It's around 4:30pm on Sunday here in Sydney. I made it here OK. I'm in an Internet Cafe across the street from my hotel.
That 14 hour flight is a whopper. Our pilot was retiring on our flight. They saluted him with fire engines spraying water on the 747. I'm happy they explained that one on the PA.
Jag lag is odd. I'm really not very mentally aware, but the body is still going. It's getting better as the day goes on, which I guess makes some sense.
I landed in Sydney and got into town around 9:00am. It's really lovely here. A mix between old Euro charm and Manhattan Metro. I don't know hoe many Aussies I saw today though. Seems like the tourists out number the locals.
I just walked around today to get my bearings. I'm near one of the historical districts, about a 10 minute walk to the harbor. They have an amazing city park that reminds me of something you'd see in longwood. I saw lorkeets, some huge HUGE spiders (I did not pet them)and the famous Sydney flying fox bats. Imagine bats the size of a medium dog. They also have some kind of odd Ibis stork critter that kind of picks at trash like a pidgeon. Very odd to my eyes.
The Opera House is amazing. No photo you have seen does it justice. It was hot and sunny today, and the place just glows in the sun. It snuck up on me when I was walking through the park. I turned a corner and there was the harbor and the House in it's glory.
I had an appointment at the Powerhouse Museum to see the Lord of the Rings movie exhibit. It was the last day. It was amazing. Costumes from all the heroes, you got to feel a Weta Chainmail sample, get in a forced perspective green screen that made you into Hobbit size in Gandalf's cart. The artwork was great, they had many drawings and paintings from the conceptual artists. They had armor from orcs, Sauron and the heroes. Even if you watch the extended edition DVDs you don't appricitate the detail that went into the movie until you see the real thing.
I have to admit it's a bit intmitating traveling alone this far from home. Perhaps it's the jet lag or my lack of experience, but it's a bit overwelming at first. How does the money denominations work? Getting used to looking for oncoming traffic the wrong way down the street as you cross at a crosswalk. Cabs and the extensive train, trolley, and monorail system (I gave up and walked anyway). I'm better now. Especially after being called 'mate' and 'gday'ed everyplace. People are friendly here, but in a metro kind of way. If you start talking to someone they are pleased to talk back, but they do display a bit of urban reserve.
As far as the city itself, it's clean, almost perfectly so. Especially with the numbers of tourists. the cleaning crews must be excellent, but frankly I didn't see anyone litter either. everyone drives on the wrong side of the road and on the wrong side of the car. Lots of surfer types, and skateboards seem to be a socially acceptable way or transport here, more common then bikes. Lots of nice looking people too. I saw a lot of runners out this morning, and even a pair of mates in the park stick fighting! Very cool. Children don't act like little monkeys here, and the parents are not as uptight.
Well, I'm running out of time. I'm here tomorrow (monday) Then Tuesday I'm off to Darwin for a couple days. I'll drop a line soon.