Saturday, January 16, 2010

Australia: Day 13, Sydney, part II, home

My last day (Karen stayed one more day) got off to a crazy start. It was Anzac Day, which is sort of like Memorial Day for the US. Because of this the bus never came to pick us up for our bridge climb. We hopped in a cab who took us for a serious ride, in circles. It was so annoying because both with both of us having lived in New York, we don't like to be taken advantage of, but we just didn't know where to go. We knew enough to know we were getting ripped off, but not how to fix it. We finally saw a cop and called him over while we were stopped at a light and he yelled at the driver to turn off his meter while he talked to us. He finally told us with the parade that was happening we were better off running. I think it was about a mile and half, maybe? Correct me Karen, I can't remember....
Anyway, we literally ran through a if we were actually in the parade. We were yelling to each other and jumping in and out of 80 year old Vets, bag pipes were blaring, etc. I felt like we were on the Amazing Race. It was pretty comical. Thankfully, we made it and we weren't too late to meet up with our group for the bridge climb.

Brooke was there waiting for us. After we got all suited up we could only get this picture, as everything had to be left in our lockers, including jewery, and even bobby pins.

The climb took quite a while, especially because our tour guide kept stopped to give us facts. It was interesting, but took longer than I would have liked. It was extremely windy and I just wanted to keep going. The views were incredible, however. I'm so glad we did this. As I mentioned, we weren't allowed to take our cameras, but the guide took pictures of us which we could purchase. We just purchased one packet, and then took photos of the photos.

The background sort of looks fake, but I assure you it's not.

So while we were running to the bridge we came across the pack of Aussie gentlemen in suits, walking together, all singing Gold Digger. So random. Then we saw them at this bar after we'd climbed the bridge.

Another market. How convenient!

Have you ever tried to play a didgeridoo? (You know, those instruments that play the Outback music you hear on commercials for the Outback restaurant?) It's tough. This guy was really good. I, on the other hand, was no so much.

Cheesy, but I couldn't help myself.

Props to Karen, who was patient enough to wait for the clouds to pass when she got her photo. I was sick of trying to get good pictures and just had Brooke take one. You were right Karen.

The Opera House was incredible. You know how sometimes you see things and it's always way smaller than you imagined? (The Mona Lisa, Mount Rushmore, etc?) This was definitely way bigger than I thought. It was huge!

The Sydney Harbour Bridge. Yes, I just climbed it.

We made it all the way up to where you see the flags.

More of the Opera House.

After all this we were pretty exhausted. We went to the Botanical Gardens to chill out.

We laid there for about 30 minutes just relaxing, enjoying the sun, and the view of the Opera House. Then I had to take off to head back to the hostel, grab my stuff, and get on a shuttle to the airport.

My last photo in Australia. As I was heading back I saw this guy and thought he looked so cool playing the didgeridoo and looking all aboriginal.
When I was heading back to the hostel it was really the only time I was alone the whole trip. It was nice to be able to get around by myself, using public transportation and getting to my hostel. I was sad to say goodbye to Australia, but so exhausted and ready to go home after thirteen full days of adventures. I was really looking forward to seeing my family.

So Saturday was the longest day. I got on an airplane in Sydney at 8pm that evening, and arrived in LA that same day at 5pm. So weird. (Even more weird that Easter Sunday completely vanished on my way over...departed Sat at midnight and arrived Monday morning.)
My nails were busted up, and I had the worst kink in my neck (for a few weeks.) My mom was sweet enough to take me right to the nail salon, where I got the works. She laughed at me and took my picture.

With the kids in their shirts I found for them in Melbourne. Mad has one in hot pink with a kangaroo but I don't have a good photo. Do you Nad?

Hopefully you've enjoyed my little travelogue. I can't wait to have another fun trip to blog about. :)


Cyn said...

Loved it. Thanks for the great Aussie posts Rae.

maggie said...

what an amazing trip! don't know if i could do the bridge climb, but those pics are cool!

nerak said...

Oh man, oh man. I had forgotten how completely and totally RANDOM this day was! Even though Anzac day made it so difficult for us to get to the bridge, I wouldn't've missed running through that parade for ANYTHING. Dodging war vets and marching bands in Australia = priceless.

So many great moments, such an amazing trip! I am so proud you finished blogging about it! Maybe I'll copy you and finish someday. ;)

Elise said...

It was really fun to look at these pictures again. :) You make me want to go to Austraila. I'll add it to my never ending list.

Steve and Rebecca said...

They still like to wear their tee-shirts!