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The engineer-tourist successfully nails jet-lag in Sydney

Started: 2007-08-12 06:00:10

Submitted: 2007-08-12 06:07:39

Visibility: World-readable

I awoke unalarmed on Sunday morning, my second day in Sydney, after something like eleven hours of sleep. I ate breakfast on the hotel's second floor, documented the early portion of my trip so far, and called Steve to arrange a rendezvous for the day's sight-seeing, before showing up for work tomorrow morning.

Our first mission was to locate the office we would be visiting. Google Maps indicated it was about two kilometers away, which seemed walkable, but a bit long. We set out on foot and located the office through Sydney's maze of streets, many intersecting at odd angles; my map took us right where we wanted to be. While walking around town, I noticed signs that we were in the southern hemisphere: the sun was in the north and all satellite dishes pointed north, facing satellites in geostationary orbit above the equator.

We walked back to Central Station, took the train to Circular Quay, and walked around the Sydney Opera House and photographed it and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We continued around the opera house to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which featured more fantastic views of Sydney's engineering and architectural accomplishments plus native and imported plants, including a large supply of Norfolk Island Pine.

We ate lunch at Circular Quay and took the ferry under the bridge, deeper into Port Jackson, to Pyrmont Bay, where we visited the Australian National Maritime Museum, featuring artifacts from Australia's nautical history, including a Lord Nelson figure head from HMVS Nelson. (HMVS apparently stands for His/Her Magesty's Victoria Ship, from the colony of Victoria before Australian independence and federation.) I was interested in touring the ships in the bay next to the museum, especially the post-World War II frigate HMAS Vampire, but I didn't feel the need to spend the extra money.

After the museum, we visited the gift shop, where we considered souvenirs and gifts for our respective significant others back home but didn't find inspiration. (I never want to take the time to buy souvenirs, and most of the ones I find are crap anyway, so I end up going home without anything to show for my adventure except my log book and photos.) We took the monorail most of the way around its loop to return to our hotel; it's not effective as a means of mass transit but it is an amusing means of tourist travel. (Every time I see the monorail I think of the Simpsons episode; the American we met on the train Saturday morning told us Australians love The Simpsons, especially the episode "Bart Versus Australia" in which Bart gets the boot.) Back at our hotel, I reconnected with the outside world and rendezvoused again for supper. Our directionless wandering was less inspired than the previous night; we ended up at a Korean restaurant populated mostly by Asians plus an Australian in a mullet who dropped by to drink sake with his mates.

I went to bed early again, still a bit jet-lagged from gaining eight hours of daylight.

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