Thursday, November 18, 2010

Australia: Sydney

It was actually one year ago today that I left for Australia. I left Boston on 11/18/09 and arrived in Sydney the morning of 11/20/09. It was so strange skipping a day, but because I flew Business Class I was oddly refreshed from the trip.

My three week vacation through parts of Australia started and ended in Sydney. My first impressions were a bit flat, but I really fell in love with the city after spending a week exploring its beaches and neighborhoods. I've included my post about Sydney along with some photos.

Seductive Sydney
originally posted 11-Dec. 2009

I spent the first two and last six nights of my trip to Australia in Sydney, and I left loving the city wishing I had more time.  I did not fall in love with Sydney right away, because initially I was so busy visiting the locations I had always seen in photographs (i.e. Opera House, Darling Harbour, etc...).  The city seemed one-dimensional and lacking charm until I ventured out of downtown to Sydney's neighborhoods and beaches.  Anyone planning to visit Sydney must make time to visit the tourist sites, but you do yourself wrong if the only view of Sydney you can recall is from standing atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Make the time to venture out - it is worth it.

I was able to catch a drag show at the Sydney Opera House which will go down as the funniest and most extravagant I have ever seen, I'm sure. The show was called, "Drag - Camp as Christmas". You can check out a promo video clip here or do a search on Facebook to see more.  As I said to a few of the drag queens later that evening, they could teach Ms. Spears a thing or two about how to lip sync.

The drag show was only the tip of what turns out to be a mountain of options when contemplating what to do each evening.  In addition to all the activity in the CBD (Central Business District) night ferries provide endless options and are both easy and affordable.  I also enjoyed spending time on Crown Street in Surrey Hills, which is easily accessible from downtown and filled with galleries, antiques, cafes and pubs. I also enjoyed a great meal on Victoria Street which was quite a mixed crowd and near the gayborhood.

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.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Australia - Sydney
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Wonder Man said...

If I can sit in a plane that long, I might consider a trip like that

SteveA said...

Did you mention business class? Wow - that's the only way to fly!

Great pics - it's on my "to-do" list!

Anonymous said...

Okay, now where is that phone # for my travel agent!!? I've always wanted to go to Australia. When I worked at the Peninsula Hotel back in 1852 we always had so may Aussie guests...and they were always jovial and fun to be around. I always tell people that I've never met an angry Australian. I think those people really know how to live...and live fully.

I really want to tour their country someday.