Tuesday, July 2 Sydney, Australia Day 3
AH! Finally! We are off the plane after an excruciating 14 hours. We all lined up at customs to have our passport checked and visa. Our leader, Mrs. Rusher, yelled at another boy from the other delegation from Maryland because he was rudely cutting in line. But he pretended as if he didnít hear her and proceeded to cut. It really ticked off Mrs. Rusher. We gathered our bags from the moving luggage retrieval area, and met in a designated spot by the entrance to the airport. Dale, Richard, Jonathan, and I decided to pay a visit to the bathroom (in AU itís called the Toilet) and put in our contacts and cleaned up. Dale, Richard, TR, and I decided to go outside and take in our first gulps of Australian air. BRRRR! We were in shock when we stepped out. It was frigid. We had already known that it was winter but I was really under prepared for the frigid air. After a while we got onto our bus, and met our delegation manager, Nerida. We first went to the Australian Museum where we learned about aboriginal culture and explored their way of life. Because of the short amount of time we have we decided to precede onto Costelloís, an opal establishment. They taught us what opals were, how they are mined, and gave us the opportunity to purchase them. For lunch, we went to the Hard Rock Cafť, and I had chicken which was rather delicious. There I bought two t-shirts, one for me and one for my friend Drew back in Richmond. After having lunch, we went to do our Sydney Bridge Climb. At first I was very afraid of heights and was not anticipating the Bridge Climb at all, but as we climbed the bridge, I became much more comfortable and began to enjoy the climb. Once we reached the pinnacle of the bridge, I was overcome by disbelief. The birdís eye view of Sydney was absolutely astonishing. From the top once can view into the distant horizon into the Sydney Harbor, the Sydney Opera House, and the tall skyscrapers that shape downtown Sydney. We made the climb down and I was relieved that I had survived the climb and conquered one of my biggest fears, fear of heights. After the climb we took a tour of Sydney Opera House, but everyone was absolutely wiped out with fatigue, so every chance we got, we sat down. We went to our hotel room afterwards, took a shower, and got dressed for our night cruise on the Sydney Harbor. None of us really wanted to go because we were so exhausted but we gathered our last bits of energy and went. The food on the cruise wasnít the greatest but it was edible and it filled me up quite well. The night air was absolutely frigid, and I only had on a light jacket. Everyone dressed casually with a collared shirt, but Richard wanted to show off so he wore a suit. Gosh, talk about envy! Well I mostly spent the night talking to Katherine and freezing. When we returned to the hotel I was shaking and felt cold even under 2 layers of bedding.