Sydney

Jinhee and I arrived in Sydney after 3 days in San Francisco in or Around the World Trip.

We stayed by Darren & Pook who kindly guided us throughout most of our stay, whenever they were not working.
Before my trip I was not especially interested in visiting Australia, but visited because of my good friend Pook and of the first opportunity to meet her husband which was great. They were both very kind and we both enjoyed our trip.
Sydney itself was a very nice city and if it wasn’t for the shorter holidays of Australia and slightly longer hours it would be a place I could work.
The city reminded me a bit of London and a bit of New York.

Due to its British heritage there are plenty of British style architecture, and many street names are familiar.
However it also has nice weather and is a coastal city which adds much more to the experience. Like London & New York it is cosmopolitan and there are a lot of international restaurants.I was impressed with the general quality of food without.
We all went to eat pancakes at Pancake On The Rocks, which were delicious and well merited the waiting time.
It was nice to walk around in the build up to Australia days and Sydney harbour which needs no introduction was a nice place to relax. The atmosphere was a bit like the Southbank in London but a bit less cramped despite the many people.
On Australia day Darren drove us to the Blue Mountains, where we could see the three sisters.
The Three sisters is folklore (and if wikitravel is correct) created to drive up tourist interest and therefore invented to be aboriginal folklore.

The Three sisters: Lonely Planet vs The Blue Mountain version
There is the lonely planet version (it has stuck by for years’ and the version at the three sisters.
They both don’t agree.

The Lonely Planet version: In it the Three Sisters were turned to stone by a sorcerer to protect them from the advances of three young men but died before he could turn them back into humans!
One must ask of course why he didn’t turn the young men into stone instead..but of course that would not have been interesting.

And the official version at the site. There were three sisters who managed to awaken a bunyip. Their father Tyawan turned them into stone so the bunyip would leave them alone but he was then chased by the bunyip. He managed to escape by changing himself to a lyrebird but dropped his magic but lost his magic bone. Without he can’t turn himself or his sisters into humans again.. He is still looking..

In any case the Blue Mountains are beautiful and picturesque and well worth exploring.

Darren and Pook also took us on a boat to go dolphin spotting! We spotted a few, not so many but it was interesting and the weather was nice.
We also went sand boarding which was really fun. Something I wish was available here in the UK.
I enjoyed repeating it time after time, the guide decided to apply extra wax my board with a grin he said ‘it was nice knowing you!’

We also saw a Koala Sanctuary which was nice and practically obligatory for Australia.

All in all, Sydney was great fun but even more so because of meeting great friends we then departed on the very long flight to Johannesburg, South Africa..