Day 3 in Sydney Australia started out much differently than the first two days. The delirium brought by 20 hours on planes, followed by a full day of hiking and sight seeing, has worn off. My internal clock is on Aussie time, which I am thankful for. I believe my body didn’t go through bad jet lag, due to the fact that it was encased in a tube of metal, with no light, for about 11 hours over the Pacific Ocean. At that point, I was able to just jump into whatever time zone I found myself in, with little to no problems. That said, This morning was all about the thing which we all dread... School. We had two papers due by 8am, and a test over the book, “In a Sunburned Country,” at 9:15. After that, our plans were our own until one o’clock, when we rejoined as one group, and continued our exploration of Sydney.
The currency in Australia is not like the US at all. Their dollar bills are colorful, with places on them that you can see through. The value of their coins are based more on the type of metal than anything else. In the United States, a quarter is both bigger, and worth more, than the other coins. Here, the largest coin is a silver 50 cent piece, while the smallest is a gold two dollar coin. It feels odd holding such a small coin, and knowing that it’s worth $2 (granted $2 will get you nowhere here in Sydney.)
A hefty portion of our afternoon was spent exploring the Olympic Park. In the year 2000, Sydney hosted the Olympics. A massive “city” was created specifically for the event, and now lies virtually empty, bar some occasional use. Monuments and similar items have been erected, celebrating the athletes glorious achievements. The pool area has been refitted for use by the public, and the stadium is used for concerts, cricket matches, and other events similar to these. Having never been to an Olympic park, whether for the Olympics or after, this opportunity was welcomed with much enthusiasm.
On the train ride back to Circular Quay from the Olympic park, a conversation was struck up between myself and a middle aged gentlemen wearing multiple jackets. I know this, because he stood there and took off each jacket, one by one. Anyways, the man is a fox-hunter. “Ya let the hounds get afta the foxes, and you just say, “Tally ho foxes!” Our thoroughbreds can jump anythin’ that gets in their way.” The man seemed quite proud of his hunting ability, and was willing to share with anyone who gave them a minute of their time.
Upon arriving at Circular Quay, we boarded a ferry headed to Manly Beach. We were able to see the harbour from an entirely different viewpoint, which was quite the experience. After watching the scenery slip by, we arrived at Manly beach and walked down a lengthy strip of shops, bars, and restaurants, to end up at a gorgeous shoreline. Within 5 minutes of enjoying the sight, we realized some girls were being rescued by a local surfer and some of their friends. I tell you this folks, anyone who says Australia is dangerous, is not kidding! After splashing through the shallow end (no sharks for me, thank you!) we ended up at the Sugar Lounge where they were serving $5 pizzas. I chose a smoked chicken with mango and brie... It was delicious! The ferry ride back to Sydney was chilly, windy, and a tad bumpy. My only experience with ferries comes from Seattle (Puget Sound) which is definitely a much calmer passage than through this harbor. It was rough, but seeing the Sydney Harbour lit up at night, glowing for all to see... That, made it all worth it!