A Travellerspoint blog

Getting to know the city

View 2011/2012 - Down Under & On Ancient Traces on cabdragon's travel map.

111126_fre..tour_14.jpgToni and me are going to the Free City Tour. We are seeing all the main sights within the CBD (Central Business District). The guide is a quite funny mate who knows how to create a fun time for the tourists. He tells us, that in the early times Australia didn't even have money. The currency they used was rum. I guess that's a pretty awesome combination: convicts, alcohol, and a huge island with nothing much to do on it, but making “friends” with the indigenous people. Which is political correct talk, meaning to kidnap them in order to teach them the English language and get to know their culture.

After the tour was ended we reached the Sydney Opera House. One of the most iconic symbols of Sydney. There we take a very spontaneous photograph, showing to other people, how much fun the tour was. It was so much fun, that out of a sudden everybody was jumping in the air. Coincidentally the tour-guide had his camera ready right in that moment, so we could take home a nice memory of the free city tour.

Afterwards Toni and I went back home to change clothes in order to try out the “Orbit Bar” Which was recommended by the tour guide. It's one of those skyscraper rotating bars where you easily get lost if you stand up to go to the bathroom and when returning don't remember anymore where you are seated, because the bar has moved itself once around. Funny fact: If you want to grab a drink in there you have to spend at least 8 $ Which is kinda easy, because the cheapest beer costs 8,50 $. So we went there to take advantage of the amazing view over the city of Sydney and left after the first drink again.
Also interesting is, that Sydney just has few skyscrapers due to the fact, that Australian people are quite wealthy and also they have a huge empty country at hand so they don't see the need to build up to the sky put prefer to have their own houses.

After the Orbit Bar we went to the Bar Century which was considered to be the cheapest place in town as they serve every drink for 3 $ only. But as we arrived there we needed to recognize that obviously we have not been the only ones on a Saturday night to go for the Bar Century. We found ourselves in the back of a long cue but I wouldn't be let in anyway, because I didn't take my ID with me. And although I'm close to the magical 30 now I still will be asked for my ID. That's hilarious. We finished the evening in a bar where we were able to enter through the entrance to the gambling area which was not observed by the bumpers at that time. Lucky us!

Posted by cabdragon 20:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

In Australia everybody is a mate

View 2011/2012 - Down Under & On Ancient Traces on cabdragon's travel map.

111126_fre..tour_17.jpg“Hey mate, how are you doin' today?” It's kinda strange, but you get used to it very quickly. The relaxed, layed-back Aussi way of life catches you as soon as you arrive at the customs. I wanted to pay special attention to the first words I listen to in Australia. Could have been anything: “Passport please”, “Do you carry any drugs, weapons, any illegal goods?”, no it was just a simple “How are you today, mate?” I arrived late, and after I passed the sniffer dogs (they're really cute, but you'd better take care of what you carry with you) I entered the arrival hall. It was awesome. Maybe it was a special day, maybe it was the day of “Make ya mate a happy arrival” but maybe it was just the way it is in Down Under. The whole hall was full of balloons saying: “Welcome back” It made me feel like there's someone waiting for me as well to say “Welcome in Australia, nice to meet you” but unfortunately there was nobody. But thus I had a warm, smooth welcome to the country where I always wanted to be.
I was there, finally. It didn't really hurt, it wasn't even very hard to get here. Somehow it felt like, it was even going too easy. The visa was granted 2 minutes after I had lodged the application form. So I was kinda surprised myself that it didn't need much planning in advance. Although the thought was already planted into my head in 2008.
Here I am. In a land down under. What happens next?

Posted by cabdragon 20:18 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Up up and away

View 2011/2012 - Down Under & On Ancient Traces on cabdragon's travel map.

111115_abu_dhabi_01.jpgHere we go. I'm on my way. Can't really believe it. I have got my master's degree, the visa is approved, and I am already on that plane, which takes me Down Under. But if there had been a sign on the boarding panel saying "Baby on board" I'd definitely not boarded that one. Now I can figure what it means to a parent to have a small baby child. Their literally crying all night. So did this 'lil bastard. Fortunately Etihad Airlines comes along with a set not only of eye folds, a spare pair of socks, headphones, toothpaste, no luckily they also offer ear-plugs.

I arrive early in the morning at the airport of Abu Dhabi. It's quite hot already. My plan of going to the desert, visiting an oasis won't happen due to a lack of time. I still can't really figure what it will be like, to be in Australia, so I decide to enjoy the moment. The city of Abu Dhabi seems promising, but unfortunately the whole city seems to be under construction. They should have put a sign at the airport "City under construction, trespassers will be overrun by construction machines." But finally, although I don't see much of what I could have seen under better circumstances, I manage to reach the beach. That's what I thought would take me until noon. In reality I arrived there at 4pm. But I have to admit, that I was as well sleeping at least to hours on a park bench, which reminded me of the time when I was staying in Dubai: It's just too hot to do something else during midday in the Emirates. Finally I found myself at the beach being irritated in the first line because I wanted to take a bath but had no board-shorts with me. So I was just wading through the water with my pants wrapped up to the knees. Another guy did the same. Both of us were in the same situation. No board-shorts but feeling the urge of taking a bath. After I had wrapped my pants to the very maximum (as did the other guy, who was Pakistani) I decided to just go ahead and take a bath in my underpants (as again the Pakistani did as well). It was a funny situation because obviously we both were in the same situation, thinking the same, doing the same, and afterwards had a quick chat before I was heading back to the airport.

The day was gone already. And before I could even recognize myself I was sitting in the plane again freezing due to the air-condition cooling the whole plane down to -5° (at least I felt like that). That's the point where I was lucky of having my skiing jacket around, which kept me nice and comfortably warm.

Posted by cabdragon 20:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Where is the island?

091113_roundtrip072.jpgWhilst flying towards Madeira I'm remembering approaching Frankfurt airport just few days ago. That was an amazing view. Kind of plunging into care bears wonderland we were flying around the clouds like around huge, massive obstacles which you can't intrude. The whole sky around the plane appeared like a big overlying rock. The clouds majestically raising as peaks into the blue sky. The plane was hovering through this big roller-coaster-like wonderland. This view was just amazing as I had never seen it before. Shit why didn't I take a photograph of that?!
Approaching Madeira remembered me of this scenario hoping to now get the opportunity to take the picture I had missed before. But unfortunately of course there were not any clouds around Madeira (which actually I kind of liked in respect of my expectations to what would be waiting for me).
Arriving in Madeira is like you think you will drop into the ocean because the plane has to take a big curve flying by on the southern part of the island before approaching the airport. So for a long long time you just see water while the plane is constantly declining. As recently as you are nearly touching the water surface you discover the runway. Touchdown! Applause! Good bye und "Gute Reise" wünscht die Crew.... "Is scho recht..." I think by myself and hurry to get my luggage.
Asking for public transport I get to know that obviously there is no from the airport to the city and I have to take the taxi. I definitely should have asked for a second opinion because as I got to know later of course there is public transport. Probably the guy I asked was a friend of the taxi drivers. Fuck! After two month of Sri Lanka I should have been prepared, but returning to a European country kind of mind me not feel as a tourist anymore. So I had my guards down.
I felt like in this very first day I arranged what the others had 3 more weeks time for. Getting my room, subscribing for university, meeting the responsible teachers, getting discount cards, getting a new mobile, a free sim-card, getting around the city, getting around the students residence and getting to know people. And all of this without having sleep.

Today's lesson: "Nike is right: If you wanna do it; Just do it! Don't wait or you'll miss your chance."

Posted by cabdragon 00:02 Archived in Portugal Tagged madeira study_abroad Comments (0)

Long time no see...

View 2009 - Erasmus na Madeira on cabdragon's travel map.

Well, due to the fact that in Sri Lanka nearly everyday happened something new, interesting, incredible, it was really hard for me to follow up all my experiences in this blog. I was really happy to finish my personal diary to the end of my travels by my own. As there are just two places missing namely Anuradhapura and Kitulgala I think I'll just skip them. Anuradhapura was supposed to be my basis for going to a national park. But it was closed, or there were no animals, or it was too dangerous...whatsoever reason there was: I didn't go there, and as to the fact that we would return here anyway one month later with the whole group I decided just to have a quick look at the tanks and talk to some people.

In Kitulgala I went whitewater-rafting joining a group of "elephant" employees. That was great fun and I thank you guys for taking me with you!!! In Kitulgala I lived in an Ecolodge which was really amazing! I loved the feeling of living in a kind of jungle hut just made up of some bamboo trunks. It was a two-floor apartment, with a bathroom downstairs. All made up of natural materials, stone and wood. I felt like living centuries behind in the Cambodian jungle.

Saying this I will skip the stay in Kandy where we were staying for nearly one month giving sports education at the university of Peradenya.

Now I arrived in Madeira and wanna give you more impressions about my second part of traveling.

Today's lesson: You can't have it all.

Posted by cabdragon 07:06 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

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