Friday, October 30, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Sydney!

Natalie snapping some of Sydney's beauty.
G'day mate!

Morning over the Pacific Ocean.
We've completed the first leg of our traveling, and even had some time for fun! We've gone from Boston to Dallas, where we met back up with Drew and had a lovely dinner at an Irish pub.Then we completed our 17 hour flight from Dallas to Sydney, arriving at about 6:00 AM on Saturday (Boston's Friday). Weird... Anyway since we had a 12 hour layover we decided to go check out some sights around Sydney! We hopped on the fancy double-decker train from the airport and got off at the Circle Quay stop. (Pronounced key). According to the customs
Museum stop on the train.
agent, it's the most beautiful spot in Sydney... and I agree! We walked from the Sydney Opera House to a cute little cafe where we got some "flat white" coffees and pastries. Then we took a stroll through the Botanical Gardens, stopping to rest for a bit and bird-watch. Our bench overlooked the bay and
Sydney Opera House in the early morning.
a pretty green so people watching was an added bonus. The plants here are so beautiful... and so strange! The trees are so gnarly that the root systems are almost magical. They look like they're straight out of Tolkien's Fangorn Forest. And the flowers are so tropical and vibrant. The birds were neat too.... until we realized they were everywhere! These funny feathered friends kept sneaking up on us while we ate lunch in a small outdoor restaurant in the middle of Hyde Park. It was so hip and cosmopolitan that they served their dishes on cutting boards... ooh lala no "barbys" there. From there we walked through Hyde Park and past the ANZAC war memorial to St. Mary's Cathedral.
Botanical Gardens.
It was beautiful, but there was a mass going on so we couldn't peek inside. We considered the museum, but by then we were so tired from carrying our heavy backpacks all over they city, that we walked back to the train and shuttled off back to the airport. And here we are - eagerly awaiting our next flight to Christchurch New Zealand. It's 4:34 PM but it's kinda nice to have some downtime, and the airports not too bad. It has the fanciest McDonalds I've ever seen in my life and some very lovely kangaroo pelts and didgeridoos. However, I decided a magnet sufficed as a souvenir.In any case, if the first leg of our trip has been such an adventure... I can't wait for part two!

Natalie in her new home.

Smile Drew! 

One of our feathered friends. I call him Steve.

Fun plants near the "wishing tree". We had to walk around it 6 times (3 forward, 3 back) and make a wish. We must have looked very silly!

Sydney Harbor... a welcoming sight after 17 hours on a plane!

New exotic growths in the fern area of the Royal Botanical Gardens. It's almost their 200 year anniversary!
And now that we've seen the best of Sydney... Christchurch and McMurdo here we come!

-Emelia Chamberlain

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