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Coogee, AustraliaWhile in Australia I'm staying at the Medina Apartments in Coogee. This is the view along the short beachside promenade. Coogee is a popular beach community within Sydney proper. Everyday the beach is well visited by a young crowd some of whom stay at local youth hostels where rooms are $20AUS per day. At one end is a saltwater pool which I understand is a regular feature up and down the coast.

Medina ApartmerntsThis is the Medina Apartments, my "home" for the next 5 months. I have a one bedroom, with pretty much has everything that you need including a living room, full kitchen, washing machine and dryer. The complex has a small lap pool, sauna and gym. 

While in Australia I hope to visit as many places as possible. The distances in Australia are similar to Canada in that there is quite a distance between the major cities and with speed limits no greater than 110 kph flying becomes necessary if you want to visit some area within a weekend. The rate for flying is much higher than in the US and I have not found a discount source as of yet. Below are some photos of Sydney that I have taken.

Sydney Opera House, Australia
Opera House


Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Harbour Bridge

My sister-inlaw and nephew - The Entrance
The Entrance


Sydney is a city on the water, where ferries cris-cross the harbour and its numerous bays and coves. Each cove or bay has it's own character while the water is alive with all types of watercraft. What I found especially wonderful was the many promenades that edged the various waterways including Darling Harbour.

Sydney's two most famous landmarks are the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. Who quit the project before it's completion and was replaced by a team of architects. How close to his vision is the final structure is open to depot. What is not is that this has become one of the most famous buildings in the world.

There are beaches on three sides of Sydney with some having quite an active surfing scene like Bondi beach while others are more secluded. Surfing is a popular sport in Australia and many schools actually have surfing teams. While much has been said of the sharks that live in these waters there is on average only one person a year killed by sharks in all of Australia. In fact you are probably more in danger of being killed by a jellyfish than a shark. Once a year the city plays host to the famous Hobart open ocean race,  which last year witnessed tragedy when a storm caught the competitors unawares. The sailing ship is a copy of the H.M.S. Bounty who's history is a part of Australia's and even to this day you'll get an argument on whether the mutiny was justified or not.


Farmer's MarketFood can be expensive in Australia but in Flemington is located Sydney's Farmers Market. There you will find all the fruit, produce and fish that you could possibly want priced a lot less than your local market. We saw savings of up to one eighth the price for strawberries. It's held on Saturday mornings and if you get there just before closing (12:00) all the prices will be further reduced! Expect to fight the crowds as this place is popular with a wide range of the Australian public. Enjoy the multiculturalism that marks Sydney as a world class city.

Being "on vacation" can mean many different things from visiting family, seeing scenic wonders, attending sporting or cultural events or simply laying on the couch eating a bowl of Tiramisu! Our trip to Australia was all of that. My wife's sister lives in Sydney and was kind enough to play host to this beautiful city. The thing that will surprise the first-time visitor who has only seen Australia though the eyes of Crocodile Dundee is the diversity of its populace. The Southern Mediterranean influence in Melbourne contrasted with the Asian influence of Sydney. The Aborigine citizens trying to find their way in a country that was once their own. In fact the white's relationship with the native inhabitants continues to evolve. If I had to describe how that relationship appeared to an outsider I would have to say it was one of better seen than heard. There is a large market for Aboriginal art that is exploited by a few but woe be the Aborigine that cause a fuss.  The Australians are convinced that they have the best care for indigenous population on the planet.  Whether this is true or not only they know for sure.

The big buzz in Australia is of course the Olympics and they have built some beautiful facilities. I was able to watch some Rugby League action at Stadium Australia. I love this sport and I'll miss it when my work is done here. The pace is so much faster then American Football and it is very easy to follow the action. The Australian fan has his pick of sports what with Soccer, Rugby Union and League, Aussie Rules and what they call Gridiron (American Football). We were also able to use one of the Olympic Pools (Training). It's said to be design with speed in mind and the local team hopes to bring home a lot of medals. It would be ok with me if they kept the Olympics in Australia as the people are sports mad as well as wonderful hosts.

Sydney Harbour