Tag Archives: casino

Sydney vs Melbourne

It’s not as simple as the Harbour vs the River, because you can’t beat Sydney Harbour with its Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It’s not as easy as AFL vs Rugby League, because there’s a reason it’s called the Australian Football League.

Melbourne has the original Luna Park and a prettier central train station. Sydney has the better airport and a more predictable climate.

Both have world class fine dining and scrumptious popular Italian restaurants.

Sydney has the giraffes at Tarongo Zoo and Melbourne has the penguins at the Aquarium. Melbourne has the beachfront of St Kilda and Sydney has Balmoral.

Melbourne had the better casino until Star City renovated in Sydney, perhaps the same will also be said of the convention centres once Sydney finally completes theirs.

Sydney has the iconic Botanic Gardens and Melbourne has the historic Fitzroy Gardens. Melbourne has better shops, but Sydney has better markets.

In Melbourne, the people are nicer, the coffee shops are varied and the laneway bars are intriguing.

In Sydney, the water is more sparkly, yum cha is offered at all times of the day or night and the underground speak easies are atmospheric.

I had the pleasure of living in St Kilda for a week and near the convention centre many times for work and found Melbourne to be a very livable city. It has been known to have the lower property prices and I have often thought about moving there for a better deal in a city that has just as much to offer as Sydney.

However, with the way costs are rising at the moment, we may all be better off moving to Brisbane.

Related posts: Kid at Heart, Degustation Delights, Cocktail Hour in Sydneytown, Home is where you make it

Argentina, 2005

My friend Phil and I visited La Boca with its well-known colourful buildings and statues. Both tango dancers and tourists were out and about in the Caminito.

We wandered off the main drag and were told to get out in Spanish. Too busy taking photos and not knowing the language, I didn’t know what was going on. Fortunately Phil’s Spanish was good enough to realise that we were in a dangerous area and needed to vacate.

Walking along the Malecon in the Riachuelo port area, we saw Puente Nicolas Avellaneda and then visited the bright blue and yellow La Bombanera Stadium. Phil went back to watch a football game one night, but we were advised that it was too dangerous for women to attend.

As an alternative, we went to see Don Quichotte at the Teatro Colon and to a tango dancing lesson at Bar Sur which was lots of fun and felt very Argentinian!

Over breakfast at the hostel in Buenos Aires, I met Catherine from Washington DC. She was working in South America and was here on a short break to explore a different area of the country. I liked her independent travel attitude and we quickly made plans for some day trips.

We visited Evita’s grave at the famous Cemeterio de la Recoleta- a bit of a pilgrimage for locals and toursist alike. We were joined by an Australian couple on another day trip to the Feria des Mataderos for a great day out.

The Feria had real cowboys called gauchos and people were roasting meat on open grills. The square was filled with dancers in traditional brightly coloured costumes with a few llamas looking on. While there, we also went to the interesting Museo Crillo de Los Corrales.

My short time in South America was drawing to an end. So I decided that even if I had to go by myself, a trip to Iguazu Falls could not be missed. I opted for the quicker, but more expensive plane trip over the 13 hour overnight bus trip and stayed in the only hostel in town.

The next day, after a jeep ride through the Yacaratia trail where a guide explained the plant and animal wildlife of the forest, I got to the falls and was in awe. They were a reddish muddy colour from the natural stones in the area and so vast that I now understood why I could make them out from the plane on the way in.

I took a boat trip on the rapids of Rio Iguazu Superior and under San Martin waterfall which was amazing and went on the walkway over the top of the falls to  Devil’s Throat Canyon. Truly spectacular.

There was no denying the natural beauty of the Parc Nacional Iguazu, but there was also a Sheraton in the park and a casino in town. I hoped that the place would not become a victim of commercialisation and jeopardise this wonder of the world.

Related posts: Buenos Aires, 2005