G’day mate! I’ve been in Sydney for one week. I keep saying that I don’t want this trip to end and it’s only been seven days. I have a feeling that I will be dragged kicking and screaming back to the US.
We arrived last week and had a jam-packed schedule. We started off the week with a walking tour of Sydney. We saw the iconic Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House but we also walked around the Sydney Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful. One of my favorite views though was this little street where there were hundreds of birdcages hanging. Our tour guide said that there is a recording of local birds that play and at night, the recording changes to nocturnal birds.
The second day of orientation was even busier than the first day. We went an hour north of Sydney and stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park. It was basically a zoo filled with rescued native animals and the kangaroos just roamed. I even got to feed one! Fun fact: kangaroos love ice cream cones. We also listened to a wildlife talk and I learned about koalas. I found out that it is illegal to hold koalas in some places in Australia because they are endangered. They have white fur near their bottoms because when a predator from the ground looks up, they just think they’re looking at clouds. Koalas are also prone to getting cancer and chlamydia.
Then we headed up the Blue Mountains and oh my gosh they were beautiful. I’ve never lived around mountains and now I realize I’ve DEFINITELY been missing out. I’m not sure if I can explain how pretty it was so I’m just going to show you a picture. I guess I have to go back because I never found out why they’re called the Blue Mountains.
We then headed to the Waradah Aboriginal Center where we painted boomerangs and watched aboriginal dancing. I’m very impressed with Australia’s treatment of the native aboriginal people. We learned it hasn’t always been this way but it’s amazing how much respect everyone has for them. At our school orientation, we even had a moment of silence for the people who used to inhabit the land our university is on.
The final night at orientation we had a dinner cruise around the Sydney Harbor. There were three levels: the lower level was where we ate dinner, the middle level was where the bar and dance floor were and then the top was an open floor. You’ll never guess which one I spent the most time on. I spent most of the night dancing on the roof of the ship surrounded by the lights of Sydney. It was one of those moments that I knew while it was happening that I would remember that moment for the rest of my life.
After orientation was over, we moved into our apartment. I didn’t know this prior to the trip but it turns out my apartment houses 7 people and three of my suitemates are boys. At first it was really intimidating because I’ve never really lived with boys except my brother. But they add a lot to our apartment and now I can’t imagine our apartment without them.
Sydney, it’s only been a week but you have stolen my heart.