Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In the land down under....

Wow, that was one helluva long flight. 15 hours from Vancouver. Upon arrival at the airport we had to get a SIM card, get the rental car and a trip to Costco before we checked into the condo. By the time we arrived in Heaven at Bondi (pronounced "bond-eye") we were exhausted.

We, of course, had to dip our toes in the ocean, with 10,000 other people on the beach! That had to be a record number of people we've EVER seen on the beach. There were so many lifeguards, you couldn't drown a toad. Below is the beach, which is about 400 metres from our condo.

After our first night, it was early to bed and awoke around 6 am to the sound of waves, birds and warm weather urging us to get up and explore Sydney. So we went down the Bondi Beach walk to the south end. Its a geological extravaganza, according to Wanda and Brent. We realized how pedestrian this area is as EVERYONE was on this pathway, but no one likes to say "good morning". And there are no overweight people here.

So after the 3 hours walk, we thought hey, what better way to see the city on our first day so lets get on the double decker bus! The on and off bus took us through Bondi and downtown Sydney areas. The city is a cool mix of old and new and super clean! We learned a lot and Todd said it was educational as it was a good introduction to the history of Sydney.

We celebrated Brents birthday on the tour bus day! Happy Birthday to Brent.

This morning we awoke and it was Todd's birthday in Sydney (and Brents birthday in Calgary, so hence it has turned into a 3 day merged birthday celebration, and they are milking it big time!)

So Todd's birthday wish was to go on the Sydney Bridge Climb. For those of you who aren't familiar with this activity, you basically walk on top of the bridge 134 metres above the ocean. This was VERY COOL and we all highly recommend this activity, even though it is very pricey. After an hour (yes an hour) of safety talks, safety gear attachment and ugly uniforms, we finally got to step out onto the bridge for some of the most amazing views of Sydney! We weren't allowed to take our own camera, and were forced to purchase their pics, so all we have is what i've got here: lovely viewage of Opera house and then the angle of the climb. We all agreed this was a very cool day, we, again, learned ALOT, for example: how many hot rivets did it take to build this bridge: 6 million, 16 men died building this bridge, it was built from both sides at the same time and held with cables and when it came together it was out by 5 mm (which is amazing considering it was all done manually with no computers), the two pillars on each side of the bridge are fake, they have no structural purpose as they put them there for esthetic reasons.In today's dollars it cost 2.5 billion to build. It is the longest freestanding single arch bridge in the world and we effing climbed it!(on our birthdays says Todd and Brent!)

Final end to the day was beers at the Australian Pub, one of the oldest pubs in The Rocks, Sydney.
(The Rocks, was the area where the first prisoners and inhabitants of Australia settled- see how smart we are!)

G'day mates!

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