Thursday, December 11, 2008

sydney

to migrate in sydney or not? this time, my trip was more than just my usual holiday - i wanted to see for myself how life in sydney is(if that is even possible for a 5-day trip). was i ready for a change and leave my relatively comfortable life in singapore for starting all over again in australia?

first things first, simon and i decided to see what we can do during weekends if we move in sydney(he insists that he will also migrate with me hehe). so from the airport, we drived for around 2 hours to check out the city's weekend getaway - blue mountains.

our first stop was the lookout point for the three sisters. they are rock formations(around 900 meters high each) formed by erosion. legend says that they used to be three beautiful sisters who fell in love with men from another tribe. a marriage with that tribe was forbidden so a war took place and so to protect or maybe hide(?) the three sisters, a witch doctor turned them into stones. the witch doctor died from the war though so they remained as stones until now.



the three sisters

we did a bit of hiking to see the katoomba falls and leura cascades. there are lots of activities to do in the national park - bushwalking, camping, cycling. very promising! if we had more time, it would be nice to just spend a couple of days in the mountains. before leaving, since we are tourists anyway, we tried the katoomba scenic railway(world's steepest railway) and the glass-bottomed cablecar scenic skyway.


sydney's anzac bridge


for dinner, we met with beng, chel and alvin with his family somewhere near the darling harbour. they gave us a walking tour of the city, it was also halloween that night and we saw grown-ups in silly costumes - my favorite was a teenage mutant ninja turtle guy. our highlight of the evening was the white-sailed sydney opera house of course, WOW! it was a really stunning work of architecture from afar and up-close.

korean dinner with chel, beng and alvin

walking around the city

sydney opera house
“I have made a sculpture . . . you will never be finished with it – when you pass around it or see it against the sky . . . something new goes on all the time . . . together with the sun, the light and the clouds, it makes a living thing.” - Jørn Utzon, Sydney Opera House Architect, 1918-2008

sydney opera house with simon, chel and beng

elegant fine dining inside the opera house
sydney harbour bridge
chel with a masked man

during the next few days, we did some more exploring...


holy moley, a shop in sydney

town hall(i think), while walking around the city
theseus, vanquisher of the minotaur, archibald fountain. at the background is the st. mary's cathedral. inside the gothic church, the priest was playing on the organ the eerie toccata and fugue "dracula music" by js bach. we enjoyed walking around the church with the excellent music :)

anzac bridge on the left, sunset in sydney
dinner at lord nelson's at the rocks, sydney's oldest pub. they brew their own beer, and they got yummy pies too. yum for 6 dollars!
at the rocks with chel and beng

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

croc spotting in daintree

yup, we caved in and joined a crocodile spotting river cruise. the tour was actually called mangrove adventures by dan irby. it was a two-hour sunset cruise and there were only 8 people in our small boat, in fact we were the only boat in the river that night. (we saw a tiny boat with two locals fishing but that doesnt count because they're almost part of the scenery anyway)

we first explored the small tributaries where dan spotted for us colorful kingfishers, beautiful gum trees that lean over the river and gives such an enchanted reflection, exotic million old plants (cant remember the names though), and muddy areas where he said crocs like to hang out. we can enter these waterways because his boat is small, dan said there are only two boats in daintree that can do that.

as the sun began to set, we glided to the wider part of the river where we saw a big group of egrets began to roost on some trees. when it got too dark to see anything, dan turned on his flashlight and looked for nocturnal creatures. we spotted huge fruitbats, green tree frogs and 2 juvenile crocodiles! later on under the starry starry sky, dan identified several constellations for us. it was magical :)


daintree river



our small boat


dan with the green tree frog


a green tree frog


a juvenile croc

earlier that day in daintree:


car ferry to daintree


beware of stingers


giant tree in cape tribulation

the view was amazing when we drived back from port douglas to cairns.


the view from captain cook highway


updraught hand gliding just next to the highway

we were just looking for a cafe to grab some lunch when we stopped by in palm cove and fell in love with the place. we ended up spending the rest of the day and one night in this "spa and wedding destination".


palm cove's melaleuca tree-lined street just next to the beach


simon with a giant century old melaleuca tree (also known as paperbarks)


palm cove beach - recently awarded as australia's cleanest beach. its true!


daintree tour:
dan irby's mangrove adventures
http://www.mangroveadventures.com.au/
tel no 07/40907017
make an advance reservation with dan because his boat can only accomodate no more than 10 people.
2-hour sunset cruise for 50aud
meeting place was the daintree ecolodge just a few kilometers after daintree village

Saturday, December 06, 2008

si rapunzel

birthday nya nung isang araw! nung huli kami nagkita nung isang buwan, di na daw sya kumakanta?! sayang ang boses mo shakira, birthday wish ko ay umawit ka na ulit. at magkatuluyan na kayo ni auggie. hehe. o ni don?


si beng sa akyat namin sa "susmaryosep!" na mt guiting guiting

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