We have been in Australia now for 168 hours. In that time we have had some tired, self-induced, apartment-based solitude, and some curious, self-guided, public-transit-based tourism and everything in between.
Day 1: See last week’s post. (Summary: Got phone and groceries and went to Coogee Beach in a thunderstorm).
Day 2: Went to Target. Went to Bondi Beach, saw Hugh Jackman doing a photo-shoot. Went downtown and saw Sydney Opera House. Good Day.
Day 3: Went Whale Watching. Here are some pictures of all the whales we saw.
Day 4: Was mostly a stay at home day. We did venture out to buy a GPS, go to a mall, and discover the AMAZINGLY cheap groceries at Coles, Kmart and the Big W (not affiliated with Walmart).
Day 5: We attempted Whale Watching again. Great news! We saw a pair of humpbacks heading south to feed in Antarctica! I have to admit, it was a little underwhelming. We occasionally saw their backs break the surface, and once or twice, a tail. But no breaching, no swimming over to the boat. In fact, they were zigzagging as if to lose us. Ok, whales – we can take a hint.
After the whale watching, we did a self-guided walking tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Once we calibrated our expectations to winter greenery – things because a lot nicer. We found Canadian maples, so many varieties of bamboo and of course so many kinds of ficus – which is a fun word to say. We also found the eel ponds. Apparently they drain the pool and remove all the eels, but within a few nights, eels can be seen wriggling over the grass to get back in.
Day 6: We managed to get ourselves to the rental car place, psych ourselves up, and drive it home. This was an achievement for two-reasons. First, we are not accustomed to driving on the left and second, Sydney is a city of 5 million aggressive drivers. But we made it.
After that, we did a walking tour of Sydney, which took us to the Opera House, Campbell Cove, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Hyde Park, the QVB, the Barracks, numerous historic churches and malls and lots of other interesting sights. Totally worth the zero dollars we paid for it! (It was a free tour, but you pay the guy what you think is fair – which I think is a TREMENDOUS way to do business).
Day 7: We packed our stuff and headed out of Sydney. Our second time driving the car on the left, was directly through downtown, over the 1.3 kilometre long Sydney Harbour Bridge and out onto the Pacific Highway North. This day also included seeing our first, living kangaroo (as well our our first three, dead kangaroos) and arriving safely in the NICEST AIRBNB WE’VE EVER STAYED IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some pictures below.
So that was our first week. Stay tuned to next week’s blog for our first week in Brisbane.