Day 5 in Sydney: Martin Place 

(November 23, 2017) Martin Place is just one train station away from my hotel in Sydney, Australia so I decided to see it. I still have a few hours left anyway before heading to the airport to catch my flight back home.

Martin Place, Sydney, Australia #martinplace #Sydney #Australia

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Day 4 in Sydney: Koalas, kangaroos, Manly Beach, crossing Harbour Bridge

My itinerary for today centered on three themes: the animals endemic to Australia, the beach and that thing that made Sydney what it is today: its harbor.

For the first two, I rode a ferry. Sydney is Sydney because of its harbor, so I had to experience it and not just look at it.

First stop was Taronga Zoo, where I saw kangaroos and koalas for the first time.

Koala at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia. #koala #tarongazoo #Sydney #Australia

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Next was Manly Beach:

Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia. #manlybeach #Sydney #Australia

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Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia. #manlybeach #Sydney #Australia

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Then I returned to Circular Quay, rode the subway to Milsons Point, and crossed the Harbour Bridge.

Day 3 in Sydney: Exploring the city center

I don’t have much time to write too much text today so this post will be filled with images instead. 

Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, Australia #qvb #Sydney #Australia

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Day 2 in Sydney: Bondi Beach sans the crowds

I’ve always had this impression of Bondi Beach that it’s perpetually uber crowded. Maybe because of the pictures I’ve seen or how it is portrayed in the media.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia #bondibeach #australia

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So I deliberately went to Bondi Beach on a Monday, believing that there would be fewer people because it’s the start of the workweek.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia #bondibeach #Sydney #australia

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There were indeed not too many people on the beach when I visited. But maybe because it had just rained, and not necessarily because it’s Monday.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia #bondibeach #Sydney #australia

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How pictures remind us of the past

So I have this small “project” on Instagram: I’m aiming to post my travel pictures so that I can access them online in just one place. You see, my photos are scattered across various gadgets and storage devices. I’d like my Instagram account to be some sort of “one-stop shop” for the travel photos.

My officemates told me I can do that on Facebook. Well, Facebook owns Instagram so it’s the same difference.

Anyway, while looking for stuff to upload, I saw pictures of a replica of the city of Venice taken during a gathering of journalists in Macau, China. That replica is in the Venetian Hotel.

Venetian Hotel, Macau, China

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I wondered why I took pictures of the sky. I normally don’t do that. Then I remembered, it’s just an artificial sky, a mere sky ceiling.

Pictures are indeed not just pictures. They also serve as documentation of our past.

 

 

To return, or not to return

Early this month, I stayed overnight at a hotel in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The picture below shows a view of the Marikina River from my room.

It’s located inside a residential complex that includes condominiums and commercial establishments such as restaurants, a grocery store and a bank.

Residents and hotel guests alike can use the amenities such as the gym and swimming pool for free. But what I liked the most were the basketball courts. I’ve never been to a hotel that had one.

Would I stay again at that hotel? I’m torn, because while I enjoyed practicing on its indoor and outdoor basketball courts, I found it a bit pricey. I don’t know which part of me would prevail: the basketball fan or the budget traveler.

 

Berlin’s most famous street: Unter den Linden

You can’t say you’ve been to Berlin if you haven’t been to its most famous street: Unter den Linden.

Here are some of the attractions you’ll see along the street and its immediate vicinity:

Berliner Dom or Berlin Cathedral. The picture on the left also shows the Fernsehturm or TV Tower

 

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Altes Museum

 

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It was a Sunday morning
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Humboldt University
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Berlin State Opera
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Inscription, Statue of Frederick the Great (shown below)

 

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Selfie taken in November 2009
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I don’t have one
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Russian Embassy

At the western end of Unter den Linden: the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor in German. See map)

 

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Reichstag building

Russian graffiti on German parliament walls

There’s a part of Berlin’s Reichstag building, home of Germany’s national parliament, where walls could talk. Well, almost.

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There are no graffiti on the facade of the Reichstag. They are inside the building

A bit of history. Zzzzzz. No, I personally find this interesting. You see, by early May 1945 during World War II, Red Army soldiers of the Soviet Union had captured the Reichstag.

So after seizing control of the building, they wrote graffiti on its walls, some of which are still visible.

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Yours truly

Our German guide acknowledged she didn’t know how to speak Russian. But she told us that, in a nutshell, the message written on the walls was “losers.”

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It’s quite clear which part of the wall is original
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Can you see the May 13, 1945 date? As well as the bullet holes?
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That exclamation point. I wonder what the message was
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I hope a Russian-speaking person stumbles upon this post. Please translate some of these for us. Spasibo!