months. I intend to put a blog out every other week or so, and though the posted dates will be a little "off," the dates within the posts will be dated as close to or on the dates that the post/event/travel took place! 

       Though I myself have been to Australia once before(winter 2004/2005); this is the first trip not only out of the country for Ken, but that Ken and I took as an official "couple." With the clear communication that expectations would be low(as any travel can be stressful and difficult even with friends traveling together in the best of circumstances) and that we were just going to enjoy each others company and we would thoroughly investigate this "test" once we got back home and see if there could be a future in this "relationship thing."

        Needless to say(pretend as though it were not 2 years later...) Turns out our personalities travel almost "too well" together. I am more than blessed to have this playful, sincere, well balanced love enter into my life. I would travel to the ends of the earth for this guy- and with this guy :)

       Whats more is that my family loves him- and the same goes out to his family who are irreplaceable souls in both of our lives!!!
       Besides, its not often you get to experience a        first timer on a big airliner-
                 "They gave me my own remote- MY VERY OWN!!!"

            A very impressive plane indeed, not only our very own movie channels, games, route tracker and how many miles flown/remaining, but this particular aircraft actually had a camera off the back of the aircraft- wow!!

       Only, for those of you that have read any of my blogs before.... may remember that I am not a huge fan of flying, so I didn't look much at said camera during travel. Instead I try to use this time to unwind, catch up on book reading, and sleep- if I can :(

      Ken stayed up most of the flight watching 3.5 hours of top gear, 4 full length movies and the remainder of the time playing video games :)

                     Yes, I do believe there will be more travels to come in our future!!