After a 12 hour overnight, cramped and impossibly uncomfortable bus journey, we arrived in Sydney. Luckily, our hotel was pretty close to the bus station and our room was ready, even at the early hour, so it wasn't long before we were sprawled out in a very comfortable bed and asleep again! The room was beautiful and we even had a distant view of the opera house from our balcony. (Thanks Michael, for sorting it out for us!)
Feeling a little more alive after our power nap, we spent the afternoon down at Sydney harbour. The skies were bright blue and the sun shining, so the views were fantastic! It was a first for me (James) to see the harbour bridge and opera house in all their glory. This was one of the things I had been most looking forward to and I wasn't disappointed! One million photos later, we squeezed in a bit of last minute Christmas shopping, in the many huge shopping malls!
The day before Christmas Eve we hit the iconic Bondi Beach, full of British and Irish backpackers and not an Aussie in sight! It turns out Bondi is a posers paradise, with many guys strutting their six packs in Speedos two sizes too small for them! On Christmas Eve, we hit Manly beach for the afternoon to meet up with some of our Aussie friends. Unfortunately, the weather by this point, was taking a turn for the worst and the sky was clouded over - ready for the forecast downpour that actually arrived, rather disappointedly, on Christmas Day! The image of our Xmas Day on the beach quickly faded and in reality we managed to get a few photos in, between downpours, to show we at least had five minutes on the beach!!
We spent the day with Donal and Melissa in their pad at Coogee Beach. Both had slaved over the dinner all morning, so we were treated to a full Xmas dinner, with all the trimmings and although outside the window the rain came down, it was still hot enough for us to be in our summer shorts and t-shirts! The craic was good, but unfortunately we had to leave to catch the last bus back to the city, so we could lap up the luxury of our hotel room for one last night before we checked out early on Boxing Day. (Thanks Donal and Melissa, for looking after us so well on Xmas Day!).