Our best day in Sydney!

Our second to last day in Sydney turned out to be extremely action packed!  We were going non-stop all day and loving every second of it.   We started off the day with a run in a nearby park.  The park was on the way to the famous Sydney opera house so we decided to walk through it and get a few photos.   The park is huge and it’s basically the central park of Sydney from what we could tell.  Tons of people were in the park hanging out and it seemed like a great place to get away from the craziness of the big city.

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After we made our way through the park it came to a small harbor (above).  We made our way along the harbor which opened up to reveal the world famous Sydney opera house.   One of the things we noticed as we got closer is that the panels look a little more dated than I would have expected.  I’ve always thought it was just a solid white color from the distance but it’s almost an off white color with some texture to it which I wasn’t expecting.   It was busy in the area but surprisingly not as busy as we thought it would be.

As we looked out over the harbor there is a bridge that goes across to the other side.   If you look closely at the top of this bridge you will see people up there walking along it.   We heard from David in Surfers Paradise that we shouldn’t miss this but we couldn’t justify the cost on this one as it would going to be nearly $400 for both of us.    It would have been an amazing view of the Harbor but we have been up in a lot of towers on the trip so it didn’t seem worth it to see things from higher.   It look like a lot of fun being way up there though so maybe we’ll get a chance to do it in the future!

Random note:  The photo of the two of us below was interesting.  We were walking along and this girl who was in the middle of her run stopped and offered to take a photo of us.  We weren’t really acting like we were looking for someone to take a photo of us at all but it was extremely kind of her to stop in the middle of her run and offer so we said sure.  There’s tons of tourists in the area so she’d be stopping every two minutes if she asked everyone but we were thankful!

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After we were done checking out Sydney harbor we decided to make our way over to a nearby area called “The Rocks”.  We had tried to make a reservation at a place called Rockpool Bar and Grill but they were full so we wanted to find it and at least know where it was for later that evening.  In addition, the hostel had given us free tickets to go on a harbor cruise.  We assumed the cruise was going to be junk and there was obviously some sort of catch since it was a free ticket.   We couldn’t find our restaurant so we decided to check out the cruise and see what it looked like.   We waited in line and turned our vouchers into tickets and then went and stood in line.   It was running a little behind and it looked like we were going to be crammed on a tiny ship with hundreds of people so we decided to skip it.   We walked away and just as we were a few hundred yards away a huge ship pulled into the spot so we decided to change our mind yet again and go for it.

We got on the ship and immediately hit the top deck.   The ship was HUGE and it was no where near full.  There was tons of room on it which was really nice.  The cruise started off by taking us right by the Sydney opera house and then did a bit loop around the harbor.   We then circled back and went under the bridge and made our way back over to the marina we originally had been going to the last couple days.   The nice thing about ending at this other marina was that we were closer to home!  Turns out this free cruise really was free and it was awesome!!!

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We quickly made our way towards home.  It was around 3 or 4 at this point and we wanted to go to a nice place for dinner but they had no room when we tried to make a reservation.  They said on the phone that we could show up and try and get a table but it was “very unlikely” they would find room for us.   We decided we’d show up right when they opened and hopefully grab a table before it got busy for the night.

We went home and put on our nicest clothes (which aren’t that nice) and then immediately turned around and left.  We jumped on the subway so we could get there as quickly as we could.   We got to the Rockpool Bar and Grill just 5 minutes after it opened.  They were already starting to fill up quickly when we arrived and things weren’t looking good.  To top it off, I was the ONLY person wearing jeans and we were way under dressed.   Fortunately the hostess was able to find us a spot but only if we agreed that we could wrap it up in 1.5 hours.   This was the first time we’d been in a nice restaurant since our steak in Kobe Japan and it felt like we were out of place!

Since we had not been to an expensive place in a while and also knew that we wouldn’t have many opportunities in Southeast Asia we decided to have one really nice meal. Ashley ordered some a shrimp and pasta dish and I ordered steak.   My steak was excellent, but the weird thing about this meal is that Ashley’s pasta was almost BETTER than my steak which seems impossible.   The pasta was tortellini with goat cheese and it was one of the most incredible things I have ever tasted in my life.  It was easily the best pasta I have ever had in my entire life.  Ashley also said it was the best pasta she had ever had in her life.  I’m not sure what other magic they put in that pasta but it was amazing!!!

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We were both stuffed happy campers but we still wanted to go check out the Rocks area at night.  In addition, you could walk along the bridge to get a view of Sydney Harbor at night.  We made our way that direction and stopped into a couple different bars in the area.  It was a fun atmosphere everywhere we went and we really enjoyed checking it out after dinner.   Once we got to the bridge the view was incredible.  We walked all the way out to the half way point and got some photos before turning back and making our way back through town and calling it night.

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Star Wars

Our final full day in Sydney was absolutely perfect!  The next day it was time for us to leave.   The trip from Sydney to Melbourne is a long one with nothing to see so we opted to fly from Sydney to Melbourne.  We had a late afternoon flight so we had a few hours to kill in the morning.  It just so happened that this was star wars opening day!   We had not purchased tickets but there was a massive movie theater not far from our hostel.  With nothing else to do we decided to head that way and see if we could get a ticket.   When we got there at 10 a.m. we were one of the only people in line which seemed really odd.   We get to the front and I ask the guy if there’s any way he can get us a ticket.  He laughs and says, “yeah there are 300 left for the 10:30 where do you want to sit”.  We were able to select middle of the theater and got assigned seats which was kinda cool.    By the time the movie started the movie theater was only about 25% full which was really weird for Star Wars opening day.   No spoilers here, it was epic in my personal opinion.

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A mishap in Melbourne

After the movie we grabbed our bags at the hostel and then made our way to the airport.  We flew on Jet Star for the first time.   The flight was fine but we figured out why it was so cheap as soon as we landed.  There’s a main airport in Melbourne and then there’s the one we landed at.   It was extremely small and they didn’t even have gates to pull into.  They pulled stairs up to unload everyone.  As you look out there’s literally nothing as far as the eye can see.    We made our way into the terminal and get a bus that will take us into Melbourne.  The bus ride ends up taking a little over an hour.  We got into Melbourne about 9:00 and we’re exhausted.

We made it to our Airbnb and Ashley goes, “oh no, I can’t find my purse”.   We find the name of the bus company and call them up.  After a 45 minute phone tag trying to get a hold of the driver they finally confirm they do have the purse.  Fortunately there is one more bus coming from the airport tonight.  The guys tells us to go back to the bus stop at 11:45PM to meet the bus and keep waiting no matter what because sometimes they are delayed.  We’re both exhausted but it makes the most sense for us to get it back as quickly as possible.  We get to the bus station at 11:35 to be safe.  We ended up waiting at the bus station until almost 1:00 a.m. before the bus finally arrives.   They had told us to show up too early and the plane was also delayed so we ended up getting there way too early.   On the plus side, we got the purse back and all the content were still inside!  Important note:  Ashley DID have her phone as she was paranoid about it after leaving it in the cab in Fiji.  2 strikes Ashley!

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