2007-11-12 Whitsunday Islands


We came awfully close to not being able to find a tour, but we did manage to get booked on a day trip that to the islands. Donned stinger suits and went snorkelling at a patch of coral and then went to a couple islands and beaches for the view and rays (or in my case swimming and not thinking about box jellyfish). The beauty of the islands both above and below sea-level was indescribable. It was also a credit to the Australians that it was so well preserved and did not seem overly touristed despite being often visited and deservedly so. Surely one of the most beautiful places on the planet.


2007-11-13 Mackay


Drove back from Airlie to Mackay to drop off the car and take the train down to Brisbane. It was a nice slow and leisurely trip. I really do have a soft spot for Australian trains.


2007-11-15 Robina


I did not study with quite as much intensity as I was used to, but that was probably to be expected under the circumstances. I was able to play a fair bit of soccer when I wasn’t travelling. Indoor on many weekdays and then the outdoor mini world cup on the weekend. Team North America was pretty decent! The soccer downside of Australia is having to get up at 4:30 am to watch Champions League games, however Timo and I were both shockingly willing to do so.


One of my classes featured a visit from the Australian Attorney-General. He spoke and after the class I was asked by my professor to be interviewed by ABC radio about it. An honour, especially for a foreign student…except there wasn’t too much to say and in the end the ABC agreed with me, bumping me for more interesting stories that came up that day. I don’t blame them.


2007-11-17 Coollangatta


It was schoolies week in the Gold Coast as I headed out to the airport. This meant that the cit is awash with high school students who are awash with booze themselves. Being six years older than the average university student already, I had no interest in going anywhere near a schoolie event. However, when I got on the bus at 4am to go to Coollangatta airport the bus was packed with them. I am very thankful that the Gold Coast has one bus that runs 24hrs, because it means that I can take the bargain basement early morning flights, however it also means that the clubbers can take public transit home. Bonus for them, yet, I was annoyed by the bus’ delay because of a fight breaking out. I made my flight though.




2007-11-17 Sydney 

Flew down to Sydney to meet up with my parents and have another tour round the city (who knows when I’ll be back again?). I stayed in the youth hostel that was part of the central railway station and slept in a converted railway car. My parents were at least as impressed as I was, and we walked, trained, ferried and taxied everywhere we wanted to go. The highlight was the Maritime museum which was larger and more engrossing than we had expected, causing us to rush a bit to get me back to the train station for the overnight service to Casino (the town).