Morning in Manly

Man, is Sydney beautiful once the rain and overcast skies go away. I woke up at 6:30am this morning, gazed outside my window, and saw bright sunshine already casting its brilliance over Sydney, so I rushed to get out to experience the day.

I hopped a train up to Circular Quay and caught the 8am ferry over to Manly. Such an awesome experience to catch the ferry first thing in the morning, climb up to the front of the boat, and enjoy the warm sunshine and cool harbor breeze as you start out gliding past the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, then relax on the half-hour tour through the massive (but quaint-feeling) harbor on the way to Manly. What an awesome harbor Sydney has, with so many coves, inlets, outlets, peninsulas, and striking cliffs. The San Francisco Bay is impressive, it’s home, and I love it, but after the ferry ride this morning, Sydney’s gorgeous harbor has a charm on a completely different level. I didn’t shove my USB cable in my pack today, so I can’t transfer any of the photos I took on the journey over, but I’ll put some up soon.

I’ve certainly witnessed how incredible the Aussie people are, and that they’re even more friendly than everyone describes. Our conference hosts have more than proven Aussie hospitality, as have everyone else that I bump into or who’ve answered a question or two for me. But with all the rush of arriving in Sydney, preparing for the conference, the disorientation I felt when I first got here, and then being inside for two days while rain and overcast skies disguised the energy of Sydney, preventing a chance to see what the city was like, I wasn’t understanding why everyone loves this city. It was cool, but Sydney wasn’t glittering like I expected. Now that I finally have an opportunity to get out to see and experience parts of the city, and the gray weather has now given way to baby blue skies, the beauty here is really quite overwhelming, and Sydney has truly come to life for me in the last two days. I’d love to live here now.

Tonight should be quite an experience: we have tickets for the Rugby League Grand Final (the Superbowl of NRL), so I’ll get to experience the passion and fanaticism of rabid Roosters and Bulldogs fans as the two rivals battle it out for the championship. I can’t think of a better way to experience the energy of Aussie sports fans than to be in Sydney Olympic Stadium cheering right alongside everyone.

I’ve been typing this while enjoying a nice little breakfast at the Beach Pit before heading out to explore the rest of Manly. When I sat down, there was hardly anyone here. Now, the place is bustling with people everywhere. Looks like I happen to have popped over to Manly at just the right time… the Manly International Jazz Festival, is here this weekend, so several stages are gearing up for a day full of music. The weather is stunning, the sky is blue, the sun is strong, and the waves are looking pretty tempting. And with that, time for me to ditch the geek, head out, and enjoy the day.