So after being swept up by a tornado (i.e. Qantas airplane) I've been safely deposited in the wonderful land of Oz (i.e. Oz). The flight was far less of an ordeal than I thought it would be. There was a wide range of on-demand in flight entertainment options and the food was decent. The Aussie customs folk were pretty cheery and even smiled, which is a far better reception than you get entering the US. The first impression of Australia is that it's kind of familar. It doesn't smell different from the UK and you feel far more relaxed than you'd expect from being in a country on the other side of the world. It's homely, but with an odd twist.
Yesterday I got the real feeling that I was in Sydney when I went off to meet up with my Aunt. For a mid-winter day the weather was fantastic. It was (to start with bright and sunny, with only a few small clouds in the sky. I was meeting my Aunt in Circular Quay and on walking there the Harbour Bridge hove into view. A little further on the Opera House came into sight. There's nothing that lets you know your in Sydney more than seeing these sight. It really is very impressive and the whole harbour area looks great. From Cicular Quay we went on the ferry to Manly at the opening of the harbour. Here I saw people surfing adding another piece to the Oz experience.
I need to leave the internet cafe where I'm writing this, but they'll probably be another update soon. The work side of this trip wil actually be starting tomorrow.