Off to Oz we go! I feel like Dorothy. Josh doesn't. So we flew to Australia and got into Sydney in the early afternoon on Saturday. We got our rental car (after much hoopla from the dude, as there was an issue with not being able to give him the credit card we wanted, blah, blah, blah, finally his manager made everything ok) and jumped in the car and drove the 90 minutes or so up to Katoomba, which is in the Blue Mts. Some of the architecture is Art Deco, and looks pretty cool.
The next day we hiked in the Jamison Valley area for a few hours--did some bushwalking, as they like to say. I read that the Blue mountains have a blue-ish haze because of the eucalyptus trees. Not sure if that is indeed the truth, but it was beautiful.
Here's a view of one of the valleys.
And this is the awesome view into Jamison Valley, with the Three Sisters Rock formation to the left. The valley is ever changing with the weather, and I think this view of the river of clouds is my favorite.
Another pretty view, now without the clouds!
Look at those marsupials... After our hike we drove to the Jenolan caves to have a tour, and we saw kangaroos, a wallaby, and a dingo (we think) on the road. A dingo ate my birthday cake!
Then we went to the caves, which is a consists of a huge number of caves about an hour west of Katoomba. Josh is going spelunking!
We stopped at the Koala Park on the way back to Sydney, where we got to feed the kangaroos.
Josh feeding the little joey in the pouch!
Super cute koalas. We got to pet them. I want to take one home. They're so cute and cuddly. Do you think that they would let it through customs?
There's a dingo!
And they have cockatoos (can't spell that) at the park, but also these super cool ones out in the wild, with a bright yellow mohawk! This guy really wanted to be our friend. He was cute.
After getting into Sydney, we wandered around to check out the sights. Here's the Opera house at night.
Josh at the door of our room at hostel--they had lots of fun art on all the doors.
Then we took a walking tour of Sydney--this is the Queen Victoria Building, which now houses lots of fancy shops, but is absolutely beautiful, with wrought iron railings, gorgeous stained glass, and lots of other pretty bits.
Giant chess players in Hyde Park.
A cool artsy thing in 'the Rock' area, which is one of the oldest areas of Sydney, where the first European settlement was. Note the shackles on the ankles.
And these birds were everywhere! It's an ibis.
A different look at the opera house.
To get a harbor cruise in, we took one of the ferries over to Darling Harbor at the recommendation of our tour guide. Awesome! And then we went to the aquarium.
The Harbor Bridge with the Opera House in the background.
Here's Crush at the aquarium! We saw Nemo too. And lots of other characters.
And one more shot of the Opera House at sunset, just before we went to the opera! We saw Girl of the Golden West, which is a story set back in the 1850s in California Gold Rush. For some reason, I assumed that it would be in English. Turns out it's actually the La fanciulla del West, by Puccini. And it was definitely in Italian. Hmm. But there were surtitles!