We left Jindabyne at 9am, we drove back through the lovely eucalyptus forests and grassy rocky fields, we passed about 20 dead kangaroos on the side of the road and arrived in Sydney at about 4pm. Our car rental return location was in the heart of the city and of course we missed a few turns and got a little lost. When we finally showed up at this back alley location we realized we forgot to fill the car with gas. The guy told us the rental company’s gas prices were almost 4 times regular prices. We contemplated the extra $200 to avoid having to drive back out into the crazy traffic but we took a deep breath, loaded up the car again and went for it. It was a good move.
Our Airbnb apartment was in a nice neighbourhood called Kirribilli on the north side of the Harbour bridge. We were 3 doors down from the Prime Minister’s house and just down the road from Luna park. Our place was small and dark with 3 flights of stairs and no elevator. But, we had a small view of the Sydney Opera House from our window and we didn’t plan on spending much time at home so it worked out well.
We dropped off our bags and headed straight to the beach recommended by our Uber driver. Balmoral beach is one of the north shore beaches, it was lovely. Christian and Blake went for a swim – the water looked cold.
First thing in the morning, Blake and I went for a run over the Harbour bridge towards the Opera House. Already at 6:30am, it was smoking hot! A short while later, all four of us walked over the bridge to catch the double decker bus tour. We b-lined it for the beach, listening to all of the interesting facts on our tour along the way. Well, not all of us were listening, Blake discovered that there were 16 different languages he could listen to, every time I glanced over he was on a different channel.
We got off at Bondi beach and spend half the day there. Jaida was thrilled with all of the souvenir shops and we had some amazing food. We swam at the super crowded swimming section and watched the surfers on the perfectly formed waves. It almost looked like a wave pool because these waves were perfectly spaced and the surfers were actually riding the waves. I loved Bondi beach, I can understand why it is so popular.
On our way home, we hopped off the tour bus at Pitt street because Jaida had seen a brochure for an Opal shop she wanted to go to. Apparently opal is Australia’s national stone and all the tourist books highlight the Opal shops. This particular shop advertised low prices so Jaida was keen because the other shops we had gone to had very expensive stuff. The shop was on the third floor of a building on a busy shopping street. We got into a run down smelly elevator with surveillance cameras to go up to the third floor. Christian and I started to feel a little nervous. When we got off the elevator we had to ring a door bell and look into the camera to get the door to open. We walked into a small room and couldn’t enter the next door until the first had closed. We walked into a cluttered creepy workshop but we were greeted by a friendly opal sales lady who immediately sat us down at her desk to explain their operation and the processing of Opals. Christian told the lady that Jaida just wanted to buy a few small souvenirs for her friends and Jaida did a great job about not caving into the lady’s expensive suggestions. She ended up getting a few very small uncut pieces and we left as fast as we could!
We headed home for a quick shower and then took the ferry over to the Opera House. We watched a super fun variety show called “The Unbelievable’s”. This was a perfect end to our day in Sydney – we saw acrobats, card tricks, a sand artist, a ventriloquist and a sword swallower. We all LOVED it!