Australia… What can I say? I’ve been to the edge of the world here. Funny, but people speak English at the edge of the world :-). It’s a bit of a dialect, different than any other English dialect I have heard, most similar to Scottish version. I can understand them, however, unlike the Scotts.
This island is gorgeous, truly a great experience and something I will remember for a long time. I love the people here — nice, calm, no rush kind of people. Outside of the big cities it is superbly clean, most excellently nice, borderline sterile. The cities I have been to are as dirty as anything you would find in a bigger city in America. The only issue I have with this country are the prices. You see, a little while ago US dollar was must stronger and we could buy $1.00 AUS for about $0.60 US. Not anymore. The exchange rate is nearly 1:1 now which makes this place very very expensive. I am comfortable paying, say, $6 US for a pint of beer at a pub. At the old exchange rate $6 US would be close to $10-12 AUS and this is how much beers are here. Now, with today’s exchange rate I endup paying nearly $12 US for a pint… This is quite expensive and the same applies to food, clothing, hotels, boat rides, etc. As a result I am spending at a much higher rate than I normally do. Not a problem, just an observation and my only complaint about this, otherwise amazing, country.
Traveling here, I was not just at the edge of the world but have also seen one of it’s primal wonders — the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the world.
I will follow this post with four separate ones describing the areas I have been to: Tasmania, Geelong (near Melbourne), Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef. Launceston, Geelong, and Cairnes make up a large portion of Australia and paint a clear picture for me or what this general area looks like: the people, food, service quality, and sights one may find here.
After hanging out here for a while I can happily claim having dated many new foods I have not yet tried. Kangaroo, Emu, strange new fish and other marine life. In general, I think Australia is very similar to the United States both in the layout and infrastructure of the cities and in their attitude towards the travelers.
Lovely place, indeed. I hope you will enjoy my stories. Please stay tuned as I document my travels slowly (might take me a bit of time to process all the photos and videos).
Oh, I’m also spending an evening in Sydney tonight so I will likely add some stories about it as well.
Here’s my coverage of OZ land: