Sunday, March 27, 2005

Australia - Day 9 (Croc's Rule!)

Kenric petting a koala @ the Australia Zoo Posted by Hello

The Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin Posted by Hello

Wow, I think this is the longest I've gone without internet or e-mail in years... :)

The last 5 days or so were spent up in the Gold Coast, where Surfer's Paradise is. It's a city very much like Miami--nothing but beaches. We were fortunate enough to stay up there with one of Jacqueline's flatmates, Kellie. Kellie and her family were really great hosts and they really spoiled us--they have an amazing place (much like a resort), lived right by the lake, and Kellie's mom made us great food.

One of the highlights was our day trip/tour up to the Sunshine Coast, which is a couple hours north. The main attraction was the Australia Zoo, home of the "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin. We were really lucky to see him 'cause he's normally in the States. But with the Easter Holiday weekend, he was back home. Anyway, he is just as animated in person as he is on tv! It's still crazy to see him go into the water with the crocs and use himself as live bait.

Unfotunately though, I wish we had spent more time on the beach, soaking up the sun. Saturday was supposed to be spent on the beach bumming around, but after only about an hour, it started to rain! Ugh, we ended up spending most of the day indoors.

(An interesting note: despite the long hours of sun every day and the apparent lack of an ozone layer, people don't use sunblock down here. And even if you went to the store to get some, the highest protection they offer is SPF30.)

Anyhow, I'm now in Canberra (the capital of Australia--yes, not Sydney) visiting Jacqueline at her school, Australia National University. No more sun, hot days and bikini babes. ;) Just campus life and the weather is pretty cool down here--much like my days in Waterloo.

From down under,
7:05 PM Canberra Time

Monday, March 21, 2005

Australia - Day 3

Jess, Shirin, Jacqueline, Kenric @ the Rocks Posted by Hello

Man, my feet are KILLING me...

I've been spending the last 3 days just walking around the city and seeing as much as I can... plus if the admission is FREE, then I've checked it out... :)...

A couple highlights...

The Sydney Opera House - It's a marvel to see it from the outside, but you should definitely do a tour if you can. It's really interesting to hear about the history behind it--it took over 14 years to build and 10x the original budget. The architecture and the views from the inside are even more fantastic.

The Sydney Kings - I was wandering around the Sydney Entertainment Centre and heard all this cheering from inside. I decided to go check it out and even managed to sneak in--I stumbled upon the championship game of the NBL (Australia's version of the NBA) between the Sydney Kings and the Wollongong Hawks. As bad as the Raptors have been this year, I now realize how spoiled I've been watching the NBA. Although the fans were pretty excited, the basketball was pretty bad--tons of turnovers and easy layups missed... People went crazy even for the most boring dunks--I guess they haven't seen much of that down here.

Powerhouse Museum - Pretty cool--Australia's version of the Science Centre. Lots of gadgets and displays. Actually, I wanted to go check it out 'cause they were having an exhibition for the Lord of the Rings. There was a lot of background about how the movies were made and they had lots of props and the original costumes... even LOTR fans 'wet dream'... hahaha...

Anyhow, time to go get something to eat...

From down under,
8:50 PM Sydney Time

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Australia - Day 1

The Sydney Opera House Posted by Hello

Hey all!

I've arrived safely in Sydney after flying for over 20 hours from Toronto to Los Angeles to Sydney... I'm actually not really jetlagged 'cause I got quite a bit of sleep... The city is absolutely beautiful and the weather is perfect right now. I spent the day just walking around the city and checking out the sites. Sydney reminds me very much of Toronto... a 'bizarro' version of it... :)... but the one big difference is that Sydney has a stunning harbour--it is just breathtaking... it's kinda weird being down here myself--no one else to share the sights with--but I've also enjoyed the freedom of exploring the city.

Anyway, I think the excitement of being down here has finally set in... I'm looking forward to rest of the weekend... Hopefully I'll be able to tour the Sydney Opera House and see the Sydney Aquarium... I've heard that they are amazing!

I will update some more soon!

6:52 PM Sydney Time