Posts Tagged ‘Australia

15
Nov
09

Some other things I’ve noticed about Australia

  • People often leave the bus from the front door, even if the path to the rear one is clear and there are people getting on the front.
  • If you’re on an escalator you stand on the left and let people walk past you on the right. This is the same as if you were driving, which makes sense. It’s also the reverse of how it’s done in the UK, which never did.
  • Bicyclists often ride on the sidewalks. I don’t know whether this is law or custom, but it happens all the time. Walkers need to be wary.
  • A significant portion of restaurants – a third? a half? – are BYO for wine at least. This is an incredibly awesome thing. Though charging corkage when all wine bottles are screw-tops is lame.
  • Screw-top wine bottles are awesome. As are the little tearaway reminder labels on the back of wine bottles so you can easily remember bottles you liked.
  • Everything rounds to 5 cents: smart.
  • Tipping isn’t extravagant here. You usually just round up. It’s much more like Europe than North America. Nice.
  • Wines are stronger here. Higher temperatures produce more sugar in the grapes, which ferments to produce more alcohol in the wine. Instead of the 12% common in Europe, 14% seems to be the average here. Proceed with caution.
  • If you get into a taxi here it’s common for you to sit in the front with the driver.
  • There’s lots of free wifi at pubs and cafes.
26
Apr
09

Australia trip: a recap

027-view-from-watsons-bay

The blog posts I made a few weeks ago made it clear that I was in Australia. I thought I’m summarise the awesomeness of that trip now that I can reflect. I’ve also uploaded some photos. We were gone three weeks in total.

We flew to Sydney and spent about a week there. This was my third trip there. We were able to meet up with some old friends, explore some neighbourhoods that were new to us, and just generally soak up the vibe of the city.

Next we rented a car and drove to the Blue Mountains, just a couple of hours west of Sydney. We spent a few days here, staying in a nice small town B&B. We were surprised by how dramatic the mountains – or, to be more accurate, valleys – actually are. There are some incredible views. Best of all we did a few bushwalks of a few hours each: some along cliff ledges, some down in shaded rainforest valleys.

On our last day in that area we explored one of the Jenolan Caves, a pretty freaky underground experience.

After that we flew up to Brisbane to stay with some good friends there (Miss B, who sometimes comments here, is one of them). She and her man were getting hitched, the main reason for our trip Down Under. After a couple of nights in BrisVegas we drove down the coast to Byron Bay. The wedding was at a great resort in the hinterland, and was an amazing and romantic time.

After the wedding we stayed for a few very relaxing days at a beach house in Byron Bay town. It was warm, nice weather, and great to chill out.

We spent one more night visiting friends back in Brisbane, and then flew on to Sydney and out of Australia. However, we did a couple of nights of stopover in Singapore on the way back. They were really great, too. That place has changed a lot even from when I was there five years ago.

It was a great trip from start to finish.

I’ve uploaded a few pics here.

01
Apr
09

Having an amazing time in Australia

The title sums it up: it’s been great here. We explored some Sydney neighbourhoods we’d not been to before, have been eating really well, met up with some old pals, and had great weather throughout. We did a few days in the Blue Mountains including some great bushwalks in the Grose Valley and the Jenolan Caves.

Last night we were back in Sydney briefly and had another great night, despite the rain.

Today we’re in Brisbane. People are converging;plans are coming together. The next phase of the fun begins.

25
Mar
09

The Wonderful World of Oz

I feel like I’m getting to know my way around Sydney a bit. Love the fruit bats in the Botanic Gardens. Interesting training through the northern suburbs. And breakfast is a major event here.

21
Mar
09

Two-thirds of the way there

At Singapore’s Changi airport. Only here for about an hour, then back towards Sydney.

The Airbus A380 is a honkin’ big plane.

20
Mar
09

Oz

Shortly after work today the missus and I will be heading to Heathrow. From there we will be boarding a sexy big Airbus 380 operated by Singapore Airlines. It will be flying us to Sydney, Australia. We will be spending three glorious weeks there, not workin’ or nothin’. We will be going to Miss B’s wedding in Byron Bay. We won’t be back in the UK until Easter weekend.

I probably won’t be blogging much during that time. Try not to weep.