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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

The beach

Bondi beach and the walk down to Bronte.Syd 6Syd 7

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And again, I would never go into that water!

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In Sydney the weather took a turn for the worse. But  even though the rain was pouring down Mikaela was good enough to take me on a tour of the city.

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And she’s such a good photographer! I’m just used to my parents’ photo skills 😉 and now I’ve finally got some good pictures of myself as a tourist.

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Newcastle: what to do

Newcastle is quite a big city 3 hours north of Sydney. It has got a bit of a bad reputation since a lot of its factories closed and the crime rate started to go up. And it might be that there’s not so much to do in the city but I managed to find a few things during my one free day.

Go to Blackbutt forest reserve. It’s like a little zoo where you can see a lot of Australian animals and go for a walk or picnic in the forest. But make sure to wear some bug repellent, the mosquitoes bite like crazy!

I did feel a bit bad for the animals. To just sit in a small cage when the Australian wilderness is just around the corner. You could even pat a koala for 4.50 AUD but I felt that it was just too cruel a thing to do to the poor animal.

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I also had time to go and see the beach and all the surfers. And I came to the conclusion that I would never dare to go out into that water!nc 9 nc 10 nc 11 nc 12 nc 13 nc 14Then I took the train to Sydney 🙂

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Oh and a funny thing happened to me the first night I arrived in Newcastle. My train got in at around 11pm and the taxi driver who picked me up was really bored after driving around all day. He and his friend had gotten laid off from their jobs and as a bet, decided to become taxi driver and see who could earn the most money. The idea was to work for a couple of months and then go to the US to travel across the continent on motorcycles. So, bored out of his mind, he turned off the meter and gave me a tour of the city while he, at the same time, looked for a bar that could offer him some beer. Unfortunately all the bars were closed but I have picture proof of the kidnapping. Here we are at a bar that was still open but had stopped serving alcohol. He even turned the car around so I could get the bar in the picture. Then he kindly drove me to my hotel.nc 1

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Why Australia?

I got the opportunity to go to the congress of andrology held in Melbourne and after that I went to visit a lab at the university of Newcastle.

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Here is Noora and Matteo at the conference center and in the background you see, yes you’re right, a row of penises. As this congress focused on both clinical as well as basic research there were lots of stands advertising things like penile implants. But the strangest one you see in the background. They even had a chair with heat lamps (like the ones you use for piglets) directed at the problem area. We were to scared to ask what it would be good for.

In Newcastle the autumn term was just starting and the campus was full of new students. It was like being in an American movie. You know the one where the students arrive to find a campus littered with clubs who wants to recruit them. There was everything from bible-groups and water polo teams to some strange pig club… I didn’t really get what that was about.

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One of the best things we did in Melbourne was going up to the Eureka skydeck. The same night, Melbourne was celebrating its first White night, a night of arts. It was a crazy amount of people in the city center and if you look carefully on the third picture you’ll see how the streets are completely packed with culture loving Australians. However, the next morning you couldn’t even see a small piece of paper on the streets. In Finland, the streets would have been covered with broken bottles and something that used to be beer…

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Melbourne: what to do

 

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The best way to see the city is to rent a city-bike. They cost around 2.50 AUD for one day, that is if you only ride them for 30min at a time. You have to wear a helmet but they only cost 5 AUD to buy and you get 3 AUD if you decide to return them.

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I really liked Melbourne museum which had several exhibitions, a kids playroom and a rainforest.

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It’s also nice to just walk around the city, looking at the graffiti and all the Chinese stores/restaurants/people – sometimes the town felt like a mini Taipei.

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And when you’ve had enough of the city you can always go to the botanical gardens. The Saturday I visited they held a wedding, a birthday party and a family reunion there.

to do 8 to do 9Another thing to do on Saturdays is going to the Rose street market where local artists sell their work.

 

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Melbourne: what to eat

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I recommend going to the Italian part of town to get a good morning coffee.

food 2Then  you should definitely have a burger for lunch. This one is from Grill’d but I can tell you I had one just as good from a dirty beach grill in Newcastle where the grill master was singing Elton John tunes. In Australia they like meat and don’t care what the bread they use for the bun looks like – it can be anything, no hamburger looks alike!

food 3 food 4End the day in Chinatown with some BBQ pork!

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