Hello! I'm still in Sydney at the moment. Turns out my hostel wasn't so bad after all, it was just the initial impression that made me want to move, but I actually quite like it now! There is a really cool roof terrace which gives you a good view over the skyline and over one of the Botanical Gardens so that may have swung my opinion a bit! Apart from that the people I've met are all nice, the vast majority of them seem to come from Leeds/Manchester/Bolton so my 'posh' accent has been mentioned a few times!
On thursday I just went for a long walk around the city to see some of the main sights, but the weather wasn't brilliant so some of the photos were a bit disappointing! I walked through the botanical gardens to a lookout over the harbour, where you can see the bridge and the Opera House. I didn't spend too long there as it was starting to rain but I definitely wanted to come back when it was sunny. All of the trees in the garden were covered in sleeping fruit bats, which I reckon must be about 70cm across when flying. At dusk they cover the skies and fly right over the roof terrace of the hostel, which I find pretty cool but I think loads of the other foreigners here hate it! In the evening the hostel had an organised night out to a couple of bars/clubs, and as I found out it was free entry and a couple of free drinks each I decided I might as well make the effort to be sociable! I had a pretty good night, but ended up wasting most of the next day as I was so tired (which didn't actually matter too much in the end because it was a downpour all day!)
Yesterday I booked to go on a trip to the nearby Blue Mountains. (Although I disagree with the name, they are only slightly Blue, and not really tall enough to be considered mountains anywhere else but Australia!) I was glad to have a day organised for me, instead of trying to decide what to do myself! They took us to a few lookouts over the mountains, where there were some amazing views (see the photos...) I'm so glad that the weather was good as it could have been pretty disappointing if not. We got taken to a place called 'Scenic World', where you took a cable car down into the rainforest and could go around a small area on a walkway. It's a bit of a shame that they'd built over some parts of it but I guess there wouldn't be anyway to see it otherwise! To get back up to the top, you had to take the worlds steepest railway. Now I like roller coasters but that was pretty scary! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUCzD_9uI_k) On the way back we went through the Olympic village from 2000, which looks very grand but pretty empty at the moment to be honest! On the way back we got to catch a ferry back along the river, which was much nicer than sitting in the coach for any longer.
I've got the rest of today and then tomorrow left in Sydney, so today I'm going to see Alice in Wonderland in the cinema (yes I know I could do this in england, but I want to see it before I go to the outback!). I think I'll try some of the free art galleries tomorrow. I am definitely not looking forward to my 30 hours on a bus, but I'm definitely excited about finally starting my job!