High above Surfers Paradise

With about 600,000 inhabitants, the city of Gold Coast is the second largest city in the state of Queensland and the sixth largest city in Australia. The Gold Coast has a humid subtropical climate with mild to warm winters and hot, humid summers, which makes it a popular tourist destination, especially in winter. The wide beaches invite you to go surfing, even if it is a bit more difficult in Surfers Paradise due to the low waves. On the other hand, Surfers Paradise scores with its many skyscrapers and the resulting skyline, which can best be experienced from the Sky Point viewing platform of the Q1 Tower.

In theory, you can also see the nearby Sea World amusement park from here. Also clearly visible is the Sling Shot Gold Coast Fun Park, which features the Funtime product of the same name and a mini-golf course.

After a visit to the local Hard Rock Café, we strolled along Surfers Paradise Blvd for a while, with Aris looking for some souvenirs for his family. After a few metres, we came across a larger souvenir shop and most of the souvenirs were bought immediately. I found my personal souvenir of Australia in the Spirit of Australia Gallery, where I was immediately drawn into the shop by a large painting by the artist Anthony Walker. Although I couldn’t afford the large-scale “Turtle Increase Song Cycle”, I ended up going home with a smaller format of the same painting.


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Milsons Point and Darling Harbour

After my fantastic visit to Luna Park Sydney, Aris and I had enough time to explore the area a little bit before heading to our motel. We stayed at the Garden Lodge Sydney, which was a budget motel right next to a busy highway. Due to its location close to a light rail and a commuter train station it was an ideal starting point to explore the city.

Soon after we arrived at the motel, we took the light train towards Darling Harbour, where we visited the local Hard Rock Café for a delicious meal. By the time we stepped out of the restaurant, the sun had set, and Darling Harbour showed itself to us as a great nightlife location. We continued our first exploration tour of Sydney by crossing the heritage listed Pyrmont Bridge, before we admired the remains of the Metro Monorail – a failed mode of transport built in the 1980s, which became a tourist attraction towards the end of its life – with its modern looking stations; if you don’t know the story, you might think that they would built a new mode of transport very soon and already started with the stations.

We continued our walk towards the Westfield Centre, which is home to the Sydney Tower. While the Trippas White Group is operating the facilities bars and restaurants, Merlin Entertainments takes care of the operation deck Sydney Tower Eye. Unfortunately, we arrived a bit late to have a night-time view onto the city.

As it was quite a long day, we returned to the hotel shortly thereafter.

Pictures Sydney Milsons Point and Darling Harbour


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High up the Tour Eiffel

After visiting the Foire du Trône, I made my way to the centre of Paris to have something to eat at the local Hard Rock Café near the – at least in the francophone world very well known – waxworks museum Musée Grévin. In the immediate vicinity there are three really beautiful shopping arcades of the 19th century, Passage Jouffroy, Passage Verdeau and Passage des Panoramas, which invite you to go on a discovery tour.

Since I like to look at Paris from above on every of my visits, I went to Gare Montparnasse on Daniel’s (lacront at onride.de) advice to try out the viewing platform of the Tour Montparnasse. Thanks to the Paris Visite ticket, a visit to the platform is supposed to be quite affordable, but 25% discount on an entrance fee of 18€ was not worth it in the end. Instead, I decided to visit my favourite framework construction.

From the Champ de Mars it is only a short walk to the Eiffel Tower. The tower, which is now completely fenced in, can be reached after a security check. Since I only wanted to get to the second floor anyway and the lifts that were in operation were overcrowded, I decided to climb up the tower on foot. As expected, there was nothing going on here. After buying the tickets and another security check the ascent could start right away. It falls easily from the hand and at some point the first floor is reached. Because of the lower crowd it is worthwhile to stay here for a while and have a look at all the boards and other media. The view is outstanding even from this level.

One level higher, you could see all the people who wanted to get to the top in the second lift and thus were queuing. Meanwhile I allowed myself an espresso and while waiting in the queue I was entertained by a very target-oriented “non” from the saleswoman to an Indian who had just tried to pay with a $100 note. After I took one or two photos up here as well, I went back down to the first floor and enjoyed the moment a little.

In the meantime it was already 9 pm and I slowly wanted to go back to Torcy. As I left the Eiffel Tower grounds, the rain was getting heavier and heavier and suddenly the flying Eiffel Tower merchants besieging the exit of the tower became experts for umbrellas. I did without, but unfortunately I reached the railway soaking wet and dripping. At 11 pm I was back at the hotel.

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