A few hours is never enough to form cogent opinions on anything. Australia seems a vibrant enough place, hot, it was 37 c in the Olympic Park area and very crowded. An evening walking around Sydney Harbour was not unlike a football crowd leaving a major stadium. But what memories remain?
Australians clearly like their lager, Crown lager was a good example, but I saw no evidence of the kind of drunkeness that one might see on the streets of London or Newcastle. In fact warning posters cited large fines for drunken behaviours. But folks were clearly enjoying themselves around Sydney Harbour drinking wine in couples or in groups. Many huge hotels line the harbour area and the streets around. An eclectic mix of different mainly small restaurants and food wagons. Sad to report but my dinner that night consisted solely of ice cream bought in the Guylian Chocolate cafe. Thoroughly recommended. A single red telephone box adorned the corner of a street. Remaining on the ice cream topic there were many more examples of nice ice creams that one might see in the UK. A greater variety for example of Magnums.
The harbour in addition to being lined by people, wine, noise, ice creams and magnums, also was lined by plentiful small boats and a huge cruise liner , Carnival Spirit, docked at the terminal right in the harbour. Interesting food such as little what I termed ” Domino cakes” also was available. Despite all this lively atmosphere there was also another side to the city with evidence of homeless folks and begging. It was very difficult to say if they were genuine as the beds and the begging seemed somewhat co-ordinated. But left a sad feeling nonetheless.
Away from the central city is the Olympic Park home to the 2000 Olympic games. A large area with hotels and not much else. ANZ stadium is home to many concerts including that weekend Taylor Swift.
Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated. The United States won the most medals with 93, while Australia came in 4th with 58. The games cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. The Games received near-universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers, sportsmanship and Australian public being lauded in the international media.
Last and not least the mysterious Australian Barbie.
Sydney Olympic Park