Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Back in Sydney
I spent the past couple of days in Sydney and managed to take two day trips using the ferry system. Sydney is a huge city with tons of small harbors and bays, and many times, the fastest way from point A to point B is via ferry. On Monday, I went to the Taronga Zoo- it has a fantastic view (the giraffes have the best view of all) and typical smattering of zoo animals plus a large collection of Australian wildlife- lions and tigers and koala bears, oh my. Koala bears are adorable but definitely not the most lively of creatures- they sleep 20 hours a day. The highlight was the free flight bird show, which had the best opening sequence I've seen in a long time. As everyone was sitting around waiting for the show to begin, a white parrot flew down and undid a string to open up the show's banner. Over the loudspeakers, a narration of the aboriginal myth about how the birds got their colors began, only the story was acted out by the birds themselves. I was really impressed- it was like watching a school play only with birds playing the parts instead of children. Next, a trainer came out and brought out several different species which would then swoop around over the crowd. In an unscripted moment, a black-breasted kite hopped over the rail and took a little girl's stuffed animal, which was sort of hilarious. The trainer, who looked slightly alarmed, got him to drop it by offering some raw meat.
Today I took the ferry over to Manly Beach, located just north of the city. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect- I laid around on the beach, swam in a (shark-free!) cove, ate fish & chips, and read about half of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. After a relaxing day at the beach (see goofy picture), I headed back to Kristy and Rodd's house and cooked up a big pot of kangaroo chili. Yum! Kangaroo is a lean, red meat, similar to venison.
Tomorrow morning I'm headed south to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road. I gotta be honest, I'm really digging this extended vacation thing.