Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Greetings From the Land Down Under

Pipi and I are in Australia! We arrived in Sydney at 6am this morning, and hit the ground running, immediately embarking on a narrated tour of Sydney movie locations.

For most people, the highlight of this tour would have been driving very slowly past Nicole Kidman’s house, hoping she’d come out (no luck there); lunch on Bondi Beach; or getting the dish on where celebrities hang out in Sydney. But Pipi and I are not most people. Our favorite part was the very first stop on the tour. This was the Harbourview Hotel (pictured), which was featured in our favorite Australian movie of all time. We want to make our Harbourview stalking experience complete by going back for dinner or a drink (it’s one of those hotels that’s not for sleeping), but this will do for now.

After our tour, we stopped by a chocolate shop near our hotel that we saw from the van. This turned out to be Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar, which offers chocolate bonbons, decadent chocolate desserts, fondue that is nothing more (or less) than a melted chocolate bar, and the best hot chocolate ever, in flavors like toffee and Dutch orange. I thought our hotel, at the edge of the Central Business District, was well located when I booked it, but now I know I made exactly the right accommodation decision.

Our day has been very long. We haven’t slept in a real bed since Sunday morning, and as I write, it’s Tuesday night. So we’re a little delirious, and it’s not just the cocoa taking. Tomorrow will probably be a long day, too, because I expect to be up around 4am with jet lag. The plan is to take a ferry across the harbor to the zoo. I wonder how early they open?

Here are some photos of our first day.

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