Round the World Travel Guide
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Sydney Musings

I realize it’s been some time, but hey, life’s too short to be writing e-mails every day. Anyhow, hope whatever season you’re in you’re having a good one.

Well, I’ve now been in Sydney for nearly three months and it still seems an exciting and fun place to be staying. The only problem with this is the lack of serious saving that I have been able to carry out, which in turn is slowly changing my plans for whilst I’m here in Australia. In traveller’s terms this is known as the “Sydney Trap”. You try to save money for the rest of the trip, but you are also in a new town so you want to go out. This is then a continuous cycle and it’s just a question of when you decide to leave, even though you have not saved as much as you had originally hoped.

The Olympics are obviously taking much of the attention of the whole city, with trains being tested on new timetables (without notice), extra police (already) and general announcements being made daily about what will be happening in various parts of the city. Various areas are being set up as world party zones and all pubs within a 4 mile radius of the CBD are being allowed to stay open 24hrs a day (madness).

Already areas of the city are being cordoned off and there are various rumours about places being only accessible to those with security passes (this is inconvenient when these include the bridge that you use everyday to get into the city). People are already arriving for the games and the whole city is noticeably busier, which is just an indication of what is to come.

I’ve been to the Olympic Complex twice now, once on a guided tour and another to watch rugby, Australia Vs South Africa (in all honesty the game was a big let down). The first thing that strikes you is the sheer size of the place and the infrastructure of the whole Olympic Venue, very impressive.

It’s also the most “green” Olympic complex in history, with huge efforts being made to recycle rainwater and use as much solar power as possible. The guided tours are very informative, with lots of amazing statistics and allow you to see everything from the hospitality areas (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars) to the media rooms. The highlight for me was standing on the finishing line of the 100m track knowing that the world’s attention will be on that area in less than a month.

The house is going very well with lots of new people arriving before the Olympics kick off. It’s very odd how easily you get used to living with 12 people, it’s just like being back at University again, but with less privacy and more drinking!! The dynamic in the house has also changed, with the Irish outnumbering everyone (which seems a reflection of the whole of Sydney, are there any young Irish left in Ireland??). The house now has a good international feel, with the breakdown being:

5 Irish
3 English
1 Welsh
1 Dutch
1 Canadian (French Speaking)
1 American

I know it’s a cliche but the phrase “it sure is a small world” comes into use a fair amount, whether it’s bumping into an old university friend strolling down Bondi Beach (neither of us knew the other was here), or having someone you’d met in New Zealand living two doors away from you, to literally running into someone who you had gone sea kayaking and wine tasting with, and finding out that they are working three minutes away from where you are. Also, coming from London, it’s amazing how many people you meet who live just down the road, and go to the same places as you.

I will be leaving Sydney in around three weeks (the Olympics is making everything far too expensive). First stop will be Melbourne, to work for another month, and then onto Adelaide, before cutting up the middle for Ayers Rock, and then onto the Queensland Coast. Hopefully, if everything goes to plan I will be leaving Australia for Asia in the first half of January (however as we all know, things have a habit of changing).

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