"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

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Sydney Bridge Birthday Party

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“Happy birthday dear Shilo, happy birthdaaay…toooooo….yooouuuuu.”

I am on top of the world as the familiar song wraps up. Well, okay, on top of Sydney, Australia. At my fingertips are the glistening skyscrapers and the old rock buildings; the high flying opera house and the sprawling, boat-filled harbor she overlooks.  I have just climbed up the Sydney Harbor Bridge past zooming traffic and commuter trains, over decades-old pylons, sailboats and ferries, and now stand overlooking one of the most beautiful and thriving cities in the world.  Of course I had my pick of Sydney birthday experiences to choose from- surfer ogling and fish and chips at Manly Beach, a Bach Symphony in the wooden concert hall of the Sydney Opera House, a morning of shopping at the Rocks market followed by a meal of kangaroo and pavlova, an afternoon with the koalas and meerkats at the Tuaranga Zoo, or maybe surfer ogling and ice cream cones at Bondi Beach…

The options are numerous but what can I say? Every place I visit I have the inexplicable urge to get to the highest point, and soon upon arrival I find myself on top of the Space Needle, the ocean-side cliff, the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, the cathedral’s north bell tower, the roof of my hotel, or wherever I can best fill my eyes of amazing new vistas.  As much as some people are afraid of heights, I am drawn to them, addicted some might say.  So for me the choice is easy, and an afternoon spent crawling and climbing up one of the world’s most famous bridges and the pride of Sydney turns into my best birthday ever.

The final notes of my birthday song float along the warm South Pacific breeze and down across the amazing city, and soon I too descend back to the streets to see what the rest of the day has in store for me…there’s a little party called Mardi Gras tonight I want to check out.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

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Shilo’s Cities: Sydney in a Week

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Sydney is a cosmopolitan city on the edge of the Australian world, on the scale of New York or Paris but with a big and beautiful harbor, a fun-loving population, and beaches with shades of blue you never thought possible. The adventure that is Sydney could never be “done” in a week or even a lifetime, but if you have a few days to get a taste of the energetic Aussie metropolis, these are my suggestions. Continue reading