Here is something that is certain to make you laugh in spite of the fact that it is Monday. Check out “Spandy Andy” as he shows off at St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne Australia. He’s got the moves and the personality to match.
Category Archives: Australia
Since I never made it out to see the nightlife in Melbourne, I made a concerted effort to check out what Sydney had to offer. Like many cities, “the scene” is pretty concentrated on Oxford Street. The area is a bit dumpy similar to the Castro in San Francisco, but I enjoyed checking out the clubs, sipping coffees at Coco Cubano (note there is good wireless here and it is free) and even nosing around in the GLBT bookstore, The bookshop darlinghurst, where I made several purchases. The two main clubs that I visited could not have been more different except that they both had a lot of energy and some very good people watching. The clubs I visited Arq and Slide will probably end up changing names (as all clubs do) but I had a great time and would suggest even if you are not a club-kid (as I most definitely am not) it is still worth checking out for fun and laughs.
As with my write-up about Melbourne, I’ve also included a slide show which is a collection of photographs from my trip, please enjoy.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
If you do book a stay in the country, I would definitely recommend the Peppers Springs Retreat which is less than a 5 minute drive to Daylesford downtown. Request a room in the main building with a private deck that overlooks the countryside. The two owners, Chris and Wayne, are as warm and friendly as the rest of the staff and the trip provided the perfect respite between visits to Melbourne and Sydney (Australia’s two largest cities). If you want to learn more about the retreat, you can read my glowing review on TripAdvisor.com here. Visiting wineries from the hotel is easy to do, but I preferred the pampering of the natural springs spa on sight and eating at the hotel’s restaurant – rarely have I ever been so full in my life. Below I’ve included a sampling of photos from my time in Melbourne, the drive out of the city and the stay in Hepburn Springs.
While I was in Australia I briefly wrote about my snorkeling adventure with Sergio while we were vacationing in Port Douglas. At the time, I was not able to include our photographs from the day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. If you are fascinated by the reef or enjoy snorkeling I think you will like these photographs. Thanks to Sergio who took all these pictures.
Expand to full screen to get maximum effect and if you have speakers turn them on to listen to the cheesy music I’ve selected to accompany the slide show.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
I’m a travel-junkie plain and simple. One of the things I love about international travel is seeing how people live in other parts of the world, because as large and different as the U.S. is, we are a homogenous country. Life and attitudes in Boston do not differ that much from Boise. If you don’t believe me, check out life in another country (sorry Canada doesn’t count). It is precisely these differences which can cause consternation for American travelers and it is always interesting to witness this firsthand.
The most common frustration I saw on this trip did not revolve around politics, protocol or even language; rather it revolved around coffee. In the U.S. we are accustomed to filtered coffee – whether that is Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or your local café – coffee shops all make coffee pretty much the same way. In Australia, coffee is from a French Press or espresso machine with hot water added; Australians call this a Long Black (not Tall Black as I incorrectly requested repeatedly).
Without waxing on endlessly, there were other observations which I found both funny and interesting and if you’ve ever been to Australia, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts – please feel free to share a comment.
1) If going to Australia increase the amount you plan on spending for food. I found it hard to have a meal for less than $25-30 per person – this was especially true in Sydney. Of course if you love junk food you can get a fast food value meal for about $8-10.00 per person.
2) Despite being an English speaking nation, the Australian accent and propensity for slang left me baffled more often then not. This is a country that refers to red heads as “blueys”; Arugula or lettuce as “rocket” and coffee as “long black”. Never has a common language caused such a divide. However, I will admit I did fall for the accent and despite nearly continual confusion I was able to pick up most of the slang.
3) If you are staying in Sydney – beware those large black birds blotting out the setting sun each evening are actually bats (fruit bats I think to be exact) and while they are harmless; several hours after the sun sets and their bellies are full you need to beware of two things 1- bat poop falling on you as you walk under trees; it is truly sickening how much a bat can poop. 2- freshly fallen bat poop, which can result in horrible if not comical slipping, sliding and potential falling. While none of this actually happened to me there were several close calls. Never has Joseph Conrad’s words “The horror… the horror” rang so true.
Three weeks in Australia resulted in more photographs taken than anyone would ever want to see. Perusing these pictures earlier today, I noticed something not unique to my travels but different from the typical traveler; very few pictures of women. Family members and friends who are not likely to enjoy bare-chested 20 somethings might prefer to skip this slide show. I on the other hand will revisit these photographs to keep me motivated and to get my lazy ass to the gym through out this winter.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|