Jan's adventures in Oz

Archive for September, 2011

My first business trip

Link to Adelaide Pics

Last Thursday I flew to Adelaide which is about 700 miles southwest of Sydney.  The flight was about 2 hours.  Upon arrival I was picked up by my Account manager, Bruce Munro, who took me to meet with the incoming president of the South Aus. Secondary Principal’s Association at her high school.  We then buzzed into downtown and we met with representatives from a couple of local universities.  Thursday night I went out to dinner with Bruce, Matt (our Sales engineer) and Paul Rixon, a friend i have know for many years who runs the distance program at TAFE SA…kind of a group of community colleges across South SA.  We ate at an Indian restaurant, the Snake Charmer, which belongs to the brother of my landlord in Sydney!  It was very good!  We had a great time.

On Friday, we headed out of town to Willunga High School, which is in the heart of McClaren Valley, a famous winemaking area.  I helped the kids get ready to do a videoconference lesson with our friend, Ian, also of TAFE, who was out in the Vinyard.  This was a big deal, the event had 5 camera crews and a couple of high profile senators attending!  I made friends with the chief of staff of one of the senators and was promised a meeting with him in Melbourne soon!  Australia is rolling out a multibillion dollar fibre network, the NBN, which will put very high speed internet into every home, school and business over the next few years.  This is perfect to support video so I am ALL OVER IT!

After the event at the high school (funny, when it was over the kids asked me if they could be dismissed…like I was their teacher 🙂 we went to a winery for lunch.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  The views reminded me of Napa valley in CA and the wine was awesome.

On Saturday I had a day to sightsee and jumped on the tram to go to the beach.  It took about 30 minutes to get there.  The beach was beautiful, the day was warm and sunny.  It looked similar to the beach at Manly but not as commercial.  I walked down the shore and found a cove which I had pretty much to myself.  Laid in sun for a couple hours and listened to the surf.  Me and the birds.  Finished the afternoon at the harbour with some yummy oysters, fresh from the bay.  Got back to the hotel to see a bunch of race car drivers finishing their race.  Headed to airport and got back here around 10.

I think I like Cisco business trips!







The Westfield Tower

Todays pictures

The focal point of the view from my balcony is the Westfield Tower.  Today I decided it was time to go to the top.  I walked across the Pyrmont bridge and went a few blocks into the city.  The Westfield has an observation deck at the top that looks out over the city, harbor and even the sea.  The elevator to the top was a little scary.  It was a lovely day and the views from the deck were absolutely stunning.  I was able to spot my apartment building and other landmarks I had seen on the ground.  I picked out a couple of places to check out down below…like the big cathedral you will see in the pics.

Once back on the ground I did a little shopping.  That part of town has all the big stores.  Lots of designer names…Gucci, Coach, etc.  I then headed over to St. Mary’s cathedral which I learned is the most famous church in AUS.  I couldn’t go in as there were cops all over the place because of a big event being held there.  It was then I realized today was 9-11!  I am glad I was unaware of the day when I was at the top of that darn tower!!

Oh, one other thing of note, you will see some photos of flowers.  One of the department stores was FILLED with these gorgeous flower arrangements.  I don’t know what the occasion was, but there must have been $100,000 worth of flowers!  What a treat for the eyes.

I have my first business trip this week.  I go to Adelaide on Thursday and return Saturday.  Stay tuned for that next weekend!

Another Beautiful Weekend in Sydney

I seem to be spending most of my weekends riding on ferries!  There is a reason that Sydney Harbour is said to be one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.  I buy a “multi-pass ticket once a week ($41) which enables me to ride the ferries, trains, trams and buses as much as I want.  So, who needs a car?

On Saturday, I walked 3 blocks to the Pyrmont Harbour Market, which happens once a month.  What gourmet fun!  There were about 100 vendors with fresh vegetables, cheeses, sauces, meats, candies, coffees, and flowers to name a few things.  I splurged on a leg of lamb, a pot of flowers, some caramel and a gluten-free gourmet cupcake…and of course, a latte.  I cooked the lamb tonight and I’ve gotta tell you, it beats anything I’ve had at home!  YUM!!!

Later on Saturday I jumped on the ferry and rode for about 45 min. through the harbour and down the Parrametta river.  Because the tide was out, we couldn’t goo all the way to the end.  I had 40 minutes to kill and took a walk through a park on the side of the river.  If I had had more time I would have been able to visit the Sydney Olympic Park.  Still, my walk was beautiful!  I will go back soon.

Today (Sunday) I headed back to Circular Quay and walked up through the Royal Botanical Garden to the New South Wales National Gallery.  I saw many gorgeous works of art from the 17th and 18th century including a Van Gogh, a Monet and several artists I had not seen before, including some interesting Australian works.  You can see some of the ones I liked by going to my Picassa site.  I was able to sneak a few pics on my iPhone.


Well, time to get ready for bed.  I am training some educators in the morning!

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