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Gina, Joe and Justin's Backpacking Experience


AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 24 December 2008 | Views [311]

SYDNEY!!!  Officially one-third of the way to Cairnes!  I think, like any other major city in the world, you could probably spend a month here and not see everything, but then again it’s just a city...kinda like every other big city in the world ;).  We decided to spend three days here to get a good look around and then continue on our merry way. 

The first day we went to the big Sydney Aquarium!  The aquarium was pretty similar to most other aquariums in the world, but was pretty fun nonetheless.  They did have a few pretty cool noteworthy things like everybody's favorite the duck-billed-platypus.  It was much smaller than I expected though; I was expecting a penguin sized thing and it was more like the size of a small duck.  Of course there was a huge shark tank to wander under and around.  In all honesty though I thought the Melbourne aquarium was a little better...bummer ;)

We had a bit of time after the aquarium to wander around town.  I think my favorite part of this walk was seeing a little Asian teenager try to play Spiderman on one of the big water fountains.  Much to our amusement this ended in a very wet Asian teenager!  One other big stop was the China Garden smack dab in the middle of town.  This garden was great; there were all sorts of wood carved dragons and Buddha statues.  Each little section had a plaque that had some outlandish Chinese explanation for the placement of the rocks that caused good spirits to wash away the errs of our karma's misgivings...or something like that!  We took the opportunity to take some ridiculous pictures...Yeah, we were that bored.

Day two was spend mainly wandering around and seeing all the must sees of Sydney: the Opera House, Bay Harbor Bridge, The Rocks, Circular Quay, ect.  All of which were exactly like we expected and have seen in 1000's of pictures.  I will mention that for all 9000 pictures I’ve seen of the Opera House I have always wondered what they put on the roof to make it white.  Well now I know...and if you look at the pictures you too will know!  That is why I flew 6000 miles across the globe, mission accomplished ;). 

We also stopped by the “Australian Museum,” thinking it would be about the Aborigines and their history as the only culture to survive 30,000 years.  We were wrong.  Although we were disappointed about the lack of historical stuff they did have a few cool exhibits, the most notable of which were the 2008 National Geographic Photo Contest display and the skeleton room.  I think we finally realized that Joe has a picture taking problem when he was taking pictures of other people's pictures!  The skeleton room was basically just that; a room full of skeletons.  Most of the time when you see skeletons they are of dinosaurs or things that are extinct; this place was all skeletons of things that were still alive (well not these examples per se) including people!  They actually had a whole living room setup with a guy in a chair, the bird, dog, and cat...Creepy eh?  This museum also had on display the world's biggest private mineral collection.  I'll try to hide my overabundant enthusiasm...

Our last day in Sydney was spent at Joe's most anticipated destination...the Sydney Zoo!  I wonder about Joe sometimes.  The zoo was pretty similar to most zoos’ you see with one MAJOR exception, the view!  The zoo was set on a little peninsula just north of circular quay (opera house and bridge area), and you could see the whole Sydney sky-scape from most of the areas of the zoo.  I think that may have actually been cooler than the zoo itself!  Take a look at the pics!  They had a few cool animals at the zoo worth mentioning like Dingo's (they look like German Sheppards), a pygmy hippo, and Koalas (which I’ve decided look like old men).  They also had a display of the deadly snakes of Australia (which there are quite a few, 20 of the top 25 live here).  I took pictures for future reference ;).  It was at this point I was able to identify the snake I had seen earlier on one of our hikes in the south, which turned out  to only be the second most deadly snake in the world (brown snake)...I’m glad he opted to leave me alone.

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