The next morning, we drove about 2 ish hours to Sydney. We checked into our hotel room and left the room at around 3 to explore the city. We walked around the city to Darling Harbor (the suggestion from the previous hotel owners). It was beautiful. It was just a little harbor with people sitting on the steps around it, some boats docked in and the glare of the descending sun on the water was magnificent. We ate a late lunch of Subway, very Australian I know. As we ate lunch we had a spectacular view of the harbor. There were many seagulls near us, staring at us, waiting for us to drop some food, which we didn’t. Dad and i decided to stare back at them examining their thin legs and the fact that they have no eyelids (we are normal, I know :P). One had no foot and it was limping, very sad 🙁 Another one was fat as my dad said, so he didn’t want to feed it. After lunch, we walked more along the harbor. After a bit, we turned around and went to a walking bridge to see the sunset. The sunset was disappointing that night because there were no pretty colors, but it was nice to see the sun reflecting off the water from another angle. Since dad was all walked out, we went back to the hotel to relax before dinner. Surprise Surprise, Dad fell asleep within 10 minutes of lying/sitting down. So I laid on the bed watching TV and I fell asleep too. I guess the jet-lag was still affecting us. I woke up around midnight and thought to myself, I guess we missed dinner. I got into y PJ’s and fell back asleep.

We woke up a little later than I wanted that morning, and we decided to go to the Blue Mountains, since it would be a little cooler the next day. We left the hotel around 11:30 AM and drove about an hour to the Blue Mountains. We stopped in an information building and a lovely man gave us his five favorite spots within the blue Mountains, we took his highlighted map and started to drive to our 1st destination, Wentworth Falls. We saw the Jamison lookout and walked a bit to the Princes Rock lookout. The steps were steep, but it was a nice lookout onto the mountains. The waterfall was a little wimpy and small, but still nice. We then went to the Conservation Hut to eat (near Wentworth Falls and actually in that town), Dad and I shared a steak sandwich and a Greek salad without purple lettuce and olives. So the waitress called it a not do Greek salad. She was a nice waitress and a bit funny. We were unsure of how we tip the waitress, it seems to be less common here than at home. After lunch we made out way over to the town of Katoomba to see the three sisters and the giant stairway. From the tree sisters lookout, it was hard to see all three sister stones/rocks, we could only see one of the sisters, the other two were hiding behind the first one. We walked part of the giant stairway down to the tree sisters, instead of just the lookout. The stairway was really steep and took a lot of balance and holding on to the railing. But it was cool to go down and touch one of the three sisters. It was exciting. There was also Echo Point lookout in Katoomba where we could see all three sisters next to each other, it was a beautiful view. Next, we drove to Blackheath, where we went to Govetts Leap lookout. To Dad’s disappointment, it wan’t named after Govett who leaped off the edge because of a woman, it was named after Mr. Govett because he was the first to discover the beautiful lookout onto the Blue Mountains that Dad and I got the privilege of seeing. Next, we drove to Mt. Tomah, where we drove past the botanical gardens because of the ext days planned activities. We then drove back to Sydney some weird way, but we winded up finding the correct road we were supposed to be on to make our way back to Sydney. We drove to dinner that night and ate at this interesting Italian Restaurant. Each customer got a card and walked up to the counter, to a chef, who cooked your food in front of you, kind of like Oscars in New Paltz, and added the price to the card which you paid for at the end. It was like cafeteria style. The chef I went to was really friendly, striking up a conversation with me until my food was don’t, the food was very tasty, as mom would say is Alec’s favorite word. We went back to the hotel and I relaxed and watched a movie, the Blind Side,, as Dad took his long wanted bath and we went to sleep.

I forgot to mention the first day we were in Sydney we went to a mini market to get some milk and juice. When we went to the cash register and started a conversation with the person behind the counter, we mentioned we were from New York, USA. He then asked, “Ohhh the rich part?” We responded with, “Not quite!” That was a very interesting stereotype to me.

The next day was a busy day in Sydney. Since it was our last day, we wanted to hit all the attractions. Dad and I got a late start, nothing new there, and we got a cab a few blocks from our hotel. The cab driver didn’t know where our destination was, I felt proud teaching him something faraway from my neck of the woods. We started out at the mint, only coins. We walked past a hospital, which had amazing architecture, you would have never known it was a hospital, besides the signs of course. Next we took a mini self tour of the parliament house with a booklet they had available. Dad took a bunch of little booklets to give to Alec as his Australia gift. We ate at a small cafe place, we both had some kind of chicken sandwich. Dad and I then walked to the botanical gardens, it was beautiful! We took a stroll through the most of the gardens. We saw some interesting looking trees with a lot of branches. I was a bit disappointed though, the garden wasn’t as colorful as I expected. Dad did remind me that it was the winter there, so it made sense. As we came closer to the end, we stumbled upon one of the best sights of the trip so far. There was a little harbor with cute boats in it. And on the other side of the harbor you could see the city skyline as well as the Sydney Harbour bridge and the Sydney opera house. The best and most touristy attractions were right in front of out faces. I couldn’t get over how the sun was shinning/reflecting on the calm of the harbor water with the skyline. After we took a million pictures there, Dad and I walked fast through the rest of the gardens to catch a tour of the Sydney Opera House, we could walk through the Sydney conservatorium of music and the government house. Unfortunately the conservatory didn’t have tours running on that day. The government house was also closed to go inside, but we walked around the building. We then went to the opera house. While waiting for our 4:30 tour to start, Dad and I sat outside enjoying the scenery of the opera house in front of us and the harbor bridge behind us. The guide gave us some headphones so we could still hear her if we ended up in the back of the group. We got to see into a few of the theaters as well as get a history lesson on how the design was chosen and how they executed it so well. The building of the Sydney Opera House costs over double their anticipated price and took over twice as long as they originally thought. The design was so hard to build that the contest winner eventually gave up on building it and went to another country. Other architects eventually figured out a way to build the tree domeish shapes by just connecting a bunch of small pieces together. It was designed so every nook and cranny was there for some purpose. The opera house doesn’t only hold operas, it holds plays, musicals, ballets, circus, acrobatics, dirt bike tricks, and many many more. The biggest theater had three rings coming down from the ceiling, they move up and down depending on the performance. The stage and chairs move as well. We witnessed workers setting up for the next show in that theater. After going to the place where they store all the equipment, we went up to the 2nd balcony. I looked up to see the reflection of the bridge on the glass. Another unforgettable sight was seeing the sun setting behind the bridge. The Sydney harbor Bridge looked gold from the suns’ rays (the pictures I took didn’t do the in-person view justice). It was absolutely breathtaking to see the sunset from a high point in the city in the Opera House. You could see the reflection of the sunset on the glass that covered part of the opera house. After the tour was over, we bought some souvenir pictures and history about the opera house and went outside. We took in the view of the city skyline, the bridge, and the opera house at night, lit up. (I forgot to mention the winning design architect didn’t see the finished product of his design and work yet.) We then took a taxi back to the hotel where we relaxed for a bit. I kept begging Dad for dinner because I was really hungry. But, he ignored me, kept pushing it off and milking the time just to annoy me. So when he finally decided that he was hungry, we went to china town, where dad suggested we eat. We ended up picking an authentic Chinese Restaurant. The food was surprisingly not that good. Neither of us finished our dishes because we didn’t like it that much. We are used to Americanized Chinese food, so the authentic food tasted weird to s. We walked around china town for a few minutes as we were heading back to the car. We then went back to the hotel to pack and get ready for the flight in the morning. But I decided to take a relaxing bath before I packed. (The first bath for me in over 7 years!) Then it was sleepy time zzzzzzz.


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