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Suggestions for a day or two of exploring Sydney but not the usual tourist areas we will seeing.

Suggestions for a day or two of exploring Sydney but not the usual tourist areas we will seeing.

Feb 17th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 935
Alan's busy buying a new suit...he has been summonned for a royal audience with the queen of the oz fodors board!
johhj_au is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 12:58 PM
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Sorry Liz, can't do Monday, I've decided to apply for the position of governor-general if the present occupant isn't recovered soon. I've just read that the last GG (the former archbishop who resigned after 23 months when his past came back to haunt him) is on a pension of $184K a year plus great perks.

I reckon the Kiwis have a dryer sense of humour than us, so much so that you feel parched after talking to one for a while. A couple of Monteiths Black Ales fixes that, though.

jj727 - I'm not sure about that old movie "They're a Weird Mob", though. It was pretty creaky when it was made in the 1960s, never mind now. Or have I fallen victim to that dry Kiwi humour again?

AndrewDavid, love to help, but he's too well guarded. Can't you wait till November? I was hoping you'd offer to take our PM back to New Mexico with you (he might enjoy living in the town of Truth or Consequences). Losing your right to drive in California might be a blessing in disguise if it keeps you off the LA freeway system, but losing a family member is a bit careless. Sounds like you'd fit right in here.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 08:18 PM
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Imagine me thinking this was a forum for travel suggestions!
How silly of me!
ib is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:25 PM
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Well, ib, it is, and if "travel" starts and stops with advice on resorts, hotels, restaurants and so forth, maybe we should all be sacked. I've observed though that the regular contributors do a pretty good job of that too. But yes, a bit of mostly friendly banter sneaks in - Australians like an argument, preferably loud.

A lot of travellers are actually interested in what makes a country tick, and I like to think that even the borderline-relevant debate on this forum does provide some insight into this country, both the good and the bad. One intending visitor recently expressed concerns about whether Australia was a racist country. Do you deal with that by telling them to go to a nice resort, stay there and don't bother their head about such things, and by the way, I can recommend a really nice rain forest tour?

OK, some contributors get a bit excited and even, like me, forget to take their meds. Perhaps you're unhappy with some joking references to exporting US President Bush, Australian PM Howard, or maybe even both.

My advice is, pour a glass of red, fire up the PC and let off some steam. Let's all make life a little less boring! Just give me some notice so I can take those pills.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 11:58 PM
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Well said, Neil - when I travel the people, their history, and what makes them tick are far more important to me that which resort has the largest swimming pool or the best view. If someone goes to the trouble of explaining their parliamentary system, and throws in a bit of their country's lore and humour, that's all to the good. It certainly has a lot more relevance to the broader meaning of travel than wondering if your shaver plug will fit an Oz outlet.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:08 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Yes Pat , I agree with you on that.

I for one can not think of any thing worse than sitting around a big hotel pool sipping Martini?s reading a
book I have been trying to get at for six months while the kids are being supervised by a professional tennis
coach and the wife is in the beauty salon having that hair do and facial she has been wanting all year.

Naa who wants any of that crap while on vacation.

I would prefer to turn up with the wrong razor grow a big beard abuse the airline staff and play scrabble
with the locals while discussing the political situation in Iraq.
Now that?s my idea of a holiday !!!!!!
jj727 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:13 AM
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OH !!!! Michi and hubby, are you still there, ummmmmmm errrrrr one seccc umm Look---- I am sorry, If you are still there would you mind repeating the Question.
jj727 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 01:38 AM
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Posts: 9
This is LizF.
jj727 and ib,
I have been answering people's questions about their travels both on this forum and when people have written to me at home probably more than 5,000 times. If I cannot have some light-hearted banter with someone like Neil, Pat, alan or whoever else comes along then I won't bother to answer people's questions because whether you like it or not - the time is mine to do with as I wish, and it so happens that I wish to have a bit of fun at times - that is who I am and that is who a lot of Australians are and this is what we like to do. If you don't like it then either contribute to the questions people ask - I note that ib has written twice and jj727 has actually not answered anyone's question in particular - or go and take yourselves to another site - or another country. If you are Australians then you will know what to do.............. if not, then don't come because someone will tell you. You 2 are like a boss who, after a worker has done an extra free 60 hours in the week, gets told not to take an extra 5 minutes for lunch.
ClayF is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 02:08 AM
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Orrrrrr Come on Liz, Don't be like that.

I know girls just wanna have fun-uunnn.

But so do boys.

Can't we have some fun as well.

jj727 is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 04:45 AM
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I would very much like to sit and listen to your stories over a beer sometime when I'm in Australia. You bring a very down-to-earth feeling that is conveyed in these posts.

This is a travellers CHAT room and, I believe, that's what happening here. This thread offers many great things to do and places to see around Sydney and then offers some good insights of all of you.

As I said earlier, you made my day and are continuing to do so. So please continue as I love to laugh at the banter. Anyone not wishing to tolerate it can click onto another message or start one of their own.
LN is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 11:02 AM
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ClayF is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Right, on, Liz. As long as good humour is maintained and nobody oversteps the line by indulging in angry tirades - well, usually, anyway - I can't see the problem.

If I want to have a proper political argument, as distinct from a little banter, I'll do it on other sites, although sadly many are infested with some very strange people. At least the people on this forum are usually good-natured and literate.

Probably I'm suffering from relevance deprivation because nobody's asked about Canberra for a while, so I sympathise with jj727 in Oberon. It must be a bugger.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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Yes, I'm still here. I'm the 71 year old and husband 77. Don't be too hard on JB; it was a valid comment that no one except a newcomer would ask. Are you a newcomer JB? I've been quietly compiling your suggestions and preparing for our trip on March 30. I've also been laughing a lot.

Carabella. Thanks for offer to look up schedule. Not sure what dates so will pursue myself.

Guy Fawkes. He's the Guy who made history interesting in high school 55 years ago. Canadian history was dull then and dull now ... but we do have Laura Secord and her cow.

Vietnam. Did not march. Too busy raising six kids. Did protest US missiles using Canadian airspace many years ago, walked with Bishop Tutu to free Mandela, rallied on Parliament Hill for a cause, and walked to protest war in Iraq. Go see "The Fog of War" with Robert McNamara (former US Secretary of Defense) who looks back on that era in hindsight.

Kiwis. I only know them as fruit.

Penadol. Is this the Australian copy of Bayers Aspirin in North America?

Bernadette. The name of a good friend I cannot find and that awesome young Irish woman. (We hired a "black cab" in Belfast with a specially trained driver/escort in ?the troubles? who drove us for a few hours to both sides of the peace line and provided neutral commentary.) We saw Gerry Adams leaving the office.

The Block. Recent interview with a Sydney official about the riot in Redfern area of Sydney on CBC radio. Similar scenarios take place in North America. We have some cases going on right now in Toronto.

Dengue fever. Reported in Queensland by Travel Medicine Program of Health Canada, quoting source as Queensland Department of Health (see below), November 14, 2003. Two cases of the fever reported in Cairns caused me to email and ask for up-to-date information. No answer. In 1995, in Malaysia, my husband was bitten (mosquitoes in every country love him) and came home with the fever. I can't take him anywhere!

Andrew David. Shame on you. You know that visitors can only vote in Canada. Reminds me of crooked voting ballots in Montreal (where we lived for many years) not-so-long ago. To confuse voters (which wasn?t difficult) if a Jacques S. Clement was running, another candidate by the name of say Jacques M. Clement would be found to run against him to split the vote. Believe me, this used to happen.

Churches. In Portugal mass at an old church with earthen floor and three dogs playing follow the leader throughout the congregation with no one batting an eye. Out Island of the Bahamas many years ago came upon a church in an old Quonset hut. Priest preparing to say mass with no one there. Invited in and participated. A church in NY State. Priest had larynx(?) removed and spoke through some device in the throat. Sounded like Darth Vadar. One of the best sermons yet. Love attending mass in different countries. Our pastor has a dog that follows the procession in and out and lies on the steps to the altar during the mass.

Supermarkets. Interesting seeing one or two to compare products and people watch.

Now that I've bored you, let me thank you for your suggestions. Wonderful!

michi is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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Nice to hear from you, Michi and you're not boring! Suspect the dengue fever issue was raised by a recent case of a woman from one of the Torres Strait Islands where she contracted dengue - was flown to Cairns Base Hospital, the nearest large hospital to TI, where, sadly, she did die. It would be dishonest to say that dengue is unknown in Cairns - it's mosquito-borne by the aegis aegypti mozzie which breeds in water around and in houses. When there is an outbreak the Health Dept is on to it like a rocket and contain it very quickly - people are constantly reminded on TV and press not to let water accumulate in blocked gutters, dishes under potplants, upturned fallen palm fronds etc., even the dog's water bowl.

Panadol is a paracetamol based mild pain killer and often used for treating hangovers. (We do have Bayer's Aspirin too). JJ727 spelt it as Pendadol, which is how a Kiwi would pronounce it, but JJ727 says he just can't spell. The kiwi, a flightless bird, is NZ's national emblem and the people often refer to themselves as "Kiwis" - there is a very obvious difference in vowel sounds between Aussies and Kiwis.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 08:43 PM
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Whoops - it's actually the aedes aegytpti mozzie - here's me saying JJ727 can't spell!
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 11:12 PM
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Michi, Tylenol is actually the North American copy of Panadol. Trust me. Otherwise Pat is right as usual - it sounds like jj727 hasn't spent enough time in Australia to change his vowels. If it was really spelt "Penadol", Kiwis would produce it "Pinadol". (How I wish I could tell my favourite Kiwi joke, which involves both sheep and confused vowels.)

We call those small furry edibles "kiwi fruit" to distinguish them from the small furry inedible inhabitants of NZ, also known as Hobbits. The name was a stroke of marketing genius on the part of the (human) Kiwis, since they had no historical connection with NZ and originally were known as Chinese Gooseberries.

Michi, I'll do you a deal - you tell me about Laura Secord and her cow and I'll tell you about those iconic Australian heroes Simpson and his donkey - including the never-before-revealed truth about how Simpson really met his end.

Canada had enough sense to stay out of the Vietnam War, so maybe your marches (if any) lacked some of the passion of ours. Anyway, you've made up for it.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 20th, 2004, 03:48 AM
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Hi, again michi!

Here are a couple more suggestions for interesting little parts of Sydney that are not on the tourist path:

(1) Walk across the Harbour Bridge (entrance in the Rocks), exit the walkway on the right (east) side, and then head straight back down to the water's edge. Already the view is worth it. Then turn left and follow the water's-edge track until you can't go any further because there's a large pink house built right to the water. Turn left to go up to the road, and there is Mary Booth lookout. There's a gazebo there where you can sit and eat your lunch and gaze at the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from one of the best vantage points anywhere (John Howard lives about 100 metres further on).

(2)While in the Pitt St shopping Mall, stroll through the Strand Arcade ( which has been restored to its original glory), to George St. Everyone does that, but there's more! On exiting, turn left and then go into the building next to Dymock's Book Store. I think the building is called "The Block" or "Dymock's Block". About eleven storeys of tiny shops which haven't changed in fifty years...heavy wood panelling and old-fashioned elevators. Not as grand as the Queen Victoria Building, but interesting because it never needed to be refurbished.... it's quite original.

(3) One morning when you have strolled through the Rocks, hail the 433 bus which is marked "Balmain". Get off at the Balmain Post Office/Town Hall (the driver will tell you; it's the corner of Darling and Mullens), and then keep on walking the way the bus is heading -- down hill on Darling St through all the boutique shops and old houses. It's a good place to have lunch, or at least a cup of coffee.
Eventually you will come to the end of the peninsula -- the Darling St Wharf. Catch the ferry from there back to Circular Quay.

(4) Stroll through Hyde Park and have a look at the War Memorial, then head to the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Sts, at the western end of the park. From there, there is a bus which goes to Watson's Bay. It goes right past Bondi Beach, so you'll get a good look at this Australian icon, but you won't have to get out and see the tacky shops that have taken over the area. You'll go on for about another seven minutes, and get off at the Dudley Page Reserve. You'll only need fifteen minutes there to exhaust your roll of film, but you will agree with me that the people who have never been there have missed one of the best -- and certainly the least-known -- views in Sydney (pity the reserve is so barren, and I don't think there's even a seat! But maybe that's why it's "hidden Sydney".)
Alan is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:58 AM
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War of 1812
Who was Laura Secord? Most young people would identify the name with the many quality candy stores of the same name. Older people might identify her as the heroine who, with her cow, found her way to warn the British of American plans to occupy Beaver Dam during the War of 1812. This war was fought by the Americans against the British in the southern part of Ontario in the Niagara Falls Canada area. There is also a Niagara Falls, New York. The reasons for this war are difficult to sort out but seems it was mainly fought to further American Independence from the British. It is, I believe, the only war between Canada and the United States.

The Cow? Laura Secord did indeed deliver a message to the British under very harsh circumstances, but today, travelling with the cow as cover is pretty well dismissed. While it added drama to her courageous act and made history more interesting, it seems there is no basis in fact but makes a good story.

From the Internet: Laura Secord, nee Ingersoll, was born in Massachusetts. She moved to Queenston, which is situated at the mouth of the Niagara River, with her family following the US War of Independence and then married James Secord, a Queenston merchant and volunteer "citizen soldier." James was seriously wounded in the battle of Queenston Heights and was still disabled a year later in 1813 when American forces occupied his farmhouse. Overhearing the soldiers' careless chatter about their mission to occupy the village of Beaver Dam, Laura slipped away to warn the British who were in that location. It was one of the compelling stories of the war; how she lost her shoes and walked in darkness, barefoot, through the woods, finally running into a British patrol under a Lieutenant Fitzgibbon to warn them of the American plans. In the meantime, Indians had learned of the American movements also and ambushed them on their way to Beaver Dam. A small band of Canadian militia also fired upon the rear of the American force. Fearing total annihilation, the American force, which comprised some 570 men,
immediately surrendered to Lieutenant Fitzgibbon when he arrived on the scene.

michi is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2004, 06:54 PM
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Strand Arcade, Sydney
Every time I've been to Sydney for the last half century, I've made a bee-line to the Strand Arcade to buy some Vienna Almonds from the Nut Shop there.
It is not still run by the original German or probably Austrian family, who delighted me in my childhood, but the nuts still taste as delicious!

Another Sydney delight is to buy food from the downstairs department of David Jones second shop (opposite the main one) and eat it whilst people watching in Hyde Park, a block away.

Carrabella is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Thanks for the story about Laura and her cow, Michi - the 1812 War is now a little less of a mystery.

I promised you I'd tell you about Simpson and his donkey, but it needs a little World War I background. On 25 April 1915, 30,000 mostly untested troops of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula as part of the ill-fated Dardanelles campaign (some 45,000 British and French troops landed at other points). The ANZAC forces distinguished themselves but were unable to dislodge the Turkish defenders, and after taking very heavy casualties eventually withdrew. This event made a major impression on Australians and led to today's Anzac Day commemoration of those who sacrificed themselves in defence of the country.

Australia actually lost more men in WWI than did the United States. In fact, visitors to Canberra's Australian War Memorial are usually surprised by the number of wars Australians have fought in, from the Sudan to Iraq. I'm not sure what this says about us, exactly, but so far the only continents we've left alone are the Americas and Antactica.

Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick, better known as Simpson, was an English-born field ambulanceman who came to personify the ANZAC spirit of courage and self-sacrifice. Using a captured donkey he named Duffy, Simpson worked day and night to carry wounded men back to the beachhead in highly hazardous conditions, until he was shot dead by a Turkish sniper.

Given Simpson's iconic status the following story could get me into trouble, although it doesn't reflect on him. I heard it in 1985 (at second hand) from a grizzled survivor of Gallipoli who with some old comrades was about to make a commemorative visit to Gallipoli.

According to the old soldier, Simpson was despatched not by the enemy but by an Australian soldier who had become convinced that the very visible wanderings of Simpson and Duffy were drawing attention (and artillery fire) to his position. He became more and more enraged, and one day just snapped.

This account may reflects no more than the Australian taste for an outrageous story. However, it did remind me that history is a very malleable thing.

Simpson became a valuable figure, almost a martyr, for the Australian government, which was desperate to encourage volunteers. Its efforts to introduce conscription having been rebuffed at two referendums, a result probably influenced by the fact that Australian women had been exercising the right to vote for some years. (In Australia you don't have to exercise your right to vote, but you'll be fined if you don't.)

A final note - it seems that the ANZACs and the Turks developed a degree of respect for each other's fighting abilities. Today the only memorial on Canberra's Anzac Parade erected in honour of a former enemy is that to Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic. In return the Turkish Government named the Gallipoli landing site "Anzac Cove".

Neil_Oz is offline  

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