Sydney Opera House


My flight to Sydney arrived auspiciously on Christmas morning. I’d finally made it to Australia, a country I’d been dying to visit since high school! I was also exceedingly nervous and excited to re-unite with my then-German-boyfriend, Denis, after a 10-week separation. Upon landing, I impatiently pushed through the plane, scurried down the much-too-long airport hallway, bounced through customs (where I had to give up the red roses I’d brought), turned the corner and… there was Denis awaiting me! We were both extremely excited and relieved to see each other again after so much anticipation.

flight to Sydney- Lash with Denis in Sydney- Australia

Lash with Denis in Sydney, Australia

He promptly took me on my requested Sydney city tour: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Bridge, the botanical gardens and the harbor area.  Sydney appeared to be a fantastic city: full of interesting architecture, both old and new; many different cultures; beautiful views; and extremely clean streets and buildings (especially in comparison to SE Asia and Brazil).

flight to sydney- Lane Cove National Park- Sydney- Australia

Lane Cove National Park near Sydney, Australia

After the tour, Denis drove me in our big ‘beast’ truck out to our caravan, which was awaiting us at Lane Cove Nat. Park, just north of the city. He’d bought an amazing caravan: really big, modern and clean. It was more or less a full house, complete with a bedroom, toilet, hot shower, and a kitchen featuring a stove, oven and microwave. Best of all, there was hot water! (I don’t normally have hot water in SE Asia, so it seemed like a plush luxury).

He’d also set up a small Christmas tree surrounded by presents. I felt very-much anticipated and welcomed. We spent hours talking and then finally exchanged presents that evening.

My flight to Sydney from Bangkok had been uneventful and short by my standards- just six hours. However, I had just completed two much longer flights a few days earlier. In fact, I’d come all the way from Brazil to re-unite with Denis! First I’d flown from Rio de Janeiro to Frankfurt, Germany, where I’d landed in the middle of winter. Despite the frigid weather, I couldn’t help taking advantage of a 5-hour lay-over in Germany, especially considering  how ironic it was that my first-ever trip to Germany was en route to meeting my first-ever German boyfriend.

flight to sydney- Frankfurt Christmas Market

Frankfurt Christmas Market

I promptly left the airport, headed into Frankfurt, and explored the city. I marveled at scenic stone bridges over the river, gazed at Frankfurt’s small cluster of modern skyscrapers, and stumbled on Frankfurt’s outdoor Christmas market. To my utter shock, people were standing around outside drinking mugs of beer and chatting. What? No sane American would ever choose to stand outside in winter to chatter and drink. Just to prove it, I stomped around, bundled up in all the clothes I owned, admired Christmas merchandise, and finally tried an absolutely delicious German Christmas cookie, whatever it was.

Bangkok by Brad Ausburger Photography

Bangkok by Brad Ausburger Photography

That evening I bustled back to Frankfurt airport and boarded my flight to Bangkok, another 10-hour journey. In Bangkok, I’d wisely broken up the multiple-flights, for a few days of last minute shopping- Christmas presents for Denis, of course. And then, at long last, after three months of planning and anticipation, I boarded by flight to Sydney, almost bursting at the seams.  I was greatly relieved, as was Denis, that our reunion had gone so well, and that we were indeed thrilled to be re-united at last.



The days after Christmas we spent just hanging out together, enjoyed our reunion, and took long strolls through Lane Cove National Park, where we greatly admired Australia’s abundant, unusual birds. Lane Cove was home to gorgeous Sulfur Crested Cockatoos, a huge variety of water birds, and the incredibly charming Kookaburra. Kookaburras quickly became our favorite birds, entertaining us with crazy songs and antics, not only at Lane Cove, but at several other National Parks we visited soon afterward.

I’m afraid our planned explorations of grand ole Sydney got put to the side as Denis and I simply enjoyed each other’s company in the lovely forested caravan park. In fact, we only managed to visit Sydney one day the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We also checked out Sydney’s night clubbing scene, but were sorely disappointed. No trance or house music. No underground music clubs or off-beat places. Luckily, then, we learned about a 3-day dance festival over New Year’s Eve, at a rural park just north of Sydney.  We happily anticipated dancing the days and nights away, aside from sneaking  down into Sydney for their New Year’s Eve fireworks’ display. Afterward, we’d no doubt need to recuperate for a few days.

Meanwhile, I developed an unexpected interest: as soon as I saw the oven I was inspired to start baking and cooking. I proceeded  cooking meals daily and baking fluffy muffins, much to Denis’ surprise. Until then, he’d only known me as Lash, fire-red-hair-clubber-girl. Oh shit, I was suddenly looking like a housewife! I was sure it wouldn’t last long, but the novelty was fun for the moment.

Australia's Great Ocean Road

Australia's Great Ocean Road

The only other activity we got up to was planning our half-year caravan tour of Australia. Denis generously allowed me to plan the entire trip –anywhere I want to go. Needless to say, I set about plotting out a route from one National Park to the next. I couldn’t wait to get out into Australia’s unique landscapes. We’d soon be hiking, climbing, cycling, and bird watching. Of course I had to  include visits to Australia’s major cities, Tasmania, and a few outdoor dance festivals.

Catch up on our next Australian adventures: Caravan-ing Out From Sydney… coming soon!



(* photo credits from Flickr Creative Commons: xiquinhosilva / ell brown / dicktay2000 / Hashitha Tudugalle *)

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  1. I'm Heading to Sydney, Australia! - LashWorldTour » LashWorldTour

    […] first time I arrived on Christmas day, 2002, to re-unite with my then-German-boyfriend Denis. We hadn’t seen each other for more […]

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