Right after my Wednesday night class I headed out in the rain for the bus stop to catch the connecting bus to the airport for my trip to the Gold Coast. Since it was so late at night the ride didn't take as long as usual. My flight was supposed to be at 1:00AM Thursday morning but it was delayed until around two (I would much rather travel at night so I don't waste daylight hours). I arrived in Sydney around 7:15 - it is one of my favourite cities in the world! I was originally just going to have a long layover in Sydney and continue on to the Gold Coast later that night but then I found out that Christian, the TEAN employee in Sydney, was offering a trip to the Blue Mountains on Friday so I planned to stay until Friday night then leave for the Gold Coast. Once I arrived in Sydney I took the train to central station then went to the closest hostel. In the meantime Christian called to tell me two TEAN interns had just left and he could give me a free room in an apartment for the night. So I met up with him and he showed me the way to the apartment. After I was settled in I decided to head into the city to explore. I went to the Opera House where I had lunch and took a tour inside. A famous Russian conductor was performing tonight so we sat and watched part of the string section practice and we also saw a dress thermal for the ballet company. After the tour I headed to the botanical garden where there is a phenomenal view of the Opera House and they Sydney Harbour Bridge. I walked through The Rocks and on my way to Darling Harbour Kaleigh (from Beaumont) called so I met her for coffee -- but then we ended spending the rest of the night together! She took me all around Sydney it was great! I finally went back to the apartment, I met the Chinese boy living down stairs and we talked for a little bit. We were sharing our experiences of studying abroad and he showed me all 502 pictures he had just taken from his trip to Uluru (the big rock in the middle of the country).
I woke up early the next morning to meet Christian and the rest of the group outside the train station. There were about 16 of us in total. The train ride to the Blue Mountains was two hours so it was a very nice train with leather seats. We say on our train for about 45 minutes before the told us that it was broken and we would have to transfer trains. We arrived in the Blue Mountains and headed to the visitors centre. The area is called the Blue Mountains because the eucalyptus oil from the tree is released into the atmosphere and when it's mixed with the air it gives the mountains a blue hue. We hiked to the three sisters rock formation then took a cable car to another area where we took the steepest railway line in the world. My flight was at 7:00 Friday night and Christian kept making sure I would have enough time to get back -- but we were cutting it really close. After we finished at the Blue Mountains Christian looked at me and told me to run to the train station because I would only have a fighting chance of catching my flight if I made the next train. I ran up one of the steepest hills I have ever seen in my life and made the train. After the two-hour ride I jumped off at Central Station and had to run to the apartment to pick up my bag. Christian met me outside the train station and ran with me. We then ran back to the train station where he told me not to wait in line to buy a ticket because there would be no time, we hugged and said our goodbyes and I ran through the station to platform 23. Once I arrived at the airport the check in counter was closed so I went straight through security (here you don't need a ticket to go through security). I ran to the gate, the plane had not boarded yet but because I didn't check in 45 minutes before the flight the man at the desk would not let me board. So I stood there and watched every person board the plane and then the plane take off down the runway. Luckily there was another flight later Friday night that I was able to get on.