Wow! Sydney! It's amazing! It's the most beautiful city I've ever seen. Sparkling blue water, acres of stunning parks and gardens, exotic birds everywhere. Even the seagulls look different. Rob says they taught him in PE class that Sydney is the fittest city in the world and I believe it because, linking things like the parks and the water and the Opera House together is one thing, or, should I say, many things: Stairs! All parts of Sydney are connected by one steep, hellish staircase after another.
The first day we walked out to Circular Quay and caught a ferry to Darling Harbor. We'd bought a pass that allowed discounted admission to the aquarium, wildlife park, and wax museum. (True, we had just been to the aquarium in Melbourne, but this one had the one Australian animal on our list that we'd yet to see: the platypus!)
The aquarium was a HUGE disappointment. First of all, we entered right after a group of Chinese tourists numbering just under the total of population of Taiwan. Unable to see anything past the sea of camera-toting humanity, we squeezed on past, deciding to forego the other creatures for the platypus. Imagine our dismay at finding them moved out for the season. Dispirited and dismayed, we trudged through the sharks and penguins. Only when we emerged did I find an employee to whine to about the platypus betrayal. "Oi, did you miss her?" She swept us back in to a tiny tank that had been covered by tourists an hour before and we joyfully watched the bird/reptile/mammal cavorting in all her glory.
|Faster than an iPhone Shutter|
Mission accomplished, we now began the long trek and endless stairs back to our apartment, a distance roughly equivalent to the distance to the moon. Fortunately, we cut off at least 1/2 the distance by walking through the Botanical Gardens....which closed at 6 pm. We wandered in the dark to gate after locked gate, finally finding a turnstile through which to escape, returning to our apartment probably having walked as many miles as ever before in my life.
The next day we went to the wax museum and wildlife park and then to the Sydney Tower, all included in our tour package. This day was notable for 2 reasons:
1) Spencer disappeared somewhere in the tower. Rob thinks he fell out of my pocket after we did his photo shoot. I think he decided to emigrate.
2) They closed the botanical park before we got there, leaving us to try to hoof it the long way around. Mind you, my calves are already screaming from the stairs the day before and I'm limping down stairs backwards and up stairs at the speed of a dead wombat (see picture,) so you have no idea how much the extra miles terrified me. Suffice it so say that, by the time we found the taxi, I would have paid pretty much anything.
|Sydney Tower Elevator, very cool!|
|At least I did not have to climb a million stairs to get this view.|
|Kookaburra, not in the Gum Tree...|
On our last day, we saw the play "Anything Goes" at the Sydney Opera House. I was excited to sit in the front row balcony and just drink it all in. But, to get there, well, have you ever seen the STAIRS at the Opera House? Let's just say we didn't do much else that day and we were darn sure to get there before the park closed…
The flight home was long but uneventful, except that they tried to give away our Skycouch (it's not much, but I paid for it!) and I was soooo glad I was still lugging my itinerary around instead of having checked it with the luggage, otherwise I'd have had yet another tale of woe. We return with lusty tales of adventure, a fondness for wallabies and a strong desire never to own a stair stepper.