Towards the end of our trip, my friend Nicole and I decided to have another adventure. We bought train tickets and headed three hours south to Sydney.
It happened to be raining cats and dogs that day, which we found kind of ironic. We made the best of it - I picked up an umbrella and urged Nicole get one too so she wouldn't get sick and die.
Sydney's Chinatown as interesting. Actually, back up. Getting to Sydney's Chinatown was interesting.
Thanks to our friends we had gone to Sydney armed with a plethora of maps, but of course we accidentally left them at the youth hostel. So instead, we had to guess where to get off the bus.
Normally it wouldn't be so hard, but when you can't even see out of the window because of the rain, it gets...complicated.
We took our cue that that we had reached our stop when half of the bus (who happened to be Asian) stood up and walked off. We had reached Chinatown.
We had fun shopping and walking and seeing all there was around us. I didn't pull out my camera though because of the elements. And after a while we liked the idea of not being completely drenched, so we headed back. Nicole phoned her beau and I read. And after a while we went out to find dinner.
Let's just say, it wasn't quite what we had in mind..."Do you want fries with that?" Yeah, that bad. But it did stop raining and the Harbor at night was just beautiful, so we lingered for a while.
We were happy to see that the following morning was bright and sunny! We found some yummy brekie at our new favorite cafe...
And then I picked up a cup of "the best coffee in the world" as the shop sign stated, we took a ferry to Manly Beach!
The wharf was pretty cool...
And we saw the Sydney Opera House again. :)
As we floated away from the bustling city, I asked an elderly gentleman sitting by us what the name of "the tall yellow building" was in the center of Sydney. (I had temporarily forgotten it was the Syndey Tower. ) He said he thought it was a hospital. Yeah...
So the rest of the 30 minute boat ride, he took it upon himself to be our personal tour guide, pointing out anything and everything he could.
It was very sweet, though we guessed at least half of it was inaccurate. Amusing, nonetheless. And we were glad when we got to Manly Beach...
Though this I can not condone... I'm Irish and drinking tea with fish & chips is just unacceptable.
On my previous trip to Australia, my friends and I had spent a day at Manly Beach, so I had really vivid memories the whole time I was there. But those memories were interrupted by new memories...
As we walked along a path that ran next to the ocean, Nicole and I met a woman from Seattle who had just arrived in Syndey the night before. She was an interesting soul, and kept trying to convince us that they time change was only several hours instead of 14 hours. (She did backwards math, I think.) Anyway, we just were confused. :/ So I just tried to take pictures...
Apparently it was "Surf Education Day" for these kids. So yeah, it was a credited school day. Tell me again why I didn't grow up in Australia?!?
Ok so they call flipflops "thongs." FUN-NY!
After walking around the town, listening to a blues fest and munching on some yummy gyros, we caught a boat, bus, train, AND car ride back to Port Stephens.
Once we were home, the sunlight outside was GLORIOUS. So I grabbed my camera and took this photo. Doesn't it look like the sun is melting off the leaves like butter?
I ran back inside to switch lenses and 3.27 seconds later, the clouds had swallowed up the sun. Sad day.
Well not really though, because most days in Port Stephens looked like this:
Well I thought I'd be able to fit my trip into three posts, but alas, there's still a little bit more...