28th June, 2012
connect the exclamation “awesome” with my former Australian
flatmate Zoe who used it quite often. I realised that this is normal
for Australians. And indeed I have to say: “Australia is awesome!”
I have seen a lot, thanks to my very competent and in-law travel
organizer. The country and the countryside are very diverse and
beside the huge cities of Melbourne and Sydney nearly deserted from
humans. And huge is this country. To fly 5 hours one way and 4 hours
back to see Petra for a long weekend is a bit questionable. But we
missed a bit.
was that we met quite often wild animals, more than we expected. And
such a Hoppedihopp (my nickname for a kangaroo) is a very special
animal. Also the birds deserve to be mentioned, especially their
voices. The loud laughing Kookaburra is well known. Then there is
also the bright bell or the carping child. How about a “whistle
after a girl”-whistle? In the office we had an alarm sound if a
ticket need immediate attention. During lunch we put this very loud
to hear it also in the garden while eating. But such a stupid bird
used the same tone (either by nature or learned) and so it happened
that we went back to the office for nothing. Finally we changed the
tone. Or when we stayed overnight on a caravan park where dogs were
forbidden. Still on the way back to the camper there was a dog
barking. When I reached the camper, I heard the dog barking from the
tree. As far as I know, dogs cannot climb, but in northern Australia live barking owls!
to Sydney. The city is ideal for water sports, but this is not my
thing. But I used the opportunity to do a bit more Tango. A good
teacher (Federico) and a dance partner (Yin) were soon found. I had
to get warm first as I was not doing a lot of Tango recently. But
Federico is a good teacher and could always exactly tell what has to
be corrected and Yin showed me a few milongas were we could train and
use what we learned. And soon it was fun again. As Petra arrived in
Sydney, she joined also the course. Maybe one day it will work with
us two and Tango.
there was also the work. About half of it was normal work
(programming). It worked quite well despite the distance as we had
split the work well in our team and I could work independently. A
video conference here in between helped us to keep the contact. The
other half was customer service. That was the reason why I went to
Sydney. In Zurich this part of the work is about 20%. In Sydney we
are four who have to cover the night. One is always the main
responsible for the customer service and another one supports him if
there is sufficient work. The other two do their normal work or are
off. At the weekend someone had to hold the line. The workload
differed. There were few phone calls, just if there was something on
in Asia. Most work was cleaning up what spilled over from the day
what could not be completed in Zurich. Mostly it was about some
changes on the customer installations or some problems to
investigate. Sometimes this leads to outgoing calls if we need
someone to do something so we see the problem live and are hopefully
able to nail it down. Cool was that we were a team wildly assembled
from different parts of the company. You get in closer contact to
colleagues you normally not have that much to do with. No further
details as there is following unwritten law: What happens in Sydney
stays in Sydney.
see, maybe in two years we go again.
28th April, 2012
November 2007 I visited the Blue Mountains National Park for the
first time. Then all was dry and no waterfalls to see. Dominik and
Konrad visited the park a few weeks ago. As everybody liked it, we
went there again. Our first destination was Katoomba. Here we first
bought a nice pick-nick. Then we went to the start of the hike. Along
the Prince Henry Cliff Walk we walked at the top of the cliffs to the
Katoomba Falls. For me the landscape looks quite different as I
remember it then thanks to all the water everything looks much
bit after the waterfall we had to leave the track then it was closed.
So we had to follow the road until we could descend a few stairs to
the Lady Darley Lookout. From here the track was open again. We
continued to Echo Point and I realized that from here you may see the
rock formation Three Sisters. A lot of tourists were here and wanted
to enjoy the view. After we made a few pictures we descended to the
Three Sisters. A wide path and a few chairs led down. Also here a few
tourists were fighting with the stairs, but so bad it could not be
yet. There are another 800 steps you can go down to the bottom track.
As it was already noon we took a break at about two third of the
stairs. We enjoyed the pick-nick on a bench and refreshed of the
exertion. With new strength we continued descending, but the path
does not lead to the very bottom of the valley. In the shadow if the
many eucalyptus trees we walked towards the Scenic Railways Station.
There we continued to explore the boardwalk through the trees and saw
some birds we have not seen yet. One behaved very strange: it
whistled and then twitched like it had been hit by electricity.
once coal was mined and now a few figures are showing how it was
done. Then once again we realized that the Australians do not dispose
old stuff. They put a sign, call it historical and make it to tourist
attraction. Also a possibility and here they have sufficient space to
get back to the car we had three options: walk up the stairs step by
step, take a steep cable car or go by gondola. We chose option 2 and
took the cable car.
was only late afternoon and Konrad would have liked to have a look
over the countryside. So we drove to Mt. Wilson. As we learnt this is
the name of a village and not of a mountain. The village was on the
top, but it was surrounded by trees so we did not get a proper view
over the valley. On the way back we discovered a road sign to a
lookout. After a short hike we could look far over a valley of the
Blue Mountain National Park. We saw also the sunset, but a bit hidden
by clouds. In the dark we drove back to Sydney. I could drive the
last kilometers as Konrad usually in the evening gets tired earlier
than I. To finish the day I drove over the Harbour Bridge with its
eight lanes. After I was glad to get out of the center as it is
demanding to watch so much traffic.
25th April, 2012
was ANZAC Day. On this holiday the Australians and the Kiwis remember
the servicemen which lost their lives in the battle of Gallipoli in
Turkey in the first world war. Early in the morning there is a parade
in Sydney with the Australian army. I preferred to sleep a bit longer
and to do something after lunch. Together with Konrad and Dominik I
went to Manly. To get there we took the ferry connecting this quarter
with the city center. First the path led us along the coast to Shelly
Beach. Then we went uphill to a former army camp and after to the
Sydney Harbour National Park. On this cliff path we had sometimes
view to the sea. At North Head we could watch the sea and the other
parts of the city on the other side of the Fjord. Back we took a more
direct way. Back in Manly Dominik and Konrad went t-shirt shopping in
the souvenir shops. As it got already dark at 6pm, we could see the
lights of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House on the way back to
the center. It is fascinating that there are that many areas of green
around the center of Sydney.
22nd April, 2012
bit before noon Konrad and I went to the city. Here are the Royal
Botanic Gardens next to the many skyscrapers and historical
there was the first farm in Australia on the park area. They
constructed much even thou the land was not very fertile.
the park degenerated during first world war and no new plants were
collected. Only years later the park got improved. Today it offers a
very good collection of Australian and tropical plants.
with Konrad we made a long walk through the park. We enjoyed the
relaxed atmosphere and watched the plants which were still blooming.
starch ourselves we left the park shortly and had lunch with view to
the Opera House. After we surrounded the opera, but unfortunately the
main stairs are currently redone. Back in the park we were looking
for flying foxes, a kind of bats. A colony of flying foxes lives in
the park and hangs in the trees during the day. It took quite a while
until we found them. After a break in the park café we would have
liked to further explore the park, but it started to rain. So we went
home with the train.
9th June, 2012
started today early after we spent the last evening in Sydney with
the workmates of Konrad. Until this morning everything looked good
with our luggage, but the last few things we had to push into
Konrad's suitcase. As I brought the suitcase to the car, I realized
that the zip was not holding at two places. So we started with the
hope to be able to solve this problem at the airport. First we drove
to the office of Open Systems to leave there the keys of the flat.
After Yin, a friend from Tango, gave us a lift to the airport.
there was no shop at the airport which would have solved our suitcase
problem. Konrad opened the zip and tried to close it again and now it
was holding. After I was caught at the security. Unintentionally I
put my pocket knife from the big backpack to the hand luggage. The
officer was so nice that I could go out again and so that I could
send the pocket knife. As there was not a normal post office, I had
to send it to the office of Open Systems and hope now that someone
there can bring it home. As it was a present of my godfather I did
not want to have it disposed.
the gate the plane was already waiting. “We are waiting for the
engineer to give the plane free” were we told. But that did not
happen and so we had to go to another gate were we boarded another
plane. With a delay of more than an hour we started to Darwin.
flight was without problem and we marvelled at the Australian outback
we checked-in at the accommodation we went to buy a new suitcase. I
had warned Konrad already before that his suitcase will soon break
completely. Now we did not want to have this risk again and
immediately found a suitable suitcase on sale.
went for sightseeing in Darwin after the put everything in the new
suitcase and disposed the old one. There is not much in the city so
we had soon seen it. But as there was a Greek festival this weekend
we walked through the festival area and enjoyed a delicious Greek
dinner. The sun was now setting and we walked back to the
we will start with the camper.