Friday, May 16, 2008

Bondi = Paradise

I didn't want to write a huge long rambling post yesterday, so I decided to do the one about the genius that is the pie stand, and save this one for today. After walking from our hotel on Kent St to Hyde Park, Inky and I spied the Coke sign that heralds your arrival at Kings Cross. "The Cross" is a combination of a haven for backpackers and the red light district for the city of Sydney. So, we decided to take a walk over there to see what it was all about. It was the middle of the day, so there was no debauchery to be found when we were there, but we did walk through a huge cloud of pot smoke at one point, so...

Once in the Cross, we realized how close we were to Woolloomooloo, where we feasted on meat pies. I looked at the map while I ate, and realized that we could be to Bondi beach in no time, and so off we went. We walked back to the Cross and hopped the train to Bondi Junction then it was on to the bus to the beach.

There are no words to describe how amazingly beautiful Bondi is. It's like god took out a set of scissors and cut a crescent shaped bay from the coastline. Even on an Aussie autumn day, the whole place was bathed in brilliant sunshine, and everything had a vibrant glow about it. We walked along the beach, and then took the coastal walk south toward Bronte Beach, about a 3 mile round trip.

I'm not a beach person, and Inky is so pail that she is considered a shipping hazard, but I could have stayed at Bondi all day. It is hilarious to me that there is a whole nation of people who are only here because the bureaucracy of the time in England plucked their ancestors up and sent them here, as punishment. If you ask me, the punishment is the dreary and rain sodden London autumn. Lets just say that the Smiths couldn't have been Aussies.

After our trip to the beach, Inky and i did the only thing that made sence to follow it up: ate sea food. I had prawns the size of Andre the Giant's thumbs, and Inky had Barramundi, all with a Harbour view. To say that we are living well would be an understatement. Oh, and President Bush, thanks for the $1,200.00. We're using it to stimulate an economy, just not the one you intended it to.

Today, we walked along the observation deck at the Sydney Tower (which is alternately called the CentrePoint Tower or the AMP Tower etc) and got some amazing views of the whole emerald city below. Nowhere else in the world can you stand on top of a building and see all the way to multiple world class beaches on one side, and a breathtaking mountain range on the other, all with a first rate city of 4 million in between.

With all that said, we left Sydney for Launceston Tasmania, which is like the Portland Maine of Australia. What is far north in the States is far south in Oz, and you don't get much farther south than this. Launceston is a city of less than 90 thousand people, and yet it is bustling with action this weekend. You see, the Hawthorn Hawks of the Australian Football League call this place their second home, and they are in town to play a game this weekend. Inky and I are going to walk the 4 blocks from our hotel (more on the digs later) to the game tomorrow and get our first taste of live AFL footy!


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