So, going to Australia turned out to be a little bit of a shocking experience. It is SO FAR AWAY! I cried on the plane there as I just felt like it was taking me geographically way too far away from everything. I didn't sleep on the plane AT ALL, either and when we arrived in the morning, I was completely knackered. We caught a Sydney Shuttle from the airport and arrived at our hostel, Jackaroo Kings Cross, at 9 am. We didn't get our room until 2 pm and since I was so tired, I ended up sleeping on the common room sofa for a while. I had to get up and leave at some point when a really stinky Aussie guy came in and I just couldn't breathe anymore...
Our room was okay - we had a bathroom of our own even if otherwise it was the usual bunk bed in a prison cell type thing. Once we got to the room, I slept some more and then at something like 5 pm we went out and walked to Circular Quay to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in the dark. They had some sort of light happening going on, too, and the Opera House was lit up in all sorts of different things. There was an INSANE number of tourists there and since I was tired, I was really grumpy and sad and just wanted to sleep more. We had a burger in the harbour, visited a couple of souvenir shops and then went back to the hostel. J was on Skype so we talked and I got a bit happier :).
On the second day, Tia went for a run in the morning and when she came back, she showed me pictures of the Opera House and I got really excited :D. At some point before 1 pm, we went out together to see the same places that Tia had already experienced on her run. We walked through the Royal Botanic Gardens along the coastline to Circular Quay and saw the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge in daylight. Pretty gorgeous views, I have to say!
We decided to catch a ferry to Manly and to see the city from a different viewpoint. The return ticket was around 14 Australian dollars. Once we got to Manly, it started raining and we ended up doing some random shopping. Tia found the best hoodie ever :D! We had insanely expensive pizzas and wine (had no idea about the price, whooops), checked out the beach and then returned to Circular Quay. We visited more souvenir shops (seriously addictive in Australia!) and then went back to the hostel.
This day was dedicated to exploring the Bondi Beach area. We caught a train to Bondi Junction and went to some shops there before getting on the bus to Bondi Beach. We dipped our feet into the water, took some pictures and then did the Coastal Walk to Bronte. The views were spectacular and all in all, it was a nice day. Eventually, we caught the bus back, went downtown to check out a couple of shops and then decided to walk the Harbour Bridge. We ended up walking just halfway and then giving up as it wasn't that interesting and the views from the bridge weren't that good. Sydney is kind of small and by this point we'd already had enough of the Opera House (we have SO MANY pictures of it from various places, heh) so we decided to go to our hostel area and find a nice pub to spend some time chatting and having a few drinks. FUN!
|Noodles for lunch!|
|An autumny Sydney.|
On our fourth day, we went on a Blue Mountains tour. The weather was pretty much sucky all day, it was raining cats and dogs and I was freezing. Some people even chose not to leave the bus for the sights, which I thought was a bit stupid. The bus got us from somewhere close to our hostel and off we went - first to Wentworth Falls. We got off the bus and hiked in the freezing cold :D. At first, we couldn't even see the falls at all as it was so foggy, but later on it got a bit clearer and we managed to catch glimpses of more gorgeous views.
|On top of the waterfall.|
Our next stop was at a village called Leura, where we had lunch at a FANTASTIC place called Loaves and Dishes - go there! I had the best chicken pasta bake ever there!
Then our excursion continued as we headed to Scenic World. We got to add a new thing on our list of extreme things done as at Scenic World, we rode the steepest railway in the world (and I can tell you, it was freakish!!!) down into the rainforest. We saw the Three Sisters (rock formations) as well as rode the highest cable car in Australia (just because we love cable cars so much...).
The minibus took us to some random harbour where we caught a ferry to Darling Harbour. From there, we walked back to our hostel via McDonald's, I did some Skyping and then we went to bed.
Our last day in Sydney was finally dedicated to Australian animals! We were off to Featherdale Wildlife Park, which was a really nice experience! There, you can actually touch and feed some of the animals, and you can go among the kangaroos. I really, really loved it! The train back and forth was $9 and the bus to the wildlife park from the train station was $2,20 - you catch bus number 725 from stop # 9, in case someone wants to go :). We got to pet a koala and feed lots and lots of greedy kangaroos! Before the trip, I was more into koalas, but I have to say that kangaroos are a lot more interesting as they are so sociable. Koalas mostly sleep and look cute :).
|A baby in the pouch!|
|A Tasmanian devil!|
|Tia got Australiafied :D.|