Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sydney in Australia

Sydney Opera House
I was really worried about my flight out of the US: My US visa ran out on July 5th and my flight was scheduled to leave July 5th at 23.55... When I checked in they asked me already whether I would accept an upgrade and fly a day later. Obviously the flight was overbooked - and I had a very cheap ticket and was probably the first to be denied boarding.... Anyways, it was exciting till the very last minute but I left the US at midnight! I had booked Virgin Australia and expected a barebone flight with no meals, no entertainment and cramped seats - but I got 2 very good free meals, one of the best free entertainment programmes I have ever seen and a brand new plane. I was even able to sleep a bit!

Australian immigration was nice - no problem and I even got praise for cleaning my bike so thoroughly! I arrived on schedule in Sydney and to my big surprise: IT RAINED! I had not seen any rain for the last 2 months! I assembled my bike in less than an hour (I am getting pretty good at that) and took public transport to my couchsurfing host's home. It was still raining and nobody was at home. Luckily there was a big shopping centre nearby with a wonderful food court. I slept very well that night!

Castro as art - he even breathed!
To cut it short: I stayed 3 days in Sydney and it rained every single day. It not only rained, it just poured down!!! But luckily I discovered a wonderful event in Sydney: the Sydney Biennale!! I had visited the Biennale in Venice before and just loved it, but the Sydney one really rivals it! It took place at various locations throughout Sydney, one of them an island in Sydney Bay that used to be a prison camp and a shipyard. The art was scattered around old industrial buildings - and it rained so hard that rain leaked throught the roof....

Bienale Art
After 3 days I had to disassemble the bike again for my flight to Alice Springs. I left at 6 am in the morning and there was no public transport to the airport at that time. But I was lucky and found a warm showers host that lived close and worked at the airport. To my big surprise he even volunteered to drive me to the airport at 4 am!!!! I could not believe my luck - I just love couchsurfing and warm showers. And I would stay with a warm showers host in Alice Springs as well.

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