Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 13

Many of us left bright and early for our flights starting in Sioux Falls going to Atlanta (the busiest airport in the US) then onto Los Angeles. The students who left from Sioux Falls had a 10 hour layover in LAX, which really started to take a toll on people. The rest of the students slowly met us at LAX as they traveled from Minneapolis and Denver. We were all very anxious and ready to board the plane by the time 10 pm rolled around.

We landed in Sydney around 6:30 am and started the day with a gorgeous walk along the cliffs to the popular Bondi beach in Sydney.
Staircase along cliff walk

 There were many different beaches along the way and it was interesting to see all the people running or surfing the waves along with the scenery. We learned that many businesses actually have their workers doing fitness groups during business hours to help with a healthier lifestyle. All of us students were very excited to stretch our legs after our 15 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. We found it very cool that we're basically in the future due to the fact that Australia's time zone is 17 hours ahead of Brookings. The cliff walk took us about 2 hours to complete.

Students sitting on wall at cliff walk lookout

 I think we were all pretty relieved when we learned that the last beach in sight. We walked around the Bondi beach and up by the shops and decided to stop for some brunch at a couple different cafes. One was called Gabby's Cafe and served some pretty good food. We then proceeded onto our bus where we got a small tour of Sydney. We were taken to some great spots to get photos, some of which that had an interesting story. We were taken to place with an amazing view of Sydney, the lighthouse, double bay, downtown, a view of the harbors, a view of the opera house and lots of beautiful residential homes.

A few of these homes and sights had been occupied by famous people like Elton John, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe. Another place we visited we found particularly interesting. "The Gap" which is near the entrance to Sydney Harbor. This spot is sometimes called "suicide cliff" due to the many deaths that have happened from people jumping. There were a few of us lucky enough to see a whale while we were sightseeing at "The Gap".

Boomerang-shaped house on Sydney city tour
We then arrived at our hotel around 1:30 pm but we're advised to go out and explore the city instead of sleeping so we could get a good night rest. All of us students decided on going to the pub for a drink first as we were all ready to relax and get to know one another better. We then continued onto a few shops around the busy George street of downtown Sydney. Although we soon figured out that none of us could afford about anything within most of the shops. We did however find a Woolworths, which is similar to a grocery store in the US. Here we found some fresh fruits and vegetables along with pasties and muffins for the next couple mornings breakfasts. We finished off the night by going to the local restaurant Encasa. We all look forward to getting some well needed sleep tonight!
Students in front of Opera House and Sydney Bridge

Kristen and Emily

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