04.30.2007 -17 °C
Up bright & early. Jim is a definite early bird. But now that we’d learned that most things close very early, we had to jam pack our days. Jim had gone thru the brochures and planned out things to do that day. We left the hotel in the cool sunshine. Considering it was the middle of their winter, it wasn’t too bad. We walked to an area called The Rocks for our first tour. We browsed around some small shops while we waited for the tour to start. The Rocks are a really old part of Sydney. The first area to be settled. It was very beautiful and our tour guide gave us lots of information. The most memorable story she told us was about an old woman that hid in this alleyway that she took us down. The old lady used to clobber passersby with a sock filled with rocks and then rob them! The streets in this area were mostly cobblestone. After our tour we stopped at a restaurant in the area for lunch. We ended up having a “friend” join us in the tree next to our table waiting for scraps. It was a giant magpie with big glowing yellow eyes. After that we wandered around some more shops for the rest of the afternoon till we had another tour. This one was a city bus tour. This tour covered the majority of the city and hit all the important tourist spots. It picked us up in The Rocks and went past Sydney Town Hall, Chinatown, Sydney Aquarium and Darling Harbour, The Sydney Tower, Parliament House, Hyde Park, St James & St Mary’s Cathedral, the Opera House, and thru historic Paddington. We stopped at Bondi Beach for about 20min. Just enough time to take some pictures and for me to fill up a bottle of sand and shells. We also stopped at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair to see the view of the city skyline. And our last stop was at a place called The Gap. The Gap is a huge cliff area that juts out over the Pacific Ocean. We were allowed to walk around and take pictures of the sun setting behind the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The sunset was beautiful and the whole tour was great. The bus driver was very comical and explained everything. It was probably the best tour we did just because of him. It was a great way to spend the first day.