Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sydney Day 1

I've spent the day in Sydney – the first time I've been back here in nearly 10 years!

I arrived last night, and got in late to my hotel room in the CBD. I've attended day 1 of a conference on ICT for the community/not-for-profit sector (for my work), but I've also crammed in lots today.

Sydney is a city that really strikes me as much faster than Melbourne, whose roads are as confusing and twisting as I remember from 12 years ago (thank the gods of urban planning for Melbourne's grid), and people stay out late in the city on a Sunday night.

And where there's tunnels everywhere (according to the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport last night) – including the one which partially collapsed, bringing down a small block of apartments with it... (thankfully, no one was hurt).

There are some pretty amazing things to see, including a very vibrant Asian presence and culture around Chinatown, great Chinese food, (I'm staying in George St, in the Chinatown end), some pretty old limestone buildings, and in some places like Circular Quay, reminders of Australia's colonial history are all around.

And despite a cold wind off the harbour, Sydney's warm weather wins through. Then again, the warmth and humidity do make ideal conditions for some full-on pongs!

Yes, i got to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and take copious photos, but the best thing about today was catching up with old friends whom I hadn't seen in such a long time. They so generously hung out with me an showed me around the Opera house, Circular Quay
and Chinatown. I'm wondering why I let it go so long since I looked them up.

Thanks guys! You've made Sydney great!


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