Twelve Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

Twelve  Things I Did In Sydney, Australia This Time

“With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears. “ Italo Calvino

1. Walked around the Quay. I forgot it was called Key not Cay.

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2. Walked all around the Opera House twice and had a coffee there – long black with milk which is much less milky than flat white.

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3. Saw amazing exhibit by Tatsuo Myajima  at the Museum Of Contemporary Art.

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4.Got on a ferry.

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5.  It went to Manly Beach.

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6. Darling Harbor in the rain.

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7. Went hiking and got lost (not so easy to do there) in Nielsen Park.

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8. Had tea at the Hughenden Hotel in Paddington-Woolhara.

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9. Saw the view from the Park Hyatt.

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10 Sat  under the Sydney Bridge.

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11. Ate Tim Tams.

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12. Opera House at Sunset. Of all my favorite buildings, and I have many, the Sydney Opera House is my favorite.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

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Things To Do In Sydney, Australia With A Little Help From My Friends

Things To Do In Sydney, Australia With A Little Help From My Friends

‘Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well-ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn’t get much better than this.” Bill Bryson

Hang out at the beach. My favorite is to take the ferry to Manly Beach, The beaches are wide and beautiful there – great options for food too. Sydney is famous for world-class surfing.  There is a beach for everyone. NM

Stroll along the busy wharfs of Circular Quay, listen to the Aboriginal street artists and enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Walk further until you reach the Opera House.  I recommend booking a tour in advance of this amazing building. If not, just continue around the Opera House for some surprising and spectacular views of this marvelous piece of architecture. My favorite thing is to sit in the cafe outside and have some Australian coffee (flat white) and enjoy the view.JZ

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I love having brekkie (breakfast) at the  Carriage Works Farmers Market on the weekend in Everleigh. This weekend market is known for its range of seasonal produce, including organic and biodynamic foods from farmers and producers from across New South Wales. Some standouts are Billy Kwongs, Bourke Street Bakery,Ritual Coffee and Bird Cow Fish. TO

The beautiful walk from Bondi to Coogee Coastal winds its way along 6 km of beguiling coastal views, offering plenty of things to do along the way. The leisurely walk spans for about 1-2 hours overlooking the spectacular beaches. SR

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Watson’s Bay is definitely a favorite place for me to visit in Sydney. One of the city’s hidden gems is in the eastern suburbs. You can order some of the famous fish and chips from Sydney institution, Doyle’s on the Beach which first opened in 1885 or grab some take away from their wharf kiosk and set up a picnic in the park or along the waterfront. But what I love to do most is go for a walk around the bay to the stunningly private beach at Camp Cove. BT

As the quintessential ‘must do’ experience in Sydney, Harbor Bridge Climb should be top on your list of things to book well in advance of your stay. As Sydney’s most popular experience, be sure to secure your day climb prior to your arrival to avoid disappointment.WW

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Chinatown in Sydney is where you will find just about every Asian cuisine you can imagine: Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Not only that, the dishes are cheap and tasty. Friday nights on Dixon Street are crowded with locals and tourists. If you are there in October, the night noodle markets have every Asian food and entertainment. JG

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There are cool art galleries in Surrey Hills – Bret Whitely Studio and First Draft  gallery are my favorite. Also I love to run into the Museum of Contemporary Art on Circular Quay and the Art Gallery of New South Wales TM

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Whether it be AFL, rugby union or league, soccer or cricket, everyone  in  Australia has a team and everyone has a rival. Ahead of your trip, take the time to look up which games are being played while you’re in town and grab a ticket to see the action live. The heritage-listed Sydney Cricket Ground is one of liveliest arenas to watch sport in the summer. SK

Fly safe,

JAZ

Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

 Twenty-Five Things That I Want To Do In 2017

“The moment you put a deadline on your dream, it becomes a goal” Harsha Bhogle

 Go to Waiheke Island because I’ve heard so much about it from my family.

Take a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier.

Meditate every day.

Do more yoga.

Go to Copenhagen.

See the sunset on the beach whenever I am home at sunset.

Go to Sydney Australia.

Drink less coffee.

Drink less Spanish Lattes and Thai Iced Coffee.  (I love condensed milk coffees)

Take more Ubers in the US.

Go To Sweden.

Be more positive.

Be better about making plans with friends.

Spend more time with my family.

See Auschwitz.

Go to Israel.

Pay more attention to politics and get more involved.

Go To Grouplove concert. (missed them so far this year).

Go to Poland.

Go to Over Film Festival in Oregon.

Be kinder.

Go to Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin again-they are amazing . Congratulations Trevor on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame .

Think more before I speak.

Eat less sugar. (I put this one in every few years)

Fly safe and Happy Holidays,

JAZ

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Sydney Opera House

“The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it was reflected off this building.”    Louis Kahn

In 1956 Danish architect Jorn Utzon sent his drawings along with 221 other architects to the Sydney Opera House Design Competition.  At number 218,  it was one of the last entries before the competition closed on Dec 3 1956.

It is said that the design had been rejected.  One of the judges, Finnish American architect Eero Saarinan, was late and started looking through the discarded designs.  He pulled it out and had them take a second look.

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On Jan 29, 1957, thirty-eight-year-old Jorn Utzon was awarded first prize and became the design architect to bring the Sydney Opera House to reality. The expected cost was seven million dollars.

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The design was derided and revered. It was called sculpitecture. The shells were freeform. Nothing about building them would be easy.

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The opera house construction story, from beginning to end, is a story of pioneering technology. It was about finding creative new solutions to the many design, technical and construction problems that the building’s unprecedented shape generated.

Many of the innovations introduced in the building of the Opera House have since passed into accepted engineering practice.

The million tiles  covering the shell were to have gloss not glare –like clouds or sails on the water.  Utzon found the texture in certain Japanese bowls  and a tile company in Sweden reproduced the effect.

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In 1965 Robin Askin was elected to office  with a promise “to get some sense into the opera house” with a business like approach. The new projected amount to finish was now 49 million. Askin appointed Davis Hughes as Minister of Public Works. Hughes began questioning Utzon’s ability, his designs, schedules and cost estimates and eventually refusing to pay running costs.   Utzon was forced to quit the project and vowed never to return to Australia.  He said, “It is not I , but the Sydney Opera House that has created all the enormous difficulties.”

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A team of architects was hired to finish the project. On October 20, 1973 , Queen Elizabeth II placed the inaugural plaque on the Opera House at the Opening ceremonies. Utzon was invited but did not attend. His name was not mentioned in any of the official speeches. The final cost was 102 million dollars.

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The  lobby of the main theatre has purple carpeting. When Pavarotti sang here he would not walk on the purple carpeting before a performance. He said purple was the color of death. It is used to line the coffins in Italy. So they had to cover the carpeting for him to walk on it in another color. (photo  Sean Dirks)

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Thanks to Lego, we can all build our own opera houses now.

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In 1999 Jorn Utzon accepted the invitation to develop a statement of design principles that would be used for long term management, conservation and any redevelopment of the Opera House.  The first of these projects was the Utzon room designed by Utzon, his son Jan and Australian architect Richard Johnson. (Utzon reception room -tapestry designed by Jorn Utzon as well) (photo Sean Dirks)

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On June 28, 2007 the Sydney Opera House became a Unesco World Heritage Site. It is the youngest cultural site every to be added to the list and the only one added with the architect still alive at the time. (photo Sean Dirks)

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On Nov 29, 2008, Jorn Utzon died in his sleep. He had designed a building that was technologically  far ahead of its time and changed the face of  Sydney.  It could be one of the most important buildings ever designed and he had never returned to see it completed. .

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Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Sydney, Australia

Things I Have Learned In Sydney, Australia

“But when the sun comes out in Sydney, it bats its eyelids, it’s glamorous, beautiful, attractive, smart, and it’s very hard to get away from its magnetic pull.” Baz Luhrmann

Sidney is located in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Sydney is the largest city in Australia with over 4,000,000 people. Canberra which is the capital city has  300,000.

I am a threat in the Sydney  airport. I have been checked for explosives, found to be carrying unidentified metal in  my plastic peak flow meter,  patted down for weapons, pulled aside for a search and set off the walk through security with my bracelets  – in the five times I was there.

The Sydney Opera House and the story of its magnificent design deserves its own blog.

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Bondi beach has the cutest lifeguards.

Australians may not have invented surfing but when you see the long rolling waves on Bondi Beach, you know this is the place to surf. (This is coming from someone who lives in California )

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The traveling rock-music festival, “Big Day Out”, originated in Sydney.  Grouplove is playing Big Day Out in Sydney on January 26 and 27.  Check dates for other cities in Australia and New Zealand.

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The most famous legal art mural in Bondi Beach is one that is in memory of Chloe, a Bondi girl who was killed in the Bali bombings of 2002.

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You have to take a breathalyzer test before climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. (bridge climb –  photo Sean Dirks)

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It is touristy but definitely something I want to do. (some day) You have to be reasonably fit, have no issues with height and a few hundred dollars to pay for it.  Facing your fear of heights does not come cheaply.

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It is also the sixth longest spanning arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge.  It was also the world’s widest long-span bridge, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver. (under the bridge -photo Sean Dirks)

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The Rocks is the oldest area in Australia. It was the first European settlement  – mostly military and convicts. It is filled with historical buildings museums and stories. Take a tour or get a map and explore by yourself. The Rocks Museum a good place to start. There are cool restaurants, bars and shops. It is a little touristy now but the history is everywhere. They have a great weekend market also.

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Taronga Zoo is on some prime coastal real estate. You take one of those vintage ferries from  Circular Quay ( check the schedule) and then ride  a lift up to the entrance. Remember to get your ticket for all of that and your zoo entrance before you embark. You can also go by car or bus.  So what if it was a hot afternoon and the animals were sleeping.  Sleeping kangaroos are better than no kangaroos.

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Jordy gives a great Koala feeding demonstration if you happen to get there during feeding time. (Probably a good idea since that is the only time they move.) Koalas live on Eucalyptus leaves (called and spelled Eucalyp In Australia) which doesn’t give them enough energy to stay awake more than four hours a day. (They tell the tourists they are drunk but that is not true.)

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One of the best museums in Sydney is the Art Gallery Of New South Wales. It is located in the beautiful parklands (That is how Australians refer to parks. It makes it sound further away then ten minutes of walking). The museum is five levels down – a lot bigger than that neo classical building looks. There are huge modern gallery installations. The Modern Australian Art and Aboriginal Art galleries are worth seeing.

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If you are walking to the gallery from Circular Quay, you will  pass The State Library of New South Wales. It is located on Macquarie St. (One of the many main streets in Australia names Macquarie,  after the colonial Governor of New South Wales.). It is the oldest library in Australia and was built in 1826. When I was there they had a great fashion photography exhibit, but if you are walking by, just pop in and see the grand splendor of the building.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located on Circular Quay . The back entrance lets you out in The Rocks Area. It is a new beautiful building. There is a wonderful exhibit called String  – modern interpretations of Aboriginal string games. It is a small museum, free and easy to find. Even if you aren’t a fan of contemporary art, walk in, while you are waiting for the ferry, exploring the rocks or having a drink on the Quay.

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Rugby league is the most popular sport in Sydney. The NRL which began in Sydney in 1908 is the largest and most prestigious domestic rugby league competition in the Southern Hemisphere.

October is Food Month  in Sydney and that means Noodle Market in Hyde Park.  There are 47 stalls from  Sydney’s Asian restaurants, art, music and entertainment.

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A great place to stay in Sydney is the Hughenden Hotel (http://thehughenden.com.au). It was a family residence built in the 1870’s which renowned children’s author Susanne Gervay and family has turned into a boutique hotel.  It feels more like a home away from home than a hotel. Each room is different and breakfast is included.  The hotel is filled with art, memorabilia, and illustrations from famous authors. Their new restaurant, Vincent is already one of the trendy hard to get into places in Sydney for dinner. Make reservations.

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The hotel is located in the  affluent Paddington/Woolahra area which is ten minutes away from downtown Sydney. Paddington is filled with heritage Victorian houses,  trendy stores, antique stores, pubs, cafes and has a wonderful market on Sundays.

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It is across the street from the Centennial Parklands , a beautiful park filled with local residents horses  swans and cockatoos.

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One of the two statues of Charles Dickens in the world is found in Centennial Parklands  in Sydney. The other is in Philadelphia. He wanted to be remembered by his words only.

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Sydney has the deepest natural harbor in the world.

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The view of Sydney Harbor with the bridge on one side, the opera house on the other and the ferries in between will become one of my great travel memories. I plan to come back but if not, it will last a lifetime.  Good memories are like that. (sitting at the Opera House cafe overlooking the harbor – a last coffee before I go – long black with a side of milk)

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Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Australia

Things I’ve Learned In Australia

“The bigger the hat, the smaller the property.” Australian Proverb

We drive on the “right side” (left)  but they drive on “the correct side”.   So, in a Mcdonalds drive through in Australia, is the order window on the right or the left? I don’t know because I did not eat at Mcdonalds in Australia.

They also apparently walk on the correct side. I wondered why I was always walking against the foot traffic. I ran into a marathon in the park. That was tricky.

Kangaroos cause more driving problems in Australia than bad drivers and alcohol combined. They jump out and cause many accidents. If you hit one, first check the pouch to see If there are babies and then pull it over to the side of the road. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australians order coffee by length and thickness . You can have a long black, short black or a flat white . None of those work for me. I solved the problem by ordering a long black and then asking for a little milk . Australians like their coffee strong.  They have Starbucks,  but they are quick to tell you that their coffee is much better, and in Australia it is.

A didgeridoo is a musical instrument called a didgeridoo.

One third of Australia is desert.

Australia has the lowest precipitation of the world’s inhabited continents.

Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Australia. Prince Harry was in Sydney for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Navy.  His family would like him to spend more time in Australia.

Voting is compulsory. If you do not vote you pay a fine.

You always lose a day when flying from America to Australia. You gain it coming back but not really because you are in a stupor just trying to stay up.

There are 69 varieties of kangaroo in Australia. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Almost every animal in Australia has a pouch. (Bernadette and wombat, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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” So if you are in the desert in Yulara, just check your bed for creepy crawly things and call the front desk”. (Uluru)

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Australians always say sorry like the British even if it isn’t their fault.

Catcher In The Rye, Farewell To Arms and  Brave New World  were all banned in Australia in the 1950’s.

Australia has never had a serious civil disobedience.

Waltzing Matilda by  Banjo Paterson, Is  the unofficial song of Australia. He is the only nineteenth century Australian named after a stringed instrument.

In Queensland they say, “beautiful one day, perfect the next.” (Great Barrier Reef)\

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A Billabong is a watering hole.

The bush is anything that is not the city. I spent the afternoon in the bush.The outback is everything else. As in,  I have been to the outback of the United States.

Camels were used to build the railroad from Adelaide to Alice Springs and then set free. This is the only country in the world with wild one hump dromedaries  running free in the central and northern deserts. Dubai imports racing camels from Australia.

It’s pronounced “Cans” and “Melbin” ( Cairns and Melbourne). It’s pronounced Sydney, Hobart, Alice Springs, Yulara and  Port Douglas.

Australians  always have a  near death experience story often involving a crocodile or a snake. Today our driver in Port Douglas  said his son found a fifteen foot python in the toilet.

Eighty per cent of all Australian deaths by crocodile are alcohol related. The crocodiles don’t drink.

Australian cities are safe and clean and you can not only brush your teeth but drink water from the tap.

There is the same rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne that there is between NY and LA. They have the same bad jokes about each other. (Melbourne)

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Melbourne had the Olympics in 1956 Sydney had it in 2000. (Sydney Opera House)

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The first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.

More land in Australia is occupied by pubs than mines.

In 1954, Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia.

There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people. (Tasmania)

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Australia has more animals and insect that can kill you than anywhere else.

The ten most poisonous snakes in the world are Australian. (tiger snake – top five Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Most of the plant and animal life found in Australia exist nowhere else in the world. (Tasmanian Devil, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australia is the largest landmass in the world. It is the only continent that is one country.

This is the only country that was started as a prison. When we achieved our independence in 1776 England had to find a new place to send their criminals. (Penal Colony, Port Arthur, Tasmania)

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Their minimum wage is much higher than ours. Tipping is not expected ” because they are paid well”.  Everyone knows that tipping is part of our culture, so they do seem to expect Americans to tip. If you like the service, ten per cent is fine.

Australians are the biggest gamblers  on the planet.

Australia has the world’s oldest rainforest, very old fossils and rocks and the and the world’s oldest people -the Aborigines. (Daintree Rainforest)

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Canberra is the capital of Australia. I never remember this.

Crocodiles can live up to 200 years.

Water flows down the drain in the opposite direction in Australia because it is the Southern Hemisphere.

We have hurricanes and they have cyclones.

In 1805 British law gave the Europeans the right  to punish Aborigines in any way they chose to. In 1838 the law was repealed.  The killing  went on for another century.

Central Australia has no surface water.

Ugg boots or as local call them ‘very ugly boots’ are an Australian design bought by an American company,  where a sheepskin has been turned inside out and made into a boot.There is an Australian Company called Emu where the boots are made and owned by Australians.

The sports capital of the world has 70 percent of its total population participating at least once a week in a particular recreational activity or sport. Australia also ranks in the top five for obesity.

The Australian Coat Of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu on it. The reason being, kangaroos and emus can’t go backwards. They can only walk/hop forward. Australians eat the animals on their Coat of Arms – maybe because they can’t run backwards?

Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved convicts.

The ‘dingo fence’ in Australia is the longest fence in the world (5,530km) – about twice as long as the Great Wall of China. (Dingos are wild dogs)

According to US Customs in Los Angeles, Tim Tams (Australian biscuits) are one of the main things that Americans bring back from Australia. It wasn’t just us. No wonder customs was so quick. They are not looking for cookies.

What I knew about vegemite before I came to Australia, was that it was something that a muscle-bound bread salesman from Brussels, offered in the form of a sandwich because he came from the land down under. (Lets see who gets this reference).  What I know now  is that it is a salty yeast spread that is way too strong for wimpy Americans like myself.

The Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney has counted 10,685 mainland beaches in Australia. (Bondi Beach, Sydney)

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Though Australians sound like the British, their easy-going, fun-loving, honest,  kind personalities, make them among the most likable people I have met in the world.

Fly safe,
JAZ
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