Hi Everyone

I met up with Karen in Sydney on the 14th, and stayed there for five days. On the first day, the closest tourist spot to our hotel was the Art Gallery of New South Wales. It had a nice asian art exhibit and an odd performance art where 2 people were simultaneously painting a black wall white and a white wall black. As Karen was jet-lagged, we spent most of our first day at the hotel. The next day, our first stop of was the Chinese Garden of Friendship. A tranquil garden in the middle of the city, I’ve decided to build my theoretical future garden like this, complete with rocks in the pond that look like dragons. Next stop, the Sydney aquarium!

It seems like the aquarium is capitalizing on the success of “Finding Nemo”. It has a sculpture of Bruce the shark at the entrance, and numerous clownfish and blue tangs throughout the aquarium. Also has penguins from both “Happy Feet” and “Surf’s Up”. Both the seal tank and shark tank have underwater walkways, allowing you to get a better look at the underwater environment. At the very beginning of the shark tank, there was a giant ray “smiling” at us, eliciting (ear-splitting) shrieks of delight from nearby children. My personal favourite was the wobbegong shark (i think) that appeared to be eating a yellow sea creature. Just munching along. Love the teeth. Other neat sea creatures included a seahorse-like creature that looked like a floating piece of seaweed, penguins, shark ray (like a shark but the front half is flattened) and the cardinal pyjama fish. We finished off the day with a delicious cup of hot chocolate from the lindt chocolate cafe, a small pot of melted chocolate that you mixed in with the milk yourself (the best part of sydney, we went there twice).

On Thursday, we took a ferry to the Taronga Zoo. The zoo is integrated into a hill, and the entrance is at the top, requiring a “sky safari” ride up or a bus. Karen and I took the bus (It was faster, and we’ve both already been on cable cars). Considering I’ve been to the Melbourne Zoo twice in the last 4 months, I wasn’t all that excited for Taronga. However, they did have a few things that Melbourne doesn’t, including views of a giraffe silhoutted against the Sydney skyline, and a seal show, which I thoroughly enjoyed. (Animals at Taronga not at Melbourne- tahr, tapir, binturong, fennecs).

Friday- Paddy’s Markets, similar to my beloved Queen Victoria market. Walked around Circular Quay, where the opera house and harbour bridge are located. We stopped and watched a street performer juggle a sword and apple while sitting atop a bicycle on top of a pole. Last day, Saturday, we walked around the Royal Botanic Gardens, had spiders and bats. Was unsuccessful in attempts to photograph a bat in flight, and ran away from the spiders. Then, we walked around Hyde Park where they were preparing for World Youth Day (sponsored by Telstra).

Finally, we returned to civilization (Melbourne) to my cold apartment. And Karen has been shopping ever since.