Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Sydney, Australia

Troy had to go to Sydney several weeks ago so Shelly went with him and had a blast. To read a story Shelly wrote about Sydney, click here.

Sydney was an absolutely beautiful city. It was nice to see clear, blue skies again! We really miss those Colorado blue skies! It was a very expensive city though. Meals and cab rides were really high priced. In HK, we could split a meal for $10USD including drinks. In Sydney, we would easily spend $35 on a very similar meal.

Sydney is also the first place we have come across where there was some animosity towards Americans. We were flat out told Australians don’t like Americans. Of course those are the Australian's that have never been to the US. Those that had, for the most part, liked America. Obviously this is the first place it was apparent to us because the people here spoke English. People in Shanghai may not have liked us, but we had no idea because of the language barrier

Our taxi driver from the airport to the hotel was a Palestinian. The conversation started out with him telling us how he lost his home to the Israeli’s, etc. etc. The discussion then turned in the direction of him telling us that LA, Washington and New York are going to get blown off this planet. He says to us “Many, many people have told me this. I have read in many, many books that these places are going to get blown to smithereens!” We were a little freaked out to say the least. There were a lot of things we wanted to say back to him but we decided to keep our mouths shut. After all we were in a strange city, it was late at night and no one knew where we were! Can you say “smart move?"

Back to the great things about Sydney… There were a lot of things to do here. You could choose from harbor dinner cruises, Sydney Opera House tours, helicopter tours, wine tours, jet boating, you could even climb the Sydney Bridge!

A few of the things we did was a full day tour to the wine country. We visited little boutique wineries so we didn’t get to see the places that produce wine we are familiar with. Our tour guide had the “inside track” to one of the wineries so we got an in depth lesson at wine tasting. Shelly discovered she did NOT like American Oak Chardonnay. She disliked it so much she actually poured it out! Imagine that, Shelly wasting a dring!!!! We also did a full day tour to the Blue Mountains. We also stopped at a wildlife park and were able to pet Koalas and feed kangaroos! (Some of those guys have big nuts and I don’t mean the kind of nut they eat!)

We even learned to throw a boomerang. Shelly was awesome at it! Troy said this can be the one sport she’s good at! (Ass!) We also learned to play the Didgereedoo (which was not so easy). It’s the long tube thing that looks like it’s made out of a large piece of bamboo. You will recognize the sound as being part of the music in the opening credits for the reality show “Survivor!” (Oh how we miss that show!) - btw, Troy was good at that :-) (Troy wrote that).

We will be going to New Zealand in May so we will let you know how different that place is from Sydney.

Sigh…. So many places to go, so much to see, but somebody has to do it!


Don't let the taxi driver in Sydney fool you. Australians don't hate Americans. They certainly don't always agree with us or our government but they have a lot in common with the U.S. by being a former British colony. I look at them as our younger cousins descended from the British empire. Most of the Australians who were born in Australia seemed to be very friendly towards me and my American travel mates during my many visits there.

Australia has a very liberal immigration policy in place at the moment and you're likely to meet lots of people who recently moved there from other countries. Don't let the newcomers give you the wrong impression of Australians. They're great folks.

- Paul McCarthy

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:29 PM  

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