G'day from Sydney
Well, we left San Fran at 10pm on Tuesday evening (may 31) and after a 14-hour flight on United Airlines - we spent most of the time sleeping, or in my case listening to my iPOD! - we arrived at 7am on Thursday morning Sydney time (june 2)!
We made it through customs & immigration with no hassle and were met by Mike's friend Mossie...it is always great to arrive in a new country and to be met someone you know!
So far, we've had two fun-filled days already...after a shower and a cup of Irish tea, we headed off to Botany Bay to see the place where Captain Cook landed...we had a look around and I had fun checking out the local intertidal organisms - snails, anemones, limpits, chitons, urchins, sponges...then we went to a whale watching point and scanned the coastline for migrating whales...even though we didn't see any whales, the coastline was quite beautiful! We had dinner at the local pub in Mossie's neighborhood and tasted a few of the local australian beers...
Today was even better....we headed off to the Blue Mountains - exploring the Blue Mountains National Park from a town called Katoomba - and decided to do a 2 and 1/2 hour hike from Echo Point to the base of the Scenic Railway and back...we were rewarded with awesome views of the famous "three sisters" rock formations, eucalyptus-filled forests, and waterfalls...it was a gorgeous day and although we were quite exhausted after the hike - we all agreed that it was worth it and we were better for it...we ate a late lunch at a fish & chip shop and i discovered what "chicken salt" is...then, we headed back and stopped off at a local "aussie" bar for a few beers and a "meat raffle" - although we didn't win any meat we did take in a lot of the local culture.
That brings us up to this moment...tomorrow we will head to downtown Sydney on the train and do some of the touristy stuff...we will try to get some photos up soon, so check back in a few days!
Happy Summer (or winter if you are in the Southern Hemisphere!)
-Christy & Mike