Where in the World are the Margolins? travel blog

Drew surfing on his b-day

 

Sydney Opera House

 

Jen's B-day

 


Port Douglas / Cairns

We had a few days before the scuba diving trip began so we decided to see some of the areas around northern Queensland. Cairns is the main city where activities begin and the airport is located. We spent a few days swimming in the hotel pool, bike riding and enjoying the beautiful weather. Port Douglas is a city located an hour north of Cairns where we spent a few days exploring. Northern Queensland is plagued with the box jellyfish. This species of "jellies" have poison that can cause paralysis and have killed people in the past. They also get the occasional crocodile cruising the coastline.

Brisbane/Noosa/Byron Bay

After a few days after arriving back on land from our GBR scuba diving trip we decided it was time to move south. Over the next two and a half weeks we moved through Brisbane, Noosa and Byron Bay. We found a surf school in Noosa and spent a few days trying our surfing skills. A great way to spend my (Drew) birthday. Byron Bay is a town where the surfers meet the hippies, the wealthy meet the "new agers", and people become passionate about their community. Everyone was talking about a new roadway that has been proposed to run through the town. It had a small town community atmosphere with everyone interested and involved. We found a health food store and little area where we had lunch for almost the entire week. Jen loved the tofu burgers. If you have ever been to Santa Cruz, CA you would see many similarities. Excluding Sydney, we enjoyed Byron Bay the most of any cities in Australia.

Sydney

We headed to Sydney where we spent Jen's 30th birthday. These days were action packed! Jen had a week long birthday party!! One day we headed to Hunter Valley to see the wine country and do some shopping. The next day we walked all over an area called Paddington while she shopped. Oxford Street is packed with boutiques and little cafes. At nighttime, we had some amazing dinners. Sydney is moderately small so you can walk most places. A few months prior to our arrival Jen purchased tickets for us to see Madame Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House. I had never been to an opera, quite an experience. Pictures of the Sydney Opera House do it no justice. This is an architectural achievement. You can't go to Sydney without stopping at Bondi beach. It is located in a nearby suburb of Sydney. They have started a new TV series in Australia called Bondi Rescue (Baywatch all over again) so there were cameras and crew walking all over. As you have seen we have just stumbled on events and experiences that happen to coordinate with our travel plans. Sydney is famous for it's Mardi Gras parade.

Melbourne

Look out...here we come. Melbourne was hosting the Common Wealth Games. All countries that were settled by the British at some point are invited to compete every four years. The Games are similar to the Olympics. Seventy-one countries in total are represented. As Americans, we were clueless about what was going on, but could clearly see a huge event. Melbourne would be receiving a few hundred thousand extra people the week after we leave. One evening we had the opportunity to see the rehearsal of the opening ceremonies along the Yarra river. It was impressive.

We had met a couple in Germany six months ago that were from Melbourne. We had traded a few emails since, but were hoping to see them for dinner. Steve and Heike took us around for a quick tour and then dinner. It was great see people we sort of knew.



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