Monday, February 29, 2016

Chinese New Year in Sydney

Another cool thing about our time in Sydney was that it was Chinese New Year, and it is supposed to be the second biggest celebration outside of China because there are so many Chinese residents. The parade was cancelled due to construction on George Street, but they had 12 blow-up lanterns around downtown representing the zodiac signs, so we were able to make it to all of those. The Mahjongg ox was so cool! And they lit up the Town Hall, Opera House, Harbor Bridge, and Circular Quay in red.

The University of Sydney had a big campus and several buildings with nice architecture. You have to wonder what people are going to think of all our 'modern' glass buildings that seem to look the same. The library staff were not very helpful, but I still managed to check out several science fiction magazines from the early days of the genre which was really exciting. Going back to the source is definitely worth the effort because you get to see what people were actually reading and holding. Digital just can't replicate that.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Luna Park

We stayed in Sydney for another week because of a conference. It's a good city to hang out in, definitely, and easy to get around because of the good public transportation. We saw Star Wars again in IMAX (world's biggest screen, couldn't resist) and went to the Museum of Sydney's Lego exhibit which was cool. We hadn't heard of Luna Park before seeing it recreated in Lego and decided to check it out on a later day. It is an amusement park on the other side of the harbor that has gone through all kinds of struggles and shut downs before being opened again due to popular support. 

We went to an opal shop that had a little museum area with lots of beautiful opals that have been discovered in Australia to redeem the 'free gift' coupon in one of the tourism books in the hotel, and sure enough, they took one look at our age and backpacks and ignored us (besides one offhand comment about our backpacks), even though I was interested in buying something. Loss for them. The guy behind the counter was so clearly not wanting to help us and just pulled out the lapel pins and was done. I find it really frustrating how people judge others -- especially in these kinds of stores -- based on what they look like. That's why we young people like to shop online!! They'll all be out of business likely anyway, so they can go on being rude if they want. I still got something free out of the deal.



Saturday, February 27, 2016

Touring Sydney

After taking the train back into Sydney, we had a more laidback time in the big city. We ate lunch in Hyde Park, walked around Circular Quay, and ate dinner in Darling Harbor. We also took the ferry over to Taronga Zoo on a hot day -- being out on the water in Sydney is a highlight. The water is sparkling blue, the sky is beautiful blue, and the Opera House and Harbor Bridge can't be beat. Besides the humidity, Sydney is a sweet city. On the last night, we caught the end of a fireworks show somewhere close by, and they were higher-quality fireworks with a lot more colors than we usually get in Christchurch, so that was a cool way to end their trip.