I am so happy to be adventuring again. Travel Jenna is out in full force!
My flight from Vancouver was delayed, so we didn't end up taking off until about 12:45am. By that point, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep right away, and slept through the first meal that was provided. I found this hilarious when I woke up, since basically the only thing I was really anxious about for this whole trip was if I would be able to sleep on the flight. So it was a late but good start.
I landed in Sydney at 8:30am local time. The inside of the plane was sprayed with pesticides before we were allowed to disembark, which was very strange. And the customs control was electronic! I put my passport into a machine, looked at the camera and then the doors magically opened. It was pretty neat. A real human did look at my declaration card, though. They hesitated when they saw I had said yes to "have you been in a lake or near wilderness in the last 30 days", but then saw that I was from Canada. He said "oh right - all of Canada is wilderness. Carry on." It was awesome.
I took the train to King's Cross and then it was just a short walk to the hostel. I got there just before 10am, and the guy at check in told me to go get some free breakfast before it closed at 10, and to check in afterwards. That was a nice surprise (especially since I have now learned that food in Sydney is so expensive!!). I changed clothes, and then immediately set out on a four hour walk around Sydney harbour. I went through the Royal Botanical Gardens and along the water to get my first glimpse of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. They do not disappoints! From there I wandered through the Rocks, and then back towards the hostel through downtown. I got back at about 2:30, and decided to have a little nap...... I slept for 14 hours instead. Whoops. A thrilling end to my first day! Yesterday I took a ferry from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, where I chatted to an old Australian man who was very apologetic after mistakenly calling me American. At Darling Harbour I went to the aquarium, and made friends with sharks, a dugong, and many penguins. I had lunch in a cafe and then took the ferry back. I got off one stop before Circular Quay, and walked across the Harbour Bridge. I think I took approximately 300 photos. On my walk back to the hostel I came across a little alley where there were a ton of empty bird cages suspended from wires, so they were floating above the street. It was very cool. I would have assumed that after my 14 hour sleep I would be mostly adjusted, but apparently not, since I fell asleep at 6pm. I work up at 3am and was quite displeased. That's two nights in a row I slept through dinner.
I am now sitting in the common room drinking tea. My plan for today is to take the bus out to Bondi beach, and do the 6km Bondi to Coogee beach walk. Yes, I will wear lots of sunscreen and try not to get stung by a jellyfish. So far, I am loving Sydney! I hope all of you are doing well.