Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mellowing out in Sydney

On our last full day in Tasmania, me, Nicky, Siw and Corina decided to go and visit MONA. This is the Museum of Old and New Art. It is in a spectacular underground building a few miles up the road from Hobart. The whole experience of MONA begins with the 30 minute ferry ride from Hobart Docks, during which time you see all the sights and sounds of the surrounding areas.

On reaching the museum you enter through a mirrored door and are given a 'device', that you carry around with you. This device knows where you are and allows you to read about the displays, vote whether you like them or not and give you random and sometimes downright rude information about the stuff you are looking at. I have never been anywhere like MONA before and I loved it. There are displays of real art and items from Egypt through to the modern day, plus art installations that just baffled us – A full sized truck in a corridor, swinging lamps and a massive row of light bulbs that flash to your heartbeat. Plus some downright disgusting pieces of art that I wont mention. If you want to know more than look at the Mona website, but be prepared to be shocked.

It was a great way to spend our last day here and was made better when we tried the wine-tasting that costs just $10. We tried 12 different wines and 4 beers, all of which were good – Then if you buy something, you get your $10 back – so we all bought some beers and drank them on the ferry back to Hobart. Siw, was leaving for her flight and so we had a quick couple of more beers and were sung to by two very good solo guitar players and singers in Irish Murphy’s. Before she got her bags and headed to one more pub for one more drink before we finally said goodbye to her as she boarded her bus - eventually after taking umpteen photos of her and her welsh flag.

After an hours rest I then met up with Nicky and Corina again for another couple of beers in the evening. It was a nice evening spent chatting with other travellers about Tasmania and watching television in the hostels TV room, where we nearly fell asleep before we eventually said goodnight about 1am.

In the morning I was up and out in time to get my bus to the airport. It did a lap of Hobart 3 times before finally heading out of town and arriving at the airport about 9.30am. My plane was due to take off at lunchtime so I vegged out for the morning, catching up on the internet stuff and uploading photos onto the web.

It was an easy journey and after a short walk from the train station I arrived at my plush apartment about 4pm. The rest of the day was spent doing a little shopping and having a beer in a nice bar overlooking Darling Harbour. I found a place where they have happy hour from 5-7pm and beers are only $4. Nice.

The next morning I was up and out and had a good run down to the harbour bridge. I had booked a hostel in The Rocks and wanted to find out exactly where it was too. It turns out that its a great Hostel right next to the bridge and with a view of the Opera House too. I got a bit wet in the rain, but didn’t care. In the afternoon I did a bit of shopping before returning to the same bar I went to yesterday just in time for Happy hour again. After a few beers I had an early night as I planned on getting up at 4.30am to watch United on the internet, as they played Chelsea. It turned out to be a good decision as United won 1-0.

The rest of the day was spent vegging out and wandering aimlessly around Sydney. I visited Paddy’s markets and enjoyed looking around the various stalls they have there. I have seen most of the city before and I didn’t want to spend any money doing things I have already done. 
The next day I was up and out early and took another walk around town -This time around the parts of Darling Harbour I hadn’t seen before, before returning to the room and picking up my bags. I was moving back into a Hostel, but not any hostel. This is the YHA Hostel in The Rocks, the happening area of Sydney, where the Harbour Bridge is and overlooking the Opera House. After a good walk through town, where I came across a load of Policeman locked in a cage, in order to raise money for some charity, I reached the hostel and was blown away by the location and the facilities. It is right that you get what you pay for. The hostel is about $40 a night (£25) compared to the more usual $25 a night uptown. But the price keeps away the people I don’t like to share rooms with. There are no groups of idiots, who just want to get pissed every night and leave their crap all around a stinking, bedbug ridden room. It is more like a smart hotel, where you have bunk-beds instead of your own room. I am in here for 3 nights and think I am going to like it. I’m hoping to meet up with Keri tonight for a catch up and a few beers. I cant believe I haven’t seen her since Jan 1st!! That’s over 3 months, blimey the time has flown by!!

Well the night out with Keri was good.....We eventually met about 8pm after she had had hassles with getting into town on the bus. I sat in a bar overlooking the harbour bridge awaiting her arrival and after a couple of beers catching up on what’s happened over the last few months, we had a bite to eat and one more beer before Keri headed home on the 11pm ferry. It was really good to catch up with her after so long and I hope to see her again sometime next week, before I leave Sydney again.
Still dont know why the plane wrote this!?

In the morning I was up just as a couple of new room mates arrived – An older couple from Montana, USA. I was heading out for a run and after saying my hello's I left for what should have been about an hour. After running across the harbour bridge and having my first look around the other part of Sydney, near Luna Park, I noticed a plane in the sky writing 'cloud letters', in the clear blue sky. For some reason it wrote 'Leatherman'. God knows why!
Sunbathing next to the harbour
Running the Harbour Bridge
As it was such a nice day I ran back to the Opera house and spent an hour sunbathing and watching the world go by. It was a great day and I just mellowed out for the afternoon wandering aimlessly around. I saw parrotts being fed ice cream, the most obvious transvestite ever and was nearly accosted by a bloke dresses to do the samba. He looked pretty miffed when I just stared at him as he held his hand out to dance!!! This was all before making myself some dinner and watching a movie with a few guys and gals in the TV room. I then watched Man United on the internet before and chatted to a couple of scose girls who had put on a movie earlier. I decided it was time for bed by 2am though when one of the girls started to chat to a canadian bloke about politics and President Obama!!

Sunday morning came and went and I had a sit on the roof terrace overlooking the harbour while I updated my blog...this is whatyou are reading. In the near distance, by the opera house I can hear a lou speaker, introducing the contestants who are taking part in a tri-athlon. The main event starts at 2pm, so Im going to head down there to take a look, before coming back to watch the Grand Prix on tv!

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