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August 9, 2008Boilermaker sophomore Robbie Hummel is chronicling his and his team's exhibition tour of Australia with a diary for GoldandBlack.com. In Installment No. 1, Hummel talks about the Boilermakers' first day in the country.
SYDNEY, Australia - After landing in Sydney around 6 a.m. Australia time, I was very surprised to see how well my teammates and I were feeling.
Everyone was fully awake and very excited to be in this foreign country. However, as our bus tour drove through the hills of the city, different people began to dose off.
The team goal was for all of us to stay awake all day in order to adjust to the time change, so whenever someone closed their eyes, they were quickly woken up.
The tour of Sydney was very interesting. I never realized how many different landscapes the city actually has. All in one small area, you can see cliffs, sandy beaches, the Blue Ridge Mountain Range and the skyline of the downtown area.
Once our tour ended, we were able to check into our hotel and get ready for practice. As you can imagine, practice was pretty interesting with most of us going on four or less hours of sleep from the plane ride.
Fortunately, we all knew we had a great dinner coming up in a fancy restaurant down by the opera house. It was called Peter Doyle's. I ordered grilled flounder and was quite surprised when it came out complete with its bones.
Luckily, the meat came right off the bone and made for a great meal. Once we were done eating, Bobby Riddell, my roommate for the trip, and I were ready to go to bed. It was 7:30 then and we were asleep by 8.
I don't think I'd ever been as tired as I was on the first night. It was certainly some of the best sleep I have ever had.
Bob and I awoke about 11 hours later around 7:30. The local channel carrying the Olympics had the replay of the opening ceremonies in Beijing.
Both Bob and I are big fans of the Games and wanted to watch the ceremonies last night, but missed out, due to sleep, by two hours.
Around 9, we headed down to breakfast. It was buffet style, but everything they had seemed to be very high class.
There were pastries, croissants, fresh fruit, an omelet station and much more.
We tried our best to put a dent in the buffet, but they had so much food that I don't think the hotel was too worried about us.
From breakfast, we moved on to the famous opera house.
I have always wanted to take the tour of the famous landmark, so I was very excited for this. The architecture of the structure is amazing, and to learn the history of the building really helps you understand why it looks like it does. Of the five theatres in the opera house, we saw three of them. Each one of them being unique from the other.
After the tour, we were given some free time. We headed to this place called the Rocks. It's a market area, where you can bargain with the vendors on their prices. It was mostly arts and crafts, and while most of the things in the shops would be cool to have, they were very expensive.
That's one thing that I have learned from being in Australia. The cost of living is incredibly high. It would not be unreasonable here to spend around $40 on lunch.
Tonight we played the Sydney Spirit. They were a very good team that was big and played very physical. The result wasn't what we were looking for, but we have a chance to get some revenge on them Monday.
It's time for me to go to bed.
Although I am not as tired as I was last night, I will definitely sleep well.