Opera and Blue Mountains

Trip Start Jan 13, 2006
Trip End Feb 15, 2006

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Back to Sydney for a few days before we leave Australia and move on to Southeast Asia! But before we leaving Australia we decided to take the advice of 1000 places to see and went to the Blue Mountains on a full day tour. It were quickly reminded why we hadn't done the tour the first time as there was some rogues on our bus, and of course you couldn't get away from them. Luckily for us the Blue Mountains were pretty amazing and worth the trip out there to see (See Travel Notes below). Plus we decided to take the shorter of the two trips which got us home at an earlier hour to allow us to work out, go to happy hour in an old time bar and get to bed at a reasonable time.

As Sydney is very easy for us to navigate, we spent time the next couple of days preparing for our next adventure. We both got haircuts, and both of us went short - even Amy! Then, we lightened our load by sending home a big box of things we haven't used yet (making that backpack even smaller). After taking care of logistics, we got to spend our Valentine's Day in Sydney and the plans we made last time we were in town turned out to be great. We had dinner on the water in Darling Harbour at the Wine & Steak Co. and then took advantage of the beautiful night by making the 30 minute walk to the Sydney Opera House to see Madame Butterfly. The opera was outstanding and impressed both Scott and Amy! Our seats were close to the front so we were able to clearly see all of the facial expressions. It was an amazing night at the Opera which we continued to absorb as we made the walk back to our hotel after the show. It was a fantastic night to end our journey in Australia!

Sydney is well documented and you should have no trouble planning your trip there, but the following are must do's
1. Bridge Climb: Make sure you book ahead and be prepared for the weather. The initial stairs are the hardest part but go quickly. You are not allowed to bring a camera so you will most likely purchase theirs, which are expensive but good quality.
2. Opera House Tour: Its one thing to see the Opera House from the water, harbour, park, etc. but another to see the structure from the inside and hear its interesting history. Actually going to an Opera was a great experience (make sure you get seats that can see the subtitles) but is probably an optional event.
3. Blue Mountains: We would recommend renting a car and going out there for a couple of days to take advantage of the hikes and some really quaint old towns. The day trip should only be done if you are really pressed for time as its worth seeing them but most put up with the tour crowd for the 2 hour drive each way!
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