We arrived in Sydney late in the afternoon so head back out for dinner and drinks at the 'Gaffe' on Oxford Street with the group from the short trip up from Melbourne which was really lovely! More Vodka, Lemonades and Raspberries and dancing to 'Tonights gonna be a good good night'. Next day after looking around Darling Harbour (the harbour from Finding Nemo, remember?) the heavens opened and we had to hot foot it back to the hostel, venturing out only for a massive hot chocolate before it poured again and we needed to head back again, strange weather!
The following day the sky was blue (ish) which was great as Belinda, who we met on our New Zealand trip, had kindly offered to show us around Sydney and give us an insiders view on the city! We met early and head off down George Street towards the harbour and saw our first glimpse of the bridge and the opera house! Up close there were just as beautiful as we had hoped and it was lovely to see them as its what I, and I am sure everyone else, associates with Sydney and to have been there for nearly 48 hours and not seen it seemed really strange! After a few too many photos, every angle covered, we head off to the 'Rocks' and walked around the markets, found a few nice aboriginal souvenirs to take home (and lug around). The market was really nice, a bit like Coven Garden, but without the few tacky elements. We then had a gorgeous lunch and saw a few beautiful coloured parrots before heading up along George Street again before arriving at Darling Harbour, which looked a whole lot more appealing without the torrential rain! There are loads of lovely fish restaurants along there and trendy bars, certainly something to come back to if we ever visit again, with money! From there we went into China Town and Paddy's Market, a lovely day, thanks Belinda!!
The remainder of the time in Sydney was spent walking through the Botanical Gardens and Hyde Park towards the Mrs Macquarie's Chair where the best view of both the Opera House and the bridge (together) can be found, spectacular. We also had dinner with Rob and heard about his adventures so far, which has certainly given us a taste for Asia, thanks Rob!
Of course we couldn't come to Sydney without visiting the wonderful Blue Mountains! We saw the 'Three Sisters' and heard the aboriginal story of how they came to be, cast in stone by a witch doctor! We got the scenic ride down into the 'mountains' past the three sisters and had a walk around, learning about the different types of animals and plants before getting the near vertical rail road ride back up. We also got the chance to see some traditional aboriginal carvings and some spectacular views of the waterfalls. The day ended with a brief trip around the Olympic village from the 2000 games, brief because we had some hideous Dutch people (Lots of Orange, clogs and all!), who had come over to watch the Football friendly the night before, on our trip that were complain that they 'needed the bathroom', honestly! We then got the chance to take a lovely trip into Sydney on the ferry and see all of the gorgeous houses along the way before arriving into Circular Quay. What a lovely day!