Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sleep for a while and speak no words. (Australia pt. 1)

At about 1 am Monday morning I got off a plane from LAX to SLC. As I got off the plane, I struck up a conversation with a beautiful Latina girl who looked just like Eva Mendes. It was a nice ending to my trip. We'd arrived in Sydney, Australia just over a week before. At 6 am local time. The first thing we did after we got off the plane was take a train to Sydney's Central rail station. From there, we walked out onto the street with all our stuff. The weather was nice for 6 am in spring. We guessed a reasonable route to our hotel and set off. We got to the hotel about 30 minutes later (only got a little lost). We couldn't check in yet, so we used the lobby and lobby bathroom as a hotel room, changing and trying to wash off the fancy smell of 24 hours on planes and in airports. At about 10 am we left our stuff with the desk and went to church. Before we left for Australia, Sean had located a singles ward right down the road from where we were staying. It was mighty convenient and we didn't have anything else planned, so off we went. It was fun. Besides a few missionaries and a small family of other American tourists, there were no white people there. White people don't seem to like church very much these days. Anyway, it was fun, we met a bunch of people and made friends with a couple local girls who gave us their numbers/emails so we could get in contact with them later in the week if we wanted.

After church, we shot off down the streets at random trajectories. We finally came across a restaurant that was recommended in one of our two travel books. It was a Korean place, and we were feeling adventurous so we were trying to decide between eel and octopus. Fortunately the menu had photos of the food and I saw that the eel came with what appeared to be three different kinds of mushrooms and nothing else. So we ordered octopus. It was crunchy. We found our way back to the hotel, checked in and fell asleep for 16 straight hours. We woke up the next morning ready to go. We'd decided to roughly follow some of the recommended itineraries in one of our books. Seemed like a decent outline for a plan. We took a train to Circular Quay ("key") and started looking for our first stop, Customs House. We wandered around for like 40 minutes before someone showed us where it was, right where we'd been wandering but not well-marked. As we came back out, we noticed a free city tour starting up and as they started to walk away we were right behind them and the guide asked us if we would be joining them. There were a couple cute girls in the group, so we said yes. The tour lasted about 3-4 hours. It was actually a really nice way to spend our first full day, getting to know the city itself. The tour was free because they were also trying to sell pay-for pub tours and drinky ferry tours. That was sort of a common theme in Australia. Everything was about drinking. The whole social scene was about drinking. Being that my travel companion is married and that neither of us drink, it made it a little tough to meet girls. Had we been so inclined. And I'm not saying we were. Truthfully, we didn't see very many cute girls at all. I talked to the cutest girl in the tour group and she wasn't even Australian, she was German. It was a sad moment for me.

This is the tour group. Jumping. That's me in the back. I wasn't real excited about the jumping part. Or the photo part. This is also the only photo we have with both me and Sean in it.
After the tour ended, we used the bathroom for number ones at the Sydney Opera House and went to the Harbour Bridge. We walked across it, walked around Luna Park and then ate at a restaurant called Ripples, right on the water. We were starving. We got fish and chips, but they gave us a TON of food and we couldn't eat it all. Oh well.

This is the exact meal. Ours seemed bigger, though. I stole this from another blog since I refuse to photograph food.
This is the view from Ripples. I also stole this image.
Our waitress was very nice and had a beautiful accent. She gave us a newspaper. Then we caught a train back across the bridge and went back to the hotel.

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