The Travel Blog That Wasn’t – Australia part 9 (August-September 2011) – The End.

This is it – my final entry!

As my time in Sydney drew to a close I spent the spare time I had (when I wasn’t working) just roaming its streets.  Sydney is just so majestic, there’s always something beautiful in front of you or just around the corner.  It was hard to let go, as I went on about awkwardly in another blog entry.

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When I’d had a long day (which was often) and needed to just get outside, I’d head to Mrs Macquarie’s Point, a short walk from my apartment, and just sit there and breathe in the city and its lights.  This would also often lead to a walk to a 7-Eleven for a Slurpee, an addiction I developed while there!  I loved these walks — there’s something about being in a city at night that gives you a real feel for it.  Plus, there’s the wildlife:

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As workloads started to lighten, and the weather started to warm (another major benefit of living in the Southern hemisphere was the way these two things lined up), I went on more of these walks and found myself in unexpected places in parts of the city I thought I knew really well.  I discovered a “Big Dig” archaeological site in The Rocks that I didn’t even know existed.  And just enjoyed hanging out.

I got one last day trip in – I spent the day (well, a day and a half) with Damien out in the Blue Mountains area.  This is about as mountainous as Australia gets, but it’s quite lovely – even the kitschy ScenicWorld tourist park they’ve set up. And it was nice to have one last chance to hang out with Damien, who was out of town when I left.

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September also brought the arrival of a Twitter-friend (Duane, mutual friends with many of my Toronto friends), coming to Australia for a year or so, and it was nice to meet up with a Canadian who was in the same position (roughly) as I had been a year earlier.  There was an interesting moment in one of our SMS conversations when I realised I was no longer ‘new’ to Australia.  I suggested we meet at The Beresford, to which he responded “Is Beresford part of a hotel?”  It actually took me a couple of minutes to figure it out — The Beresford Hotel is the name of the bar/pub… a lot of pubs in Australia are named “Hotel” as at one point in history hotels were the only licensed establishments (and even today many of them theoretically offer rooms for the night)… but of course in Canada when something is labelled “hotel” it’s only an accommodation, and if it happens to have a bar the bar usually has a different name.  Anyways – it was great getting to know Duane while we were both in the same city!

My last few weeks were spent tidying up loose ends, dealing with early-morning apartment showings, going to the Margaret Cho performance at the Opera House (my last show there, which was a bit of a downer), getting a few last visits in with my Sydney friends, checking out the labour unions’ protest against NSW austerity measures, and more of those wonderful walks around town.  One of those walks landed me at the Chinese Gardens which were an unexpected treasure!  I also got to play laser tag (for the first time in years) with Josh and some of his friends which was tonnes of fun!

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I moved out of my apartment in Woolloomooloo a couple days before my flight — I’d planned this to avoid any last-minute hassles.  I booked myself into Blue Hotel on the Woolloomooloo wharf – a super-fancy (but not as expensive as you might think) hotel that had always been so imposing while I’d been there.  I decided that, having never spent an evening on the wharf (since the restaurants are fancy/expensive and the hotel even more so), this was my chance.  Josh and I had a delightful dinner at one of the fancy restaurants on the wharf with a view of the ever-gorgeous sunset and went for a nice walk out to Mrs Macquarie’s Point.  Such a bittersweet night – it was so wonderful to spend that time together and have such a nice evening, but it’s the last time we’ve seen one another.  I miss him.  And hope to see him again soon.

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I decided to spent my last full day in the city just taking it all in.  I had lunch at my favourite Mexican place in Potts Point (Tomatillo), and then I just walked. And walked. And walked.  I spent the whole day wandering all my regular haunts (except the Inner West – I wish I’d had time to get out there on my last day too) and just taking in the city while I still had the chance.  I took pictures along the way, which start here on Flickr.  From Potts Point I walked up to Darlinghurst (stopping for a soy flat white on Victoria Street along the way), then along Oxford Street through Hyde Park to the CBD, along Pitt Street Mall, past the QVB and Town Hall, through Darling Harbour, back around Barangaroo (which had become a bit of a favourite of mine – if I’d owned a bike I’d’ve been there all the time!), under the bridge to Circular Quay, up onto the Cahill Walk and back down into the Royal Botanic Gardens, and back over to the Opera House in time for sunset.

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From there I headed back to Woolloomooloo to have one last meal at Harry’s, and headed over to Mrs Macquarie’s Point for some time to reflect on things.  There were supposed to be fireworks over Farm Cove that night but they didn’t materialise, so I wandered back South towards the city, just in time to catch some going off over Potts Point in what could only be described as perfect timing.  I spent a little longer wandering some of the busy night areas (like Oxford and George Streets), decided against going out for the night, and had a quiet night in, alone with my thoughts.

I left Sydney the next morning with a heavy heart.

you are beautiful

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Great photos! Cheers from a fellow Canadian abroad 🙂

    Reply

  2. […] About « The Travel Blog That Wasn’t – Australia part 9 (August-September 2011) – The End. […]

    Reply

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