Getting to Australia

Where am I? How long have I been gone? Or… a better question, what season is it? What’s the time???

It is such a blur, flying through time zones, across an ocean, into a new hemisphere, and into a new season. It’s just cold here, nippy and rainy. I haven’t shivered like this since December. But… I’m now in Sydney. And it’s winter. Outside right now it’s raining, and I have my heater on in my room upstairs.

I didn’t just magically appear here, though, and these last 18 or so hours have been fun and brutal and crazy and oddly inspiring and beautiful all at once. I was rushed around the tarmac at LAX in a speeding bus, waiting for planes as they coasted by the window, at around mid-night. I thought it was really cool when I crossed the International Date Line in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific, and felt like I was cruising in a hotel up in the plush and awesome Dreamliner. Then the sudden shock of landing in winter in New Zealand, and walking the tarmac to find the bus to take me to the International Terminal. New Zealand, even just through the windows of the terminal, looked so stark and cold. And you could just feel like you were in the middle of nowhere… like you were somehow at the end of the world. Or at least removed from what you’re used to.

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This is the New Zealand landscape from the airport…

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Here’s another view of New Zealand…

And then Sydney itself was such a surprise, meaning that it almost seems small, or even other-worldly, if that makes sense. Or isolated. Distant and faraway. Like it’s somehow in a snow-globe, those sights you make-up in your mind. The Sydney Opera House felt like one. And the Sydney Harbor Bridge. But, maybe my perception is skewed, looking out at them from across the harbor.

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This is the Russell Hotel, where I’m staying. It’s right next to the Harbor.

Tomorrow, when I’m rested, I’ll see them closer up, all of these sights. Starting with the Opera House…

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Here’s a view of Sydney’s downtown, right by the harbor.

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A glimpse of the Opera House behind a massive cruise ship!

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The Sydney Harbor Bridge, from the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is pretty much next door to my hotel.

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