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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I could get used to winters like this...

Surfing, sunbathing and sunburn in the middle of winter?

Totally possible in Sydney, Australia, especially when you escape the city and head to Manly, just a short ferry ride away but a world’s difference. Whereas Sydney is loud, bustling, full of traffic and crammed with people, Manly is far more laid-back. Especially once you leave “downtown” Manly, there are almost no cars, and people take time to enjoy long lunches and lazy afternoons lounging on the beach.

The sun is intense over Australia and after just a couple of hours walking around, I have a nice little sunburn on my chest. NOT what I expected when deciding to come here in winter!

I can’t get over how active people are here – it’s just SO different from Seoul, where there are plenty of hikers but even they are mostly older people. Tons of people were out today running, biking, surfing, just walking around… I love seeing individuals or groups taking naps in the park or enjoying the sunshine.

I’m absolutely exhausted after all the walking Olga and I did today. We took nice, long cliff hike around Manly where we saw a few humpback whales just off the coast of the peninsula. They spend winters here and summers near Antarctica.

Lunch was delicious grilled tuna steak, just what I’ve been craving and unable to get in Seoul. The seafood here is incredible, especially when you’re sitting right on the beach and staring out at the waves as you enjoy a nice, fresh piece of fish. Fabulous.

We also explored Darling Harbour and Chinatown, which gave me terrible premonitions about returning to Korea in a few days. Don’t make me go!! Then it was off to dinner in Surrey Hills and a brief exploratory walk down Oxford Street, Sydney’s red-light district.

I’m doing so much walking here that the end of every day finds me exhausted – it’s a good thing too because I’ve been happily eating a TON, taking advantage of all the yummy foods I can’t eat in Korea. Not sure what tomorrow holds. Perhaps Sydney Tower? Maybe a tour of the Opera House? Hmmm… All I know is that at 8pm, I’ll be seeing my FAVORITE comediennes, French and Saunders, perform live. Can’t wait!! (We happened to walk by the theatre today and I had to get a photo with the signs!)