Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sydney Strolls

As time is quickly winding down, I have come to value each moment more. I am trying to get out and check more and more things off my list, yet stuff keeps getting added on. It is truly crazy how quickly time goes, I remember when I had 140 days here and now there is only 30 more! The common conversation among friends is how we feel about going home and what we are going to do (mostly eat) when we get there. What sounds good to me is some legit Mexican food, hiking the Hollywood sign with my best friend and then curling up on the couch with my family and watching movies. The common feeling is that we are ready and excited to go back, but we know we will miss this beautiful place where we have come to find ourselves and discover Australia. I have been strolling along the bustling streets of Sydney just taking it all in while it lasts. Every time I explore, I stumble upon something new. Sydney is an amazing city with things going on all the time and all around. I’m glad I chose to go here because it is so different from home and I have gained a new perspective of life.
I walked to Hyde Park and covered most of the area. It is a patch of green with some gardens, fountains, and walking paths in the large city surrounded by huge churches. I decided to go to a mass at St. Mary’s to experience religion here. It was interesting, I had no idea what to do or say, but it was fun. In Hyde Park there is an ANZAC memorial. It contains a statue of a man lying on a cross with a golden sun below him. There is also a ‘Dome of Memory’ consisting of a dome filled with golden stars to represent the lives of those who fought in the war. Then there is the Sydney Hospital with a bore statue you rub the nose of for good fortune. I visited St. Andrew’s, the country’s oldest cathedral. It was filled with beautiful stained glass. Next door is Town Hall. It is painted with light pink walls and intricate ceilings and a large chandelier in the center. There is the largest organ in the southern hemisphere in the building and I got to hear it played.  I wandered in Martin Place, which is a major pedestrian precinct. There is a building adorned with many Australian flags and a clock tower. I was handed a sunflower, which made my day. Later I walked around QVB, Queen Victoria Building. QVB is a 5 story shopping center filled with nice shops and fancy clothes. There is a one ton clock hanging the center of the building that performs a show about the Queen’s history.
The weather here has changed significantly. I thought that Australia would be a forever warm metropolis, but the seasons are recognized. As I am in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite. It is summer at home, but here it is winter. It rains more than expected, but there are still warm days as well. It reminds me of a California winter. On a rainy day, my friend Carolyn and I went for a stroll to the bridge. I hadn’t walked across it so that is what we set out to do. We crossed the bridge in the rain and took in great views of the harbor and the opera house. Then we took the train back home. Later that night Carolyn, Sarah, Max, Andrew, Haley and I went to Max Brenner and then watched the new episode of Big Bang Theory. It was a fun night.

Then came the day I had been waiting for, the Bridge Climb! Climbing the bridge was amazing! I got to see the entire city in a whole new light. The weather was great that day, which was very lucky. It was overall a great day with my friend Brian, we even danced on top of the bridge. We went to Pancakes on the Rocks after for a celebratory meal of awesomeness. I went to Powerhouse Museum with another Brian. It is a science and engineering museum with interactive exhibits. One night, my roommate Max and I went to Orbit Lounge. It is a restaurant on the 47th floor of a building in Australia Square. It is a revolving restaurant so we got to see the whole city in one rotation. The city sparkled with all its lights and Vivid was going on in the harbor, which was cool to see from above. We took in the view of the city and sipped coffee. It took about an hour and was totally worthwhile.
Vivid is a light show throughout the city. The most iconic place f Vivid is the Opera House. There is a 15 minute light show and I watched the whole thing. What makes Vivid so awesome is that I have seen the city for 4 months normally and now everything is sparkling. Max, Brain and I walked around the harbor for the night and walked the circumference of the Opera House. The walk back was interesting. I saw police on horses trotting along and enjoyed the city. There is a difference in being somewhere and actually being somewhere. There are different depths to which you can experience something and I seek the deepest; to not just be, but to belong and  use every sense to be able to make the simplest things memorable.

This week I completed all of my class work. All that is left is two finals on the 19th and 24th of June, then I am finally done with this semester and a senior!

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