There is no way to top off such an amazing trip than what we experienced in the opera house. Even with the wonderful experience of that night, we had one last stop before our trip back to the states. Without planning it, we happened to be two blocks from Hillsong United Church in Waterloo.
This was the big day of the Sydney Opera House! We woke up and realized that we had to take to the car back (make that, got to take the car back..ha!) to Avis. We had the grand idea of running some errands with it and than dropping it off, but it was easier said than done. Apparently, Sydney’s parallel parking on the streets and most parking garages were shut down for New Years Eve. We pulled in and out of several garages and decided to make our way back to the rental place. I have never been more relieved to give up a car in all my life. Jordan did an amazing job, but it definitely was something I was happy to give up.
Let’s just say that lacking a car in Sydney, or anywhere can mean a lot of walking. We ended up sleeping in that morning, getting breakfast at our usual spot, and then tried to walk to a local car rental place. Well, after 30 minutes of walking, they were closed. Those are the moments that seemed a little bit of a loss, but thank goodness for cell phones. We walked back to the hotel, called another car rental place, and arranged to pick up our car soon. In the meantime, we got the concierge to call a cab. We were not prepared for the the craziness of driving on the opposite side of the street, and jumbled requests of the driver, and the multiple “almost” accidents within the 3 miles we rode with him.
Today was the day of climbing. I was so thankful for my new tennis shoes for the hike, and the fact that it was a beautiful week of summer. There was this adorable breakfast spot (Angelo Pascucci) that we saw the day before and went in for our scrumptious pancakes with blueberries and ice-cream melting on top. They didn’t have the traditional cheese grits or french toast, but we were going to make due. Something we noticed was that there were people from all around the world, from all different ethnicities, but they all spoke English with an Aussie accent.
The first statement anyone said about this trip was either, “Long flight,” or “You’re only going for 5 days?” Those were the last scenarios we thought of as we left the day after Christmas. Yes, the flight is long, but it helps to be sleeping during most of it. We had a great flight and landed in Sydney around 6 a.m. This meant a full day of adventuring, even though it was 16 hours ahead of the time we left.