Week 2: Sydney & Blue Mountains

We went to the Blue Mountains Monday morning. We made a stop in Katoomba, and had lunch at a cute little place with loads of teapots, as shown below. I had a cauliflower soup, and we all had scones and tea afterwards.

Teapots

Scones and tea

When we had had our lunch, we went to see the three sisters. There were a lot of (other) tourists, but for a reason. It was an amazing view. Below is a picture of the three sisters, followed by a picture of three girls. As you can probably tell, it was pretty windy.

The three sisters

The three girls

From the three sisters, we went to Blackheath, where we had a house for two nights. It had three bedrooms, and a living room with four couches. They were so comfortable, and we spend the night watching a movie and having dinner. We had some leftover chocolate cake for dessert. Yum.

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On Tuesday we drove to the Jenolan Caves. On our way there, we saw a Wallaby but I didn’t manage to get a picture of it because we just drove by it. I am sure Google has some. At the caves we had a sandwich, and waited around until the tour we had booked started. We went into the Lucas Cave, a tour of 1½ hour with 900-something steps. The caves were discovered in 1838, and is made of limestone. Below is a picture from outside the cave, and inside.

Pool of water

Inside the Lucas Cave

On our way back to the car, we saw a wombat! That was so cool!

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We went out for breakfast the next morning. I got French toast with banana, bacon and maple syrup, as on the picture. It was very delicious.

French toast

We went back to the house, and packed up our stuff. Then we went to Katoomba again, and did some touristy things. We went to the Waradah Aboriginal Centre, a museum with a bit about the Australian history and Aboriginal paintings. It was really interesting, and I loved the colors on the paintings. Afterwards, we went out to have lunch. We went to Paragon, and I had a sandwich. On the way out we bought some chocolates to take home.

Paragon

We drove back to Milperra. The girls’ cousin, Indigo, came over and we played games and watched a movie. When the movie was finished, it was late and I went to bed.

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We all got up kind of late on Thursday, and me and Emma went to Sydney. We had lunch at Peppers Lunch, a really cool place on George Street (go there). You get your food served on hot plates, and then you have to cook and mix it yourself. So cool!

Peppers Lunch

 

When we had had lunch, it was pouring outside. But we had brought an umbrella, so we walked anyway. We went to see Darling Harbor, and after that we went to the Contemporary Art Museum. They had some fun and inspirational stuff, involving lights, body parts, religion and refugees. Modern art should be experienced not explained. We went back home, and Emma went out for a birthday party. We had pizza for dinner, and after a bit of writing and reading, I went to bed.

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Me and Emma got up before 8 today (Friday). We were meeting up with some of the other scouts, to go mountain biking. We went to the Blue Mountains by car, and went a bit by train as well. I borrowed a bike and a helmet. We started out on a quite wide road, with a bit of stones on it and a lot of hills. At the end of that bit we had lunch (muesli-bars, because we didn’t expect it to be that late).

Mountainbiking

Then came a single track through more of a forest, which was pretty cool. It was very bumpy, went over huge stones and water puddles, but it was a lot of fun. It definitely inspired me to do more crazy stuff like that.

Mountainbiking

On our way home, we stopped at a Bakehouse in Glensbrook and had pies. It was very good, and filled me up a bit. Even though I had pie, I still had some more dinner when we came home. Emma, Lily, Indigo and I watched a movie, and I went to bed.

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I went to Sydney again on Saturday, this time with Helen and James. We went to the Blak Market at Barangaroo, a beautiful market made to celebrate the Aboriginals. This week was national Aboriginal week. We walked around there for a bit, and on our way to another market, we bumped into Petra and her host family. We talked for a bit, and then we walked back to the car. We came back home, and picked up Lily and Indigo and went out for Thai food.

Blak market

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Sunday was a relaxing day. We didn’t really do much, went up to the shops a couple of times and walked the dog. In the afternoon we made lamingtons and hindbærsnitter, and watched a movie.

Hindbærsnitter

Lamingtons

Next week is my last week in Sydney. I will be going to Newtown, Kiama and on a hike near the Jenolan Caves.

Week 1: Sydney

Monday and Tuesday were my travel days. I flew to Dubai first. I didn’t really expect to experience anything special in Dubai, because I was only there for 2 hours. But I think I did. It was a very beautiful airport, with a big wall with water running down and colored lights shining on the water. Even though the airport is international, there were colorful and sparkly shops, and in the bathrooms you had the opportunity to wash instead of wipe. Not going to say anymore about that. Fascinating place.

Next I flew to Sydney – a loooong flight – and was greeted by Emma, Helen and James. Then we drove to their home, and talked a bit. I arrived at ten in the evening, so by the time we were there I went almost straight to bed. Slept the whole night, except at one point were I dropped one of my blankets and got cold.

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Today is Wednesday, and I got up at 10. Me, Emma and Helen went to Liverpool to get a sim-card for me and a couple of other things. We got back, and when we had had lunch, me and Emma took the train to Sydney. We got of right next to the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. I liked the bridge a lot – because I like water – and the Opera House was quite pretty too. Maybe it is a bit overrated, but it was not too bad. After that we went to the Botanical Gardens, and looked at trees and bushes and flowers. It was all very different, but still the same (I mean, I have seen a tree before).  The most different thing was probably the birds. They all looked very exotic, and except for the pigeons I didn’t see any birds that I have seen before. One of them was an Ibis, which I have only heard of but never seen.

Sydney skyline

Sydney Opera House

After that we went to Hyde Park. From Hyde Park we went to a cathedral, it was really pretty. Right next to the cathedral there was a winter market, though it looked more like a christmas market (they had christmas trees). We walked through the park once more, and saw a War Memorial and the library of New South Wales.

Public Library of NSW

Then we went to (get excited) the Queen Victoria Building, once build in honor of Queen Victoria, now a shopping center. It had too many floors to count, and loads of fancy stores. We went out again, and walked back to the station. Helen picked us up and drove us back home.

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In the evening I went to Oliver Brown Belgian Chocolate Cafe in Beverly Hills with Emma and her friend Michelle. We had hot chocolate, it was good.

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Today I got up at 11, because I had difficulty sleeping (jet-lag woke me up at 3 am). At 12 I went with Helen to pick up Emma, and we all went to Bondi Beach. Apparently it is a really famous beach, and it was indeed very pretty.  We had fish and chips, and walked along the coast. We drove home in the sunset, it was beautiful.

Bondi

Bondi

In the evening I went with Emma and Lily to a zumba class at the school nearby. I can definitely feel that it have been a while since I have done any exercise, because I have been so busy sleeping when I should be awake and be awake when I should be sleeping. Even though I feel alright, my body is really slow at getting into the new rhythm.

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Had a pretty relaxed Friday. After I got up, I went with Helen and Emma to vote. It was actually kind of interesting to see how it works here, because it is quite different. A while after we got back home again, two of Emma’s friends came to pick us up for the scout camp. On the way there we stopped at a Thai restaurant to get dinner. When we got to the camp we putted up our tents. I shared a tent with Lily and four of her friends. We made a campfire, and went to bed at around 11.

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Saturday morning we got bread with eggs and bacon. Quite unusual on a scout trip in my opinion, but it was pretty nice. Then there were a opening ceremony, which was also quite different. We all got in our uniforms in a circle (pretty normal), and then they had all sorts of weird signs to do a different thing (move your legs and so on), and I followed along one move behind the others. After the ceremony there were a couple of activities and games. For lunch we had toast with cheese (and an apple). When we had eaten, we all went on a scavenger hunt. We had a list of things we needed to take a photo of (such as ‘a team member doing exactly what the sign says’, ‘Entire team on a boat’ and ‘a team member shaking hands with a bus driver’) and then we need to follow some clues to get around. That was so much fun. At five o’clock everyone got out their snacks, candy, crackers or chips, and we all sat down and ate most of it. For dinner we had pulled pork burgers, and apple crumble for dessert. Afterwards, there was a disco and a campfire. Big surprise that I joined the campfire.

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The next morning we had pancakes and hash browns. We cleaned up the entire place, and went home.

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That was a week. Wow, I can’t believe that I have already been out and about for a week. So far I am really enjoying everything. This week, I have spent most of the time getting used to everything, but I have still had time to explore. I love how I can slowly do more and more, and talk more and more as time goes. Australia keeps surprising me, by being either so much like what I am used to and then suddenly so different.

Favorite things:

  • The birds! I love birds, and birds here are particularly beautiful.
  • Being able to experience a campfire so much like in Denmark, just on the other side of the earth.
  • In general exploring the cultures little interesting differences, and how people here look at those things. Not that they see it as differences, but that is exactly the point. They think it is completely normal, what I might think is totally strange.
  • Experiencing a winter so unlike the Danish. At night it is almost as cold as in Denmark, but in the day it gets almost spring-like. Not that I am at the point where I wish I had shorts for the middle of the day, but it is definitely not cold.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to leave a comment (English or Danish). This is what I have  experienced in a short description, but I figured that you would not want to read more anyways. I will try to have more pictures in the next post, which will be next Sunday.

Sneak-peak: Next week I will be going to the Blue Mountains.

Week 0: Excitement

Okay. Introduction. So this is where I will be posting my experiences in Sydney and Mildura. I will be leaving in less than 48 hours, and let’s just say that I am pretty excited. Don’t really have anything else to say. A lot of goodbyes, but really they are more ‘see you later’s.

Usually in a post like this I would include a lot of pictures and experiences, but all I have done today is pack. Well, the only thing travel-related. I have had a wonderful day with my family, of course, filled with pancakes, sun and smiles. Nothing to complain about, except maybe the fact that I had to say goodbye to my sweet sister.

I will talk to you again ‘down under’!

My happy place

In my perfect life, no such thing as money exists. There is simply me and my dreams, and absolutely no pressure not to seek them out. In that life, I would live far away. I would have collected a few dear friends, with whom I shared interests. I would bring them with me, and we would start from scratch. We would help each other chase our dreams, but never reach them because that is not what dreams are for. We would have no reason to worry but what we made ourselves, so we would do the least amount of stuff. Each of us could have our place that we loved, as well as the opportunity to change it. We would grow our own food; take care of our own bodies. We would use nature as therapy and each other for advice. We would inspire each other, but never feel superior. In a perfect world, every little detail would be in balance. Nothing would interrupt the peace, and love would exists within all of us as well as between us. There would be no need for a stream of words, while we all would know it anyway. Sudden moves would not be needed; ‘stress’ and ‘hurry’ would be foreign words.

This is where my mind wanders from time to time. To this utopia that will never be reality. It is my happy place, my biggest dream. I dare dream this dream, because dreams will have changed before they come true. Dream away out there, even if your dream scares you at first.

Why running is a cleanser and yoga is a moisturizer

Do you ever find yourself with a lot of messy thoughts? In that state of mind where you can’t focus nor remember?  I do, a lot actually. Mostly after being around lots of people, because in that case I don’t get the time I need to think things through. Most introverts can probably relate. It is at this point I either go for a run or do my yoga routine.

The days I go for a run are the days I want to get out of my head. These are the days where I have had a bad day, and want to get rid of my thoughts. Therefore, running works as a cleanser to me. It gets me out of my mind, and into my body (quote from some movie, I don’t remember). That’s why, when I run, I like to run fast. Preferably in a forest with lots of things I need to avoid, either on the ground or in the air, and a tiny path I need to concentrate on. It is all these obstacles that get me out of my mind. I don’t have time to think about anything else than what is right in front of me, and sometimes that is all you need. Running gets me down to earth, it cleanses my body and mind.

Yoga, some would also call a cleanser. I don’t really think so. I find myself getting more into my head when doing yoga, than I would otherwise. And that is not a bad thing. That just means, that instead of getting rid of my thoughts, I go through them all, and put them in the right places. Some things I need to write down, because I need it to get out but still remember it. I like to think of my brain as a library. All my thoughts are books, and yoga is when the books are placed where they belong, but also read and considered. Yoga is a moisturizer, because it is not getting rid of the bad stuff, but improving the good. It is not ending something to start something new, but simply maintaining what already is – to make sure it wont dry out.

Homesickness

My life is being turned upside down, I’m moving away from my home for 16 years, and this summer I will be traveling alone for six weeks. Today, a peaceful day in the middle of all these (good) changes, I felt a sting of homesickness. I missed the part of me that belongs somewhere else. That little piece of my heart I left in California before going to Denmark, six months old. Not many people think about the place I am born (or where anyone is born), and even though they might do sometimes they wouldn’t understand the feeling. It wasn’t just six months, it was my first months ever!

*Warning: getting deep*

It was the time I was given the gift of life, and that I will never forget.

(I did warn you)

You can tell who I am by my feet – if you over-analyze as I do

Some people say, that you can tell what a person wants by the way they point their feet. I don’t believe that, but I do believe that feet show us much more about a person that we think. Let’s take my feet as an example. I always wear nail-polish on my toenails in the summer, and my feet are always dirty underneath. But what does that mean? What does it tell about me?

I would say, the dirty feet suggests a love for nature. It’s the result of being “down to earth” – literally. The dirty feet means that the feet are used for what feet should be used for (hint: walking, standing, running and so on). The painted toenails on the other hand, tells us that even though the feet are being used, they are also being taken care of. It could also suggest a love for colors, as in my case.

 

Favorite word: Dare

Though an introvert, you shouldn’t always stay in your shell. I like to dare, but if I am not reminded of this word daily, I wont challenge myself. In the mornings, I dare by putting on strange clothes. Throughout the day, I don’t dare as much as I want to, simply because I am surrounded by people – which drains me from the energy I need to dare.

Dare is a strong word, and it should never be taken to literally. Yes, dare, but don’t loose yourself trying to be something you aren’t. As a simply rule: the good kind of daring, is daring to be yourself.

Favourite word: Light

Light is such a beautiful word. It is both a delight (see what I did there) to say, but it also has so many meanings.

Light can be the light from the sun. When it shines on your face, shines away darkness.

Light can be easy. Light reading for example. It’s easy, it’s light, it’s simple.

Light can be the opposite of heavy. When something is light in that way, it is easier to carry, both literally and seen as a more symbolic thing.

Light can be few things. To live light or travel light is a beautiful thing, because it allows you to do other stuff than worry about material things.

Light can be spread, light can be a part of your personality. Being the light is just one word for so many personality traits.