Monday, February 27, 2012

Shore, Seagulls, and missed trains

Monday turned out to be a nice day as well, so I joined some other backpackers for a day at Double Bay Beach. This isn’t one of the more visited ones, but it is a beautiful (albeit small) beach. There was a wooden platform part way out that was perfect for a game of king/queen of the raft. We spent the day swimming, relaxing, and eating Tim Tams. Tim Tams are a delicious treat which is crème covered sandwhiched between 2 cookies then dipped in chocolate. They come in tons of flavors including honeycomb, white chocolate, and mint which I tried.

After the beach day I went to the Super bowl party with the friends I meet at the pub. On the way I stopped for a famous Harry’s meat pie since I’d been told that was a mandatory experience to have while in Sydney. I have to say people in Australia are some of the most helpful I’ve meet. When I got lost trying to find the address, I asked a stranger if he knew where it was and even though he didn’t he looked it up for me on his phone.

The Super bowl party was fun. It was nice to have that at-home feeling. There were even nachos and wings. And they had an adorable dog. I headed back to the hostel that night thinking it had been a pretty good day- except when I realized I’d gotten burned on my back! That was not fun to sleep on.

The following day I went to see the Sydney Opera house. Amazingly it was not the bright white it always apprears. It’s a slightly off white color with many tiles. Standing next to it was spectacular and then going inside was even better. I took the tour, but I wish I could have seen a show there. The theatres were very impressive.

That afternoon I joined some people from my hostel in walking across the Sydney Harbor Bridge. No, not the top where you have the climbing ropes and pay $200; the bottom footpath. But still, it was a great view of the harbor.

That night I joined my friend from the tour for dinner at Darling Harbor. We wandered around and saw  the pretty harbor complete with a memorial to the Olympics, whale skeletons hanging in the stairwell, and many trendy restaurants. We settled on a place that overlooked the harbor. I got prawns and my friend tried crocodile. I sample his sandwich, and I have to say crocodile tastes a lot like chicken.

On my last day in Sydney I went to Manly beach which is just a short ferry ride from Sydney. It wasn’t exactly beach weather, but it was still a necessary experience to have while being in Sydney. The ferry ride made me appreciate just how big the harbor really is, and how many small islands and pennisulas there are around it. For lunch I grabbed a sushi roll and headed to the beach. The water was very rough and full of rip tides today, so instead of going in, I watched the surfers. I was innocently enjoying my sushi when a seagull swooped down and stole it. Mine! Mine! Mine! I guess Finding Nemo was pretty accurate. Resigning to a small lunch, I took the bus to Spitz Bridge and Reserve- an upper class district near Manly. I hiked around the boat docks and past some of the houses. There was a nature trail that was supposed to be very nice, but it would have taken too long and I needed to get back to Sydney to leave for Cairns soon.

After taking the bus, then ferry, then hike back to my hostel I packed up and headed to the train station. I had plenty of time and unworriedly took my seat with my massive bags of luggage on the train that had just pulled up to platform 6. The train ride seemed to take a lot longer than it had when I went from the airport to the hostel. And there were so many unfamiliar names. Eventually I asked somebody “Is this train going to the airport?” To my horror the answer was no. In a panic I got off the train at the next stop and asked the conductor what to do. They told me what train to take to get back to where I started from then to transfer on one to the airport. I was terrified that I would miss my flight. When I got off the train finally at the airport counter I sprinted (luggage and all) to the bag check in which thankfully had no line. My plane left in just over half an hour. I got my tickets and made it to the plane just before they called my section to board. I sank down in my window seat (yes I got another window seat with nobody sitting next to me) and relaxed. I’d made it. Cairns here I come!

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