Home from Down Under

20150216_140906I just got back from a business trip to Australia, and some snapshots are up on the Images page. Enjoy.

The trip was for a two-day company conference in Sydney (SID-nigh). I had six presentations. (Yes, that is a lot.)

Dealing with the International Date Line is fun. I left LAX near midnight on Saturday, endured the Longest Night as the plane chased the long-set sun, and approached Australia near dawn after nearly 16 hours in the air. When I arrived, it was Monday morning — Sunday had vanished during the flight.

Coming back was even stranger: wheels left the ground near sunset on Saturday, and after experiencing the Shortest Night and Shortest Morning, arrived a bit after noon on Saturday. Yes, I arrived the same day, before I left. Wish I’d thought to e-mail myself some stock tips.

Sydney is a beautiful city, and it is, of course, high summer right now, which would be beastly hot anywhere but the coast, which was fortunately where I was. It was still hot and (to my senses) extremely humid. One fellow who had flown in from Singapore liked the dryness of Sydney — so remind me to never travel in Singapore.

One thing that really struck me about Sydney was how clean it looked, and smelled. Most oceanside cities I’ve been near have a “harbor smell” that can be hard to tolerate at times: a bit like the “smell of money” near a cattle or pig feed lot, though different, of course. You could certainly smell the sea all around Sydney, but at it’s fishiest, it smelled like fresh crabmeat — that is, edible fresh crabmeat.

I did not do a lot of touring in my one week there.

Monday (my arrival day) I hung out on the beach and tried to stay awake until after sunset (which would have been about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning on my body’s clock) after a very crappy Longest Night’s dozing on the plane.

Tuesday, I took the bus into downtown Sydney for a Long Lunch on one of the Captain Cook cruises, and wandered about downtown until dinnertime.

Wednesday and Thursday were filled with the conference, and talking with the people who use our product.

Friday, I was mostly burned-out by the conference, and decided to hang out at the beach. This turns out to be a significant pastime for many Sydney citizens. I stayed at the Coogie (KUH-jee) Sands Hotel Apartments, at Coogie Beach. The more famous Bondi (BAHN-digh) Beach, known for its surfing, was a little north of me, but it would have been a very long walk over almost San Francisco-like hills. Coogie, Bondi, and Manly Beaches were all highly-recommended, but I think the right way to do it would be to take the bus to a Quay (KEE) and get a Hop-On-Hop-Off pass and travel the beaches by ferry. Traveling overland takes forever, and taxis are very expensive. Busses are cheap.

I had thought to fit in a tour of the (insides of the) Sydney Opera House, but as packing, check-out, and breakfast played out, I realized I’d be seriously stressing to fit in a tour, manage luggage, and get to the airport in time. So I took a long breakfast with one of the other conference attendees (the one from Singapore), then headed for the airport.

Enjoy the pictures and the comments (click to advance — or just wait — and hover for the comments).

This entry was posted in General.

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