Saturday, June 20, 2009

The End

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be."

- Douglas Noel Adams

Well, this is it. I can't believe this will already be my last post from Australia. As I was waited for the bus at Central after dinner at a Turkish restaurant (complete with belly dancer) tonight for my final bus ride, it hit me.
This was it.
And all of a sudden, there was a complete half of me that did not want to leave my new country, my new city, my new home.

I hope that I succeeded in taking everyone's advice: enjoy every minute, try new things, be brave, take advantage of every opportunity, keep an open mind, live it up.
This week I fit in lunch with our abroad coordinators, bowling with the boys in the coolest bowling alley I've ever seen (managed to pull off a 91 -- pretty good for not playing for months), one more trip to Lindt chocolate cafe, Roof Bar with Hiroko and Mayana, Japanese dinner with Hiroko, Ryoko and Christina, meeting a cool French guy, breakfast at Le Petit Tart, Yum Cha (Chinese restaurant where they come around with carts of food and ask you what you want and you choose many dishes for the table) with the flatmates, packing, laundry and reminiscing.

From playing Wii with my host family kids, to tending to the chickens, to nights out with the boys, to beautiful beach days, to the New Zealand adventure with my mom and sister, to laughing with Isabel, Petra and Hiroko, to deep frying Mars bars with my flatmates, to grabbing Spanish churros on my last walk down Glebe Point Road, I have loved it all. While it hasn't always been easy, it has always been fulfilling.

Some highlights in photos:

“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts. You have to remember this when you find yourself at the beginning.”
- Hope Floats

My trip in numbers:
- Hours it took to fly to Australia: 20
- Photos in my "highlights" folder: 330
- Times I've wandered around the Botanical Gardens: 7
- Houses I've lived in: 3
- Haircuts I've gotten: 0
- Movies I've seen in the theater: 8
- Movies I've seen on film: 20
- Times I've driven on the wrong side of the road: 1
- Pictures of the opera house: 41
- Gondolas I've riden: 3
- Different countries I've eaten food from: 9
- Times I've walked across the bridge: 2.5
- Books I've read: 8
- Times I've ridden a horse: 1
- Times I've cried: 5
- Bats in the Botanical Gardens: 1,453
- Times I drank an entire beer: 0
- Umbrellas I've bought: 3
- Ferry rides: 12
- Performances I've seen in the opera house/symphony hall: 3
- Tim Tams I've eaten: 107
- Times I was fairly significantly late to work: 6
- Pieces of nutella toast I've had: 56
- Times I refrained from buying a gelato: 2
- Sea turtles we saw (much debated): 21
- Pieces of banana bread/pear and raspberry bread I've eaten: 254
- Total pictures: over 2,400 have made the "cut"
- Times I've wanted to kill the birds: 658
- Blog posts: 28
- Articles/reviews for FILMINK: 26
- Hours at FILMINK (approximately): 300
- Times I've used the 131500 transport info site: 752 (true fact, I checked my Foxmail history)

My trip as a Mastercard commerical:
1 piece of banana bread: $3.50 AUD (about $2.80 USD)
My favorite Lindt hot chocolate: $4.50 AUD (about $3 USD)
One Royal Copenhagen single scoop: $4.80 AUD (about $3.50 USD)
The best dumpings in the world: $9.50 AUD (about $7 USD)
Bowling at the sweetest bowling alley ever: $14 AUD (about $10 USD)
One night out: $20 AUD (about $14 USD)
A game of indoor mini golf in NZ with my sister at the coolest mini golf place in the world: $16 USD
Trip to Taronga Zoo: $28 AUD (about $20 USD)
Breakfast for two on Glebe Point Road: $30 AUD (about $21 USD)
Seeing an opera in the Opera House: $80 AUD (about $65 US)
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef: $100 USD
Swimming with the dolphins: $120 USD
Phone calls and texts: $350 AUD (about $260 USD)
Trip to Melbourne: $400 AUD (about $300 USD)
Transportation: $680 AUD (about $530 USD)
Trip to New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef: $1000 USD
Total experience: $4,300 AUS (about $3,700 USD)
Seeing the first sunrise in the world, my first glimpse of the iconic Opera House, learning a new city, losing my fear of spiders, walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, taking the best flower pictures I've ever taken, hiking in the Blue Mountains, learning to be friends with people I never imagined liking, petting a kangaroo, making friends with the gelato girl, sharing a drink with my sister on an island in the Pacific, seeing the smallest penguins in the world, lounging on the most beautiful beaches in the world, laughing at goofy seals, driving on scary one-way bridges, going outside of my comfort zone, working for a real magazine, exploring Watson's bay, jet boating on the Dart River, eating gelato with Dutch boys, laughing with Japanese girls, having girl talk with my Spanish roommate, dancing with Brazilians, discussing politics with Frenchmen, taking a random salsa lesson, learning about myself, seeing an elephant dance, wandering in the Botanical Gardens for hours, watching random fireworks with friends in Darling Harbour, listening to champion slam poets, reading back-to-back with one of my best friends in Hyde Park and seeing a baby joey in its pouch: priceless.

Closing time - open all the doors and let you out into the world... Closing time - you don't have to go home but you can't stay here... Take me home... Closing time - time for you to go back to the places you will be from... So gather up your jackets and move it to the exits - I hope you have found a friend. Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...
- Semisonic

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amy and Alex's Adventures, con't

Thursday, June 4
I'm completely blanking on what we did this day, but I think it involved breakfast across the street, eggs for both of us this time (though the waitress was very confused when we asked for them "scrambled with cheese," insisting that this was an omelet. I think Alex wasn't feeling very well this day, so we took it easy. For lack of details on this day, I'll add some general thoughts on things that happened throughout the trip.
1) We both agreed that we hate the Storm, which happens to be one of the most prevalent cars in Sydney - a mix between a car and a truck, with a super long bed. Hate it.
2) We watched Juno (liked it even better the second time), the first 2/3 of Lord of the Rings (the movie we used to help us fall asleep - me pointing out places I was convinced I saw in New Zealand every other scene), 28 Days Later (awful), Darjeeling Unlimited (great), The Talented Mr. Ripley (good, but not what I had expected), and the first season of Scrubs (never thought I would like it, but it's grown on me. Alex also convinced me to start watching Lost, and I hate to admit it, but I'm hooked.
3) We read Alex's new book, Becoming A Doctor, about the first 3 years of medical school, together aloud. Really interesting and made me tired just thinking about how hard they work.
4) We ate/drank a ridiculous amount of Starburst gummies, Powerade (my new favorite flavor is the light orange one), lime and pepper chips (which I don't even really like), apple and kiwi juice (love it), eggs, pizza and Tim Tams (which, by the way, apparently are in US Targets now!).

Friday, June 5
I think Friday was one of my favorite days in Sydney so far. We started off at breakfast at Le Petit Tarte (I know there's an intentional typo in that, some play on gender, but after not taking French since 7th grade, I can't remember where it is), which was one of our favorites so far. We grabbed a super-sweet lemon tart for the road and wandered through Victoria Park on the University of Sydney campus for a while (the weather was beautiful). Then, we headed down to Circular Quay to take a ferry to Watson's Bay, about a 40 minute (maybe?) ferry ride away.

There was a walking tour in my book to follow, which we did for the most part, but we explored on our own too. There were beautiful views of the city and Manly from multiple places along the way, along with impressive views of the ocean.

We explored on the rocks for a while

and then continued the walk along the beach where we met a very friendly dog who we played with for a while.

There were beautiful houses all along the coast -- can't image how much they must cost. We made our way along the coast to Lady Bay Beach - one of the nude beaches in Sydney where we found one nude older man who stared us down.

We continued on to "The Gap" - a popular suicide and proposal spot and then headed back to catch the ferry.

Saturday, June 6
Another beautiful day on Saturday, we decided to head to the infamous Bondi Beach. We stopped at the Bondi Trattoria for an early lunch - pizza with prawn shrimp for Alex and a steak sandwich for me (not like the ones at home with like thin meat... this was like a steak, on a sandwich). After walking along the beach and watching the surfers for a bit, we started on the Bondi to Coogee Cliffwalk (Alex, for some reason, decided to do it barefooted). We watched some beach volleyball games for a while, resisting the urge to join in, and then continued along the coast to the Waverly Cemetery, probably the best views from a cemetery in the world.

We only made it to Clovelly Beach before we decided to take a bus back into the city.
The bus dropped us off in Circular Quay and we decided to take the ferry to Darling Harbour again, as there was a pizza and pasta place my guidebook had recommended that I wanted to try. After searching for a while, we finally found Blackbird Cafe and had one of our most disappointing meals yet. It was expensive, the food was not that great, and the atmosphere was nothing to brag about. The first time my Lonely Planet guidebook has lead me wrong.

Sunday, June 7
After a bit of a late start, we decided to head to Newtown (an area that kind of reminds me of New Paltz), by foot, to explore. We stopped into a huge used bookstore that reminded me of the Strand in NYC (which incidentally had a very odd bathroom with no lock and a 1-way mirror - who knows why) and perused for a while, and then found a cafe to grab a late breakfast, again, eggs for Alex and a strawberry banana smoothie and pancakes with strawberries and bananas and icecream for me. As we headed back to the apartment, we stumbled upon a footy tournament at University of Sydney and stopped to watch for a while, having the locals re-explain the rules to us. The boys were only 16, but were brutes.

Monday, June 8
Monday was the Queen's Birthday which is a public holiday here. We decided to go to Le Petit Tarte again (this time with worse service) and ran into my flatmates there. After breakfast, we hopped on a ferry to Manly (which ended up costing $25 because I forgot that it wasn't included in our bus pass). We walked along the Corso, resisting the urge to grab fish and chips or icecream, and stopped briefly at Manly Beach. Luckily, it wasn't our intended destination because it was covered in gross seaweed.
We headed back and found our way to the Manly Scenic Walk. Much like the other coastal walks, this one brought us past amazing houses and provided excellent views of the harbour.

We attempted to do the entire walk which would have brought us to the "Spit Bridge," but we wouldn't have made it there and back before dark. We grabbed some Copenhagen's icecream (Alex's - honeycomb and butterscotch - is my new favorite) and headed back to the ferry at the perfect timing in order to see the Opera House lit up for the Luminous festival - it's completely dark on one side and then lit with cool designs and colors on the other.

Before catching the bus, we stopped into the Customs House so I could show Alex the huge 3-D map of Sydney that is under the glass floor. On our way home we got off the bus on Glebe Point Road and grabbed a pizza to take home from Lavara Pizza and Pasta - yum.

Tuesday, June 9
After many days of walking, we decided to take it a little easier on Tuesday. We had breakfast (my first french toast in 4 1/2 months!) at the Badde Manors Cafe (supposedly the "most vegetarian cafe" in Sydney) and brought our books to read in Hyde Park. Upon entering the park, we noticed a very strange animal that looked like a mix between a squirrel and a wombat. It started getting a little bit chilly, so we headed down to Martin Place to grab a hot chocolate from Lindt Cafe (by far the best hot chocolate in the city).
We decided to see Star Trek (which I never would have suggested, but it has gotten rave reviews, even from non-Trekkies) and killed some time shooting hoops and playing air hockey in the arcade (for the record, he won basketball every time, and I won air hockey every time). I thought Star Trek was really good and Alex loved it. After the movie, we happened to catch a bus that would take us to Leichardt (the Italian district with my favorite restaurant) and so even though we weren't that hungry, we decided to stay on and have dinner at Cafe Jolly - yum. I think I might have to go back and get the gnocchi gorgonzola and honey, cheese and chili bread one more time.

Wednesday, June 10
Wednesday was zoo day. We managed to sneak in on student discount, despite it not being exactly allowed (after getting caught with student travel passes by the train guys -- oops) and had a fantastic day, despite the cold and wind. Although we were disappointed that the seal show was cancelled due to renovations, it ended up setting our day up perfectly. We literally saw every part of the zoo and got to see the amazing bird show.

In the walkabout section, where you walk on a path where kangaroos, wallabies and an emu are roaming "free," we happened to see a joey in its mother's pouch! Our attention was drawn to him because there was a woman clearly going where she was not supposed to be and getting up really close to the kangaroo to get a picture (while the emu attacked her bag). Turned out, she worked at the zoo on their design staff and had been coming to the walkabout every day on her lunch break for weeks to try to get a picture of the joey and this was the first time she had been successful. Talk about good timing for us!

After grabbing some pictures of the joey, Alex decided he must pet a kangaroo and succeeded in luring the softest one I have ever felt in my life toward him - so adorable.

Thursday, June 11
On Alex's last day, we put on our fancy clothes and headed to the Opera House after grabbing lunch at Moore's Cafe on Glebe Point Road. We had front row tickets for the "Romantic Perfection" symphony. The performance was really fantastic and I was glad to get to see one more performance in the Opera House (this one was in the Symphony Hall of course, which is actually the prettier of the two).

After the symphony, we headed back to the apartment to pack up all of Alex's things, and then walked to Annandale for dinner, again on the recommendation of my guidebook. After walking up and down Booth St. without finding "Zenith," we decided (duh...) to look at the street number as opposed to just looking for the name of the restaurant. When we got to the right address, which we had passed about 10 minutes earlier, it turned out that the name of the restaurant had changed, and was now called Vicini. And it wasn't open for another half an hour. We decided to stick it out and headed back down the street to wander around in a cute bookstore for a while. We headed back to the restaurant and had a very nice dinner (each of eating our entire pizzas which were huge) and then headed home for an attempt at an early night, as Alex had to wake up at 4:20 the next morning. Unfortunately, it was my flatmates last day of uni and so they were having their first and only party. After about 2 hours of sleep for Alex, he woke up, grabbed a taxi and headed off to the airport for his 6 am flight to Melbourne to visit with his sister, her boyfriend and our friend Maxine.

Cue: loneliness onset from Amy. After having a constant buddy for 2 weeks, I suddenly felt incapable of doing anything on my own. Miss Not-So-Independent-Anymore spent most of the next 2 days doing pretty much nothing (some homework, lots of Internet nothingness and some internship applications). I managed to drag myself out of the house on Saturday to hit up the Glebe Markets and grab a hot chocolate and some pear and raspberry bread at Sapphos Cafe, but other than that Friday and Saturday were pretty much a bust.
On Sunday, I decided I had to snap out of it and decided to go to the Government House which I had yet to see, despite going past it every time I had wandered around the Botanical Gardens.

I showed up a few minutes before the 12:30 tour and moseyed around the grounds taking (shocker) pictures of flowers and the house. The tour was fairly interesting, but we really only got to see 3 or 4 rooms of the house, which was kind of disappointing.
After the Government House, my next stop was the State Library of NSW. Fairly typical, but there was one impressive room filled to the brim with books.

By this point, I was starving and decided to go to Lindt Cafe for lunch and (of course) hot chocolate. Super yummy, yet again. Then, I headed to the Art Gallery of NSW and saw everything in it in 2 hours flat. Some pretty cool exhibits, but nothing too memorable.
Then, I had 2 hours to kill before the Fire Water event I wanted to go to that started at 6:15. I thought about going to the Hyde Park Barracks Museum but didn't want to pay for admission and it didn't look too impressive (plus, I was kind of museum-ed out). I considered having yet another hot chocolate at Lindt, but couldn't justify going twice in one day (even though the take-away hot chocolate is $2.50 AUD cheaper than when you have it there... yeah, I'm definitely going there again before I leave). I decided to walk down to the Rocks where the event would be and do some souvenir shopping.
After that, I still had an hour to kill, so I decided to go to the cafe that Julia had recommended, which turned out to be just like Lindt, except for it was Guylian chocolate. After sitting down and realizing I a) was not hungry b) had just had hot chocolate 3 hours beforehand and c) could not stomach paying $15 AUD for a dessert, despite how yummy they looked, I decided that I would get a $9 AUD chocolate and banana milkshake, which ended up being only mediocre, but it allowed me somewhere warm, safe and dry where I could read Great Expectations and kill some time. When it finally was time, I followed the crowd down to Cadman's Cove, stopped to take a few pictures of the lit-up Opera House, and then made my way down to where the fire water performance was to be held.

Turns out, I should have used the hour I had just spent at the cafe getting a spot where I could actually see what was going on. Unfortunately, I hadn't, so I was stuck behind four rows of people, attempting to stand on my tippy-toes to see what was going on. Luckily, I don't think I missed too much. The highlight was the raising from the water, burning, and sinking of this ship. I think it was supposed to be something about refugees, but I completely missed the symbolism.

On Monday, I lazed around all morning and then headed to Circular Quay to meet up with John and Tyler who were doing some souvenir shopping. Since the last thing I had eaten was a panini at Lindt at 1:30 the day before, I was starving and so we stopped at the Australian Hotel in the Rocks and grabbed some wedges and pizza (just missing the happy hour discount on emu wings... fortunately?).
Tuesday was much of the same, but ended with me going to see The Hangover with John and Steve at night -- hysterical.
And now, finally, today! I am caught up! :-)... Today I met Petra and Hiroko in Chinatown for a farewell lunch. Petra leaves tomorrow for a 13-day trip to Alice Springs, Darwin and Cairnes, so it is the last time I will see her. We got dim sum, spring rolls, corn soup (or something), rice, an entree (honey chicken for me) and a drink for $12.80 each. I love Chinatown...
Only 4 days left! Eek!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Adventures of Alex and Amy

May 29th - June 12th

Friday, May 29th

May 29th, the day that I had been counting down to for months finally had arrived. I woke up early, showered, and headed to the airport having decided to suck it up at pay the $15 for the "return" trip in and out of the airport so that I could wait outside of customs for Alex. Definitely worth it. I had to wait for almost an hour, with my neck getting tired from looking back and forth between the two exits, but finally he came out the door, dressed in cute new jeans, a yellow button-up and sport jacket, hauling his massive duffel with his signature yellow book bag on his back. Only he would choose to fly 14 hours in his "Sunday best."
After by accidentally taking the train in the wrong direction for one stop (guess my brain was a little muddled by the excitement of seeing him again after 4 1/2 months), we made it back to my house and settled in for a jet-lagged day full of laughing, talking and ordering in food.

Saturday, May 30th
On Saturday morning, we awoke early, starting the pattern of going to bed and waking up early that would last for most of the rest of his trip (I swear I was having sympathy jet-lag). We asked my flatmates for a recommendation for breakfast, and they suggested Deus Ex Machina, a unique cafe attached to a classic and custom-made motorcycle shop, actually one of the places that I had starred in my guidebook that I wanted to take Alex to. We walked down Parramatta Road (also called George St. and Broadway depending on where you are on the road) and started another trend, this one being breakfasts consisting of toast and eggs for Alex and something sickeningly sweet for me (in this case crepes filled with something like cream cheese with strawberries and orange sauce).
After breakfast we headed for Oxford St., a great street filled with shops and restaurants. We made our way to Paddington Markets and wandered around looking at the different stands. By this point, we were (of course) hungry again and grabbed some Thai food (only chopsticks were available -- eek!) - some sort of vegetarian medley for Alex and honey chicken for me (our new favorite thing) - and sat in the rain listening to two older men play ukulele.

Then, we walked past a cupcake stand and could not resist and grabbed some sort of apple caramel glutinous pleasure and ate it while watching the cutest bunnies in the entire world at the very-strictly "kids-only" petting pen. Seriously have never wanted to be a kid again more in my life. After tearing ourselves away from the bunnies, we stopped into the Australia Centre for Photography and shared speculations about the concepts behind the photographs. Some really excellent ones - I might stop back in this week. We headed back home for a nap and then I forced Alex to get up to go to dinner in attempts to get him on a normal schedule and ended up only making it as far as the pub across the street for a very sleepy meal - no recollection of what we got.

Sunday, May 31st
The next morning we woke up early again and headed to the Rocks to try out the infamous "Pancakes on the Rocks."

After a short wait, we were seated in the restaurant which had 0 character and cranky waitresses but excellent food. I (of course) got pancakes with grilled bananas and Alex probably got eggs. I'm going to just stop writing what we ordered for breakfast as we essentially got the same thing every morning.
After breakfast, we took the 35 second tour of Cadman's Cottage, which I have deemed the smallest historical attraction ever and wandering through the Rocks Markets we headed for the bridge, which always seems to be strangely difficult to find the stairs to, despite it being a very large structure. Still haven't quite figured out the best way to get there.

On our way back to Circular Quay it briefly started raining (it also did this a lot during his stay - little random spurts of rain and then sun) so we dipped into the Museum of Contemporary Art but sadly had to miss the room with all of the mirrors and lights that I had seen on my last visit there because there was a huge line.
After the museum, we impromptu-ly (so not a word) decided to take a ferry somewhere, and opted for Darling Harbour. From there, we made our way to Chinatown and managed to find a street with about 10,000 camping-supply stores, which was exactly what we were looking for as Alex somehow forgot to bring anything for the Blue Mountains (despite packing enough clothes that he claimed he wouldn't have to do laundry at all on his 17-day trip). After grabbing a new red hat, wool socks, and $6 garbage bag that would serve as a poncho, we headed to Chinatown and were immediately bombarded by Chinese women trying to convince us to choose their restaurant for lunch. We made a brief jaunt into the horribly crowded and cheesy Paddy's Markets before choosing a restaurant and splitting lunch. When we wandered up to George St. we came out right near the movie theater and decided to see Angels and Demons; Alex absolutely hated it, but I didn't think it was too awful. We settled in for an early night as we had to wake up early for the Blue Mountains the next morning.

Monday, June 1st
I hate Central Station. It is huge and confusing and always makes me nervous that I am going to miss my train. Despite this, we managed to make it to our 8:24 train on time and chatted on the 2 hour ride to Wentworth Falls. When we arrived, the weather didn't look fantastic, but it wasn't raining, and we met Lew right at the bottom of the stairs of the station. It was nice to see him again and he brought us back to Silvermere for rhubarb cake and tea ("white," as he called it, meaning with milk). After dropping our things off in our cottage (an entire cottage all to ourselves - bedroom, bathroom, living room, flat screen TV, balcony, kitchenette... fantastic), Lew drove us into town.

We wolfed down some paninis before heading to the Charles Darwin trail. We started from a different point than I had in February with the Marist guys and it was basically just like walking through a park trail. It was very well-kept with wooden walkways over all of the wet parts - didn't quite match my description of it being the hardest hike I had ever done in my life. But then, we emerged from the trail and were looking out over the massive fog-filled valley and the impressive Wentworth Falls, and the real hike began.

Now, he was definitely impressed.

We scrambled up and down stairs, over flooded out paths through the Valley of the Waters. I opted to have us avoid the "experienced walkers only" section of 7 sets of very scary stairs and we stayed on the National Pass.

I did pretty well until the last hour or so, and then I was dying. We managed to do the whole hike in less than 3 hours (perhaps why I was exhausted) and called Lew to pick us up from the conservation hut (which I was very happy to see). We lounged around the cottage for the rest of the night watching movies and ordered pizza from the least competent pizza delivery girl ever.

Tuesday, June 2nd
The next morning we walked into town to catch the train to Katoomba. We bought tickets for the Explorer Bus, which would take us around to all of the sights, and then grabbed another typical breakfast (they really know how to do breakfast here... we were very pleased with almost all of them). We wandered around the town for a little while until the bus came and took us to Katoomba Cascades. We took a short hike and ended up at the Furber Stairs at which point we split up, and for good reason. The path we needed to take to get to the "scenic railway" aka the steepest railroad in the world was at the top of the stairs, where we were. But for some reason, Alex thought it would be fun to go down the stairs, so I let him have his "fun" and I hung out on a bench for a while as our bus driver had specifically told us that anyone who went up the stairs would most definitely have to leave the area by ambulance as they were extremely steep. Even master-hiker Alex was a bit tired by the time he got back to the top, after many concerned hikers asked him, "You realize those stairs are straight up, right?" Crazy man.
After a short rest, we headed for the infamous scenic railway, which was more like a medium-speed roller coaster, but it was pretty fun - 415 metres long, vertical drop of 206 metres, steepest incline: 52 degrees, natural tunnel length: 80 metres.

From the railway we had a few options of routes to take to get to the gondola that would take us to a cable car that would take us across the valley. We opted for the longest hike (we thought) and set off. After a while we realized that there was no one following us, no one in front of us, and in fact, no one around at all. We kept going in hopes that we would find some sort of sign that would tell us we were going the right way, but in actuality we were hiking through the fog toward the Golden Stairs which were an unreasonable distance away. Oops.

Finally, by the time we got to the cable car the fog had lifted a bit and we were able to see some of the views that had been hidden all day. We started hiking toward Echo Point where we (hypothetically) would have a view of the infamous Three Sisters, which I was very excited to see. After tromping through horribly-constructed stairs that ended up being more like pools we made it to the fog-filled Echo Point with 0 visibility. So disappointing. We hopped on the bus again and got off at Gordon Falls where I unexpectedly got my view of the Three Sisters (finally), but from the other side, which made me feel like I kind of was getting my own personal view of it, which was kind of fun.

The fog had also lifted enough for us to see out over the tree-filled valley that was unbelievably expansive. After playing on the swings for a few minutes, we caught the bus to Leura Village, a cute little town with a train station that would be even closer to Wentworth Falls. We grabbed a few snacks, caught the train just in the nick of time (our timing was pretty much impeccable the entire trip) and walked back to the cottage. We heated up our leftover pizza, attempted to watch Lord of the Rings, and Alex was asleep within 8 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3rd
Wednesday morning we caught the train back to Sydney and spent the day recovering from our hiking days. We had free tickets for Terminator Salvation that night from FILMINK and ventured to Bar Reggio for dinner, a pizza place that my guidebook raved about. It was a bit out of the way but was really yummy. After Terminator (which was surprisingly good), we headed back for (shocker) another early night.

More later :-)