Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello Sydney!

Andy and I have been in Sydney for about 3 days now and are settled into our dorm at the Arundel House at the University of Sydney. We've spent the last few days getting ready for the arrival of the Lewis and Clark students, but finally had a chance to take the train down to the harbor yesterday to explore a little. Our first stop was the Sydney Opera House, which is just as fantastic in person as you would expect it to be. It was amazing to stand in front of something so iconic. We wandered around the harbor and took a walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens and then zigzagged through the streets of downtown Sydney on our way back to the dorm. It's a beautiful city with some really great architecture and lots of nice pedestrian areas with caf├ęs and shopping. We're already planning on a tour of the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge climb (for you Kurtis!) before we leave Sydney in a couple of weeks. As a group, the students and Andy and I will be attending several events that are part of the Sydney Festival, and also taking a bus tour to get a history lesson on the city. It should be a fun and interesting time here.

As for the wildlife . . . upon arrival at the Arundel House, our tour guide, a student who's staying here while attending the uni, pointed out a couple of interesting things to look out for. Apparently there are large cockroaches that are common all over Sydney (I guess like any big city), and we were lucky enough to have one visit our room that very night . . . . She also told us to watch for the huntsman spiders that wander the house. They are supposedly the size of my palm, but are completely harmless.  I saw my first one last night on the stairs down to our room. It was a baby, which means it was only 2-1/2" to 3" in diameter . . . can't wait to meet its mother :-). There are also large bats, known as flying foxes, here in Sydney. They roost in trees all over the city, including the ones across the street from our house, and are especially numerous in the botanic gardens.

I'll put a few pictures up from our time at the Harbor yesterday as well as a picture of Charlotte and the bats. Sorry, no cockroach pictures yet . . .


Sydney Opera House

Harbor Bridge

Shot from the Royal Botanic Garden

Look closely...the bats are hanging from the
branches and there are herons perched
on top.

Charlotte hanging out on the stairs

1 comment:

  1. That spider looks more like a crab! Willie would flip out!!