So Caroline, Amanda, Brittany and I went into Sydney a little earlier than the rest of the group. We arrived in Sydney just after 6 on Friday. We settled into our hostel and decided to explore Sydney at night since we always left for the train when it started to get dark previous times we had gone into the sydney. A couple of our flatmates had been to this bar called the O-Bar. It was on the 47th floor of this building on George Street. This bar however was different. It had a rotating floor which allowed you to get some nosh and drinks and watch from a 360 degree perspective of the city all lit up at night. The Bar was absolutely exquisite! it had a modern vibe and a mix of a younger and older crowd! It honestly was breathe taking and was just another point (among the many) that I had fallen even more in love with Australia. Australia has such a presence. its not like New York City or even Los Angeles. It has a feeling of difference and acceptance where I feel America is just starting to explore. While up in the O-Bar I honestly felt humbled, here I am in one of the most beautiful places on the planet and it gave me the opportunity to just soak up all that has happened and all that is still to come. So the Four of us sat in silence. Don't get me wrong we talked a lot but there were points in the night where there was silence and reflection, which is hard to come by when everyone is trying to experience everything in such a short amount of time. We even met another American at the O-Bar, she was a waitress and came here to study abroad when she was in college and just felt like she didn't have enough time here and is now on a work visa. I was extremely jealous! But as we left the O-Bar and made our way around the city we stopped at the Famous Century bar and then headed to bed to prepare for the bridge climb the next day.
Our adventure first started off at 830 pm the night before our flight took off. Which was the only train that could get us to our flight on time. So once we got to central station in Sydney we had just missed the last connecting train to the airpor. So we hailed a can to the domestic airport. Which turned out to be closed.. Really who closes an airport! So we heard that we could sleep in the international airport. After walking around a great deal we finally called another can to take us to the international airport we arrived at 130 am meaning the only sleeping spots available where direction in the path of the door and it's cold wind. After 4 hours we headed back to the domestic airport via train where we went through security if you can even call it that. We didn't have to remove our shoes or jackets just liquids and laptops, no Identification checks nothing. Which was a little alarming! It was a quick flight to Melbourne where we took the tram and stopped at Luna park where we got a special announcement over the intercom just for us "Americans". So much for blending in. We walked around and checked into our hostel and passed out for a bit after not sleeping for over 24 hours.
The next day the rest of the group met up with us at queen Victoria's market where we did a lot of damage and had a laugh at all the crazy things being sold. You can find anything from wigs to clothes to American food which defiantly gave us a good laugh. After that we went to the eureka sky deck at the 88th floor where we saw the whole city and a storm come in and if we weren't lucky enough to see a storm and stay dry we also saw a double rainbow! We returned to base x hostel where we packed and prepared ourself for our tour that began early the next morning! But I've got to say the first hostel we stayed in was with a group of 8 that were very close and seemed to be living there for a while. Where base x gave the same family vibe but had a bar and a ton of cool stuff!
The next morning we began our adventure on the great ocean road with our charming and witty tour guide Ben! We saw the 12 apostles and 88 steps of Gibson and a gorge and beaches in beachs all equally beautiful but in their own way. Of course I could resist writing in the sand and playing around and throwing that I know ( alpha chi omega for those who don't know :) haha). But the Victoria weather held out for us and made it a beautiful day. After that we saw a koala in the wild and Melissa names him Steve.. Apparently touching a wild koala can result in a fine of 10,000 AUS dollars... Say what?! So we did not touch Steve. But it was still really cool! After we stopped in a little town called Lorne, along the great ocean road. Where Ben cooked is an amazing dinner and we tried kangaroo meat! Sad part is I really liked it which makes me feel kind of like a bad person. Because they have personalities like dogs so I feel like I'm eatin a pet!
The next morning we left and went to this rehabilitation center where we pet wallabies and kangaroos and met ice an albino kangaroo! It was so cool!!!! And spring is in the air because ice has a mate and has a albino baby!!! Then the best part was we went to Phillips island to see the little blue penguins march on the shore at dusk as they make their way to their burrows! Ben told us exactly where to sit so we could see the penguins and omg they were so cute! And they traveled in packs and it was so cute and they kept getting hit by waves and waddled and so cute! We even got to see all the peguins as we walked along the board walk! They were so close I could touch them. It was amazing how ignorant and selfish people can be, we were told not to have cameras or anything with a flash out because it can blind them and result in their death. People still took pictures and when confronted they would just run away. It was just very sad that people can't fallow the rules especially in an animals home and your invading their living space! So when I got to the gift shop I bought a stuffed blue penguin and it has a sweater, the money goes to the oil spill releif for penguins and the sweater on my penguin is the same kind I sweater worn by oil spill penguins to keep them warm! But my penguins name is Ben, after our tour guide and Melbourne (since it's pronounce MEL-BEN). He is very cute and I love him.
The next day we just enjoyed the city and took the free visitors shuttles to all the touristy places in Melbourne! After that we walked to TOTOs the first Italian pizza place in Australia, it was absolutely amazing! We went to celebrate Audries birthday, I had an amazing garlic and broccoli White pizza and I went and talked to the owner (Sam) about Audries birthday to see if we could do anything special for it and he gave us a mix bowl of gelato on the house! He was so nice and by the end of it he was telling us to call him Uncle Sam and about his background and how he came into this business. It was so cool! Which was the perfect end to an amazing trip! Because sadly Melissa and I left on the early flight..