Out and About in Sydney

Well, I’ve been here in Sydney, Australia for a week now, and in the small amount of time I’ve spent outside of the office, it seems to be a really nice place. The food is excellent with some of the best steaks I’ve had in a long time – my only criticism is that a lot of places seem to close early compared to Tokyo – but maybe that’s unfair as Tokyo has about 10 times the population.

Yesterday though I went for a long walk – I started around the Opera House which is 5 minutes from the hotel. It’s a very impressive structure, though I was surprised that it isn’t actually white, but a series of creamish tiles. However, it really is beautiful, both by day and (I found out later) by night.

After taking a load of photos around it I went for a walk around the botanic gardens, which are more like a huge park, and is free to wander around. As a visitor from Tokyo, it was nice to see so much grass and trees, without concrete and tarmac around them. They have an amazing selection from all over the world, including some bat forests, palms, roses and some trees so rare they’re in a cage.

I also took a look around some museums and a few more parks before checking out some of the shops – it’s not that cheap here for some things, even compared to Tokyo, and the price for consumer electronics would even scare the British. My new digital camera was almost double the price here…

To get a taste of a city though, you need to get out of the tourist areas, and here Sydney seems to do OK too – the financial district (which, OK, is right next to the tourist area) is pretty relaxed, with a few nice bars and such. 24 hour convenience shops do take a bit of searching for, but there’s a 24hr diner right on Circular Quay which does a decent coffee at all hours.