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More thoughts

28 Jan


After a very pleasant trip on the new Airbus 380, I find myself in Singapore Airport, waiting to pick up the train to Kuala Lumpur…. not sure where my brain had the 3hr 30 minute time from, but it took us 8 hours. At least I have caught up on some movies…although it was strange to know that most of the passengers were in transit to London.. and I got off the plane!

But some random memories that didn’t make the Australia blog….

Two Australian policeman randomly (and briefly) dancing at the Opera bar on Australia Day. Sadly, no photos.

The support shown by the Australian people for a temporary tax to help with the Queensland floods

Train stations that appear like replicas of English stations.. in fact, looking more like English railway stations than English railway stations. (Trivia point – the reason why the Russian for ‘station’ is vokzal is because when the Russians came on a fact finding trip to the UK and asked ‘where are we’ the British replied ‘Vauxhall’).

Equally, parish churches that look more like English parish churches of the 16th century than ours do. So exactly WHEN was Australia settled?

And a random question, that I have no answer to… exactly WHY did I write in my notebook “Mitch and semi frozen salmon”? Now THAT, I suspect, is a side effect of going out drinking in Bondi.


As one adventure ends….another begins

28 Jan

And so, finally, into Sydney. An overnight stay at another wacky hostel – in Railway Square YHA most of the accommodation is in converted railway carriages on Platform Zero… just next door to the station. Cool!

Railway Square Hostel (3)

I spent the next day wandering Sydney (one of the few places on this trip that I have seen before) – of course, the bridge, the opera house, Darling Bay the tropical gardens…

Tropic Gardens (6)

Blown over in the wind, they will never put this tree upright for fear of damaging it. Cool though.

Tropic Gardens (1)

The gardens are full of Ibises. Ibisii. Ibexes. Ibis. Ibii. Who knows?

Walk Round Sydney (13)

Last time I was in Sydney I was going to climb the bridge.. I still haven’t, but this is pretty close – a view from the bridge

Walk Round Sydney (20)

And a view of the bridge

..and then meeting up with my friend Mitch and his girlfriend Alison, who (god bless them) looked after me during my stay at their flat in Bondi.


Oh, sorry, wrong photo. This is Mitch – we met on the Green Tortoise tour. He’s a great guy, although he hasn’t quite worked that out yet.


Much drinking in the evening – the tone being set by Mitch’s flatmate who immediately proffered a beer on my arrivial (I had got lost on the way to the flat and looked a tad hot & bothered).

A day on Bondi beach followed, with a walk along the headland…

Bondi (1)Bondi (11)Bondi (16)Bondi (19)Bondi (21)Bondi (24)

(there are some even nicer beaches round the headland)

A day spent drinking champagne at the Opera Bar in Sydney on Australia Day (just underneath the opera house under the little white umbrellas in the picture)… watching various reasons for being escorted off the premises (ranging from ‘just plain drunk through ‘footwear violation’ and ‘strange dancing’)

From Manly Ferry (2)Australia Day (1)

A day in Manly (it may just be me, but I feel sorry for the girls in Manly. My heart went out to the very pretty lifeguard with ‘Manly Lifeguard’ on the back of her jacket… and do you really want to be a Manly Girl for the rest of your life?) – but just reminded me of an upmarket UK holiday town. The ferry trip to Manly is magnificent (and a bargain) though with great views of the bridge and the city.

From Manly Ferry (4)From Manly Ferry (16)From Manly Ferry (17)From Manly Ferry (18)From Manly Ferry (28)

A last minute panic to sort my flight out – we’d managed to organise it for the 28th Feb not 28th Jan – oops – so much internet usage and phone calls later and I’m back on track.

(take a look at for more ‘On The Road’ thoughts… I haven’t published this to Facebook but you may be interested to see what I am feeling….)

And then a day at the airport. Next stop Singapore… and then overland to Kuala Lumpur and Penang before I reach Bangkok. NOW the adventure begins – outside of my comfort zone, outside of western culture, and with a profound inability to speak the language. See you on the other side of the equator…

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