Sunday, January 9, 2011

Last Day Down Under

So I’ve finally caught up to the present day with my blog, but it’s on my last day in Australia.  Last night I took the overnight train from Byron Bay all the way down to Sydney.  Left at 5:17 PM and arrived bright and early at 6:52 AM.  It was nice to walk around the city so early in the day, when everyone was sleeping in on Sunday morning.  After checking into a hostel I headed over to the National Maritime Museum and found some interesting exhibits.

Now that's my kind of boat.

Entry to the museum was free but there was an extra charge to board the floating exhibits.  I couldn’t resist the urge to set foot on the newly built replica of Captain Cook’s vessel the HMS Endeavour so I ponied up the $9 and stepped on board.  It was worth it.

I learned some interesting tidbits of information.  The Endeavour is a pretty small ship—it takes less than 20 men to sail it—but Cook had a crew of over 90 on his first voyage to Australia.  They had to add in an extra deck to house the extra passengers, so the boat was fit more for hobbits than men.  Captain Cook was also one of the first to prevent scurvy on a long ocean voyage by having everyone eat sauerkraut.  He got his crew to eat it by having all the officers get the sole “privilege” at first.  When the crew demanded to be fed sauerkraut too he was more than happy to oblige.

Avast me hearties! It's the bilge-master!

After leaving the museum I walked through downtown Sydney towards Hyde Park.  It’s an impressive park with massive trees throughout.  At the other end I came upon a massive stone building and one of its huge wooden doors was ajar so I decided to check it out.  The building turned out to be St. Mary’s Cathedral.  Had I known I was stumbling into a Cathedral I probably wouldn’t have been impressed, but because it was not what I was expecting (I was looking for the state library) it was a pretty awe-inspiring.  Photography was not allowed so I drew a quick sketch instead.

A little messy, but you get the idea.

I eventually made it to the State Library of New South Wales, where I sit now.  Might stay here for some time; public wireless and air conditioning is a great combination.  Tomorrow around noon I bid farewell to Australia and fly out of Sydney International Airport, just about six months from my arrival.  It’s been a while and I am certainly ready to get back to the States.


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