Sivu on muuttanut uuteen osoitteeseen


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sometimes you have to go away to see things close up...

1 year on the road now. Above all, it’s been a journey into myself.

Have I changed as a person and how? I don’t feel much different, where is the enlightenment I was looking for?? I’m still the same shy girl from the country. But I suppose a year abroad would change anybody in some way. What I can think of now, I’ve probably become even more independent, more mature and I’ve got to know myself and what I want from life a lot better. Travelling, spending time and starting a new life by myself on the other side of the world, I think it’s inevitable that you get to know yourself better. :) Mostly however, I’m the same mess of a girl as always. Some things will never change.

Has it been what I expected? Yes and no. I didn’t have a lot of expectations. It had been my dream to go to Australia, and somehow I had painted this image in my head of this paradise, happy days under a palm tree with the sun shining, kangaroos jumping and handsome surfers around me :) Believe it or not, it hasn’t been just that! And even when it has, as great as it was, I realized happiness is not a destination, it is more of a way of travelling. 

What do I miss most about Finland? Apart from friends and family, Finnish summer and even winter. White Christmas. Snow. Finnish food, rye bread and cider above all. I miss the feeling of home and belongingness. Here in Australia I’m always a visitor, a foreigner, coming from the land far away… I’ve been here for so long that I even miss the small things that I used to hate. But I’m sure that once I get back, I’m gonna start hating them again :) 

Best times? What I enjoy most is going to a new place, so all trips. Also, getting to know new people and spending time with them.

Worst times? Well I feel pretty shit right now. Apparently breakups are just as bad down under. Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it. Hopefully when I lie on the beach in Surfer’s Paradise I will have something else on my mind.

Best place? Vanuatu, Tasmania, Outback, Great Ocean Road… They were all amazing. I think I enjoyed the trip to the Outback the most so far. But there is still so much to see!

IS THE GRASS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE? I guess mundane everyday rat race is the same regardless of where you are. Apparently there is no way to escape it :) But still, I would definitely much rather live my mundane everyday rat race here in Melbourne than in Lappeenranta.

Anyway, now that my situation has changed, I feel like I’ve sweeped the streets of Melbourne long enough and it’s time to turn the page. It would be best for my mental health to get the hell out of here asap and take the next plane anywhere, since everything here just reminds me of my misery, but unfortunately due to my personal financial crisis I might be stuck here for a while...

"Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." J.R Tolkien

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 - Awaken the spirit!

Greetings from the New Year's Eve Capital of the World!
We left for Sydney on the 29th at 5 am in the morning. After a LONG butt-numbing drive we arrived in Sydney at around 4 pm and checked into our hotel that was just a stone throw away from Darling Harbour. A nice hotel room in a heritage listed building. We were really tired from all the driving (not that I did any of the driving, but it’s tiring just to sit and watch somebody drive for 10 hours, too!!) so we just went for a walk to Darling Harbour and did some grocery shopping. 

The next day the weather was perfect. We went for a long walk to look around the city, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay with the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I think the Harbour Bridge is ugly I don’t know what’s so special about it. Opera House on the other hand was really pretty.  From Circular Quay we took the ferry back to Darling Harbour. Went home, cooked dinner and had an early night. 



On New Year’s Eve we had to check out at 10 am. We didn’t get accommodation for NYE because it was ridiculously expensive. The hotels were almost fully booked already in October and asking for ridiculous prices of even 2000 dollars for one night! So we decided we’d sleep in the car.
Of course we wanted to see the famous Harbour Bridge fireworks. Every year about 1.5 million people come to the city to see them. There were several vantage points around the city where you could see the fireworks well. Some of them were managed access sites, which means that you weren’t allowed to take any alcohol with you and only a limited number of people were let in. These sites get filled up during the early afternoon hours. A glass of wine at these managed access sites would probably cost at least 20 bucks, and because we (= I) most likely wouldn’t have been happy with just one glass, we decided to go somewhere else. We went to the closest vantage point to the Bridge where it was BYO (Bring your own alcohol). We bought a good old 5 litre cask wine aka GOON and lots of food.

Observatory hill early afternoon. you can only imagine what it was like later on... 
Since it was the only BYO place in the city we figured it would be full of people early afternoon. We got there at 11.30 am and it was already packed. We got ourselves a good little spot and had some goon and tried to kill time. The weather was warm and nice but cloudy and we had a couple of small showers in the early afternoon. Little by little more and more people started to show up… In the end people were pretty much sitting on top of each other. If you wanted to go somewhere, it was epic to try and get through the crowd. And you should have seen the queue for toilets! There were 12 toilets for about a 100,000 people!!! They didn’t think that through very well.  

View from the Observatory Park  
The fireworks were cool, the best that I’ve ever seen, obviously, but still I couldn’t help feeling a little bit disappointed. After 12 hours of sitting on our butts waiting we were expecting something SPECTACULAR. After all, they spend 15 months planning the fireworks, so one would expect them to come up with something more than that!! Or maybe I'm just hard to please. Besides, I was watching it through my camera trying to capture the best picture but with my shitty little camera that was difficult. Note to self: Next time when you come to Australia, make sure you have a professional camera. It was still worth it, something you should see when you're in Australia. But once is enough, especially if you have to drink goon.
At 9 o’clock there were 8 minute fireworks for families but it wasn’t until at 12 when the Harbour Bridge went off. Around the same time it started to get a bit nasty in the crowd – in the dark people kept stepping on me and I even got kicked in the head. So right after the fireworks I wanted to get out of there. We walked to Darling Harbour, but couldn’t get into any club because Anthony was wearing shorts. So we walked back to our car to get changed, but in the end we were too tired to go anywhere and fell asleep in the car. What can I say, getting old...


The theme this year was Awaken the Spirit. The aboriginals believe that the spirit has to be awakened every year, stir up the spirit within land, water, sky and ourselves. The city of Sydney requested everybody to wear something blue to represent the blue sky and blue harbour. After the first fireworks there was light parade with dozens of big boats decorated with beautiful lights.

On New Year's day we went for a walk to the city which we hadn't really seen yet. When we got to the hotel around 8 pm, we collapsed on the bed and didn't get up until 10 am!

Hyde Park
Our last day we spent on beaches. First we drove to Manly Beach. The beach was PACKED. But there were nice shops and the area was pretty. Then we drove to Bondi Beach. Bigger and nicer. Water was freezing but we went swimming anyway. After all, I'm from Finland, we swim in ice, right!?

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