No one was in when we rapped on Janine's door so we did the only sensible thing and headed to the local pub, which is only a couple of doors away. We were just tucking into our first pint when who should walk up to the bar but Sally, who had been sat in a different part of the pub (no surprises there really). Hugs all round, lots of catching up with Janine, Sally and Sean when he arrived, oh and a little bit of beer and Chinese food too!
The following day Dean, Sally and I didn't do masses, more gossiping and a few classic photos in front of the Opera House and Bridge, and a drink in the Opera Bar which has to have some of the best views of any bar in the world
. That evening we did something a little different and went to see a TV show being filmed. In a couple of the many hostels Dean and I had stayed in we had watched a programme called Sideshow and at the end it supplied an email address to watch it being filmed so we emailed for tickets. It is a bit of a variety show with comedians, circus-esque acts and bit of music and some people do. The show was actually quite good and it was interesting to see the process but it involved a lot of queuing and then standing for 3 hours clapping, which is utterly exhausting, so although it ended at 9 the most we could bring ourselves to do was grab a bite to eat and crash out...we must be getting old? Sally and I actually spent most of the night being moved around by a woman who thought we would come to a nasty end because of our flip flops and the cameras being moved....not sure what she expected to happen that 2 mm of leather would protect us from...
On the Friday Dean and I decided to splash out and climb Sydney Harbour Bridge. Instead of the classic "Over the top" climb we did the new Discovery climb which involves climbing the inner arch of the bridge before climbing to the very top. After a lot
of kitting up (you can't take anything up with you, you wear a suit over your clothes, have to attach your glasses to your suit and then are given hats, hankies, gloves, jumpers all which need t be attached and then you need a harness which attaches you to the bridge) we had to walk out in public looking like Star Trek rejects
. It was worth it though. We had been told that this climb was better because you get to see more of the structure and engineering of the bridge and we were told right. We got some really great views of the inside of the bridge as well as a close up view of the rivets and joints, loads of great photos opportunities but, you aren't allowed you camera, I am not sure if this is because they haven't figured out a way of attaching them to your suit or because you taking photos yourself would ruin their chances of selling photos they took at extortionate fees at the end..oh I'm a right cynic aren't I? The discovery climb, from what I gather, has a lot more points where you can see directly below you, in fact the first 50m you can see the ground, and then the sea below you, a little scary but very cool (I was terrified standing on the glass floor at the top of the CN tower in Toronto so I think I did very well doing this). The climb itself is pretty easy, and the guide stops regularly to explain how the bridge was constructed or just share some local history so it is very interesting and you have plenty of opportunity to gawk at the incredible views around you. The views from the very top are also great, although with everyone ending up there it felt a bit crowded, also being able to see through the mesh floor here, right down to the car deck however many metres below freaked me out a little (I stuck to standing on the girders!) and I was slightly relieved to be heading back down. If anything the views of the inside of the bridge were even better going down, you can really see the curve in parts
. It was a really great excursion and I am so glad we did it, shame it's so bloody expensive! That evening we had a night on the tiles going to a Salsa club in Darling harbour, fortunately they gave lessons first, not that it helped us much! We had lots of fun dancing, drinking and gossiping even if we were standing on each others toes most of the time!
After all that fun we weren't up to much the following day, Sally and I managed to drag ourselves out into Balmain to have a look around the market and ended up having an impromptu picnic but our attempt to go out later failed abysmally with us all sat in front of the TV on air beds watching videos!
Fresh after our lazy day Dean and I went for a walk with Laura which took us from the famous Bondi beach to Coogee. It was a gorgeous day and we took our time stopping for lunch and taking lots of pictures. The walk takes you along the coast and through all the bays between Bondi and Coogee including through, what must be, one of the best located cemeteries in the world! We weren't the only ones who though it was the perfect day for a walk and loads of people were meandering, sauntering and sometimes even jogging along the path. After all those exertions Laura took us out and treated us in a cafe that only sells chocolate in all its glorious forms
. As you walk in there is a big vat of gooey melted chocolate being mixed and the most wonderful smell. After a melt your own hot chocolate (hot milk, chocolate buttons and a candle...) we went back to Rozelle feeling very contented. If that wasn't enough for the remainder of that afternoon and well into the evening we celebrated our last night with a proper Aussie barbie; lots of beer, fabulous food (thanks to Janine) and great company. We had a great time (as the drunken photos attest to); it was like old times but without the rain and even included random witterings that I can only vaguely remember well into the night. It definitely didn't make it any easier to leave the next morning.
After a very sad goodbye/thanks for putting us up breakfast with Janine and Sean, Dean, Sally and I had a last mooch around Rozelle before Dean and I left a little tearfully to catch our flight to Hong Kong.
Alex: We flew to Sydney on Dean's birthday (old git), but that was not the only excitement of the day, not only did we get to catch up with Janine and Sean again but we also got to see Sally (another of my very good uni friends).