Day 1: What a day!

25 May

I arrived at our apartment complex at approximately 7:30 a.m. Sydney time Thursday morning. This means in Indiana time it was uh….um….May? I was a little nervous about our apartment. I had done some research online and the pictures looked nice. However, I was still worried – the pictures may not have told the whole story.

There was no reason to be worried. Our apartment is incredible. It is two levels, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room and three balconies. You could tell me I was going to live in a place like it in 15 years and I think I’d be okay with it. I got unpacked, showered, watched some Rugby, “ooohhhed” and “ahhhed” at some Rugby and just chatted with my roommates – all of whom I like. At 11:00 we had to head down to take a tour of the surrounding area. This is where the fun began…

I assumed that Sydney would most likely resemble a big city such as New York or Chicago. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sydney is comprised of small towns (they call them suburbs even though they are technically in Sydney) and we live in the Waterloo suburb. We took a walking tour of this area. It has an incredible small town feel. The streets are lined with full-grown trees, shops and restaurants. It was really cool and I am really looking forward to learning more about the area. At the end of the tour, we were given the option of either heading back to our apartment complex and doing some grocery shopping, organizing, etc. or getting on a train or bus and heading “downtown”. My roommates decided to head back to the apartment. I wanted to do some more exploring so I played tag-along with another group of Purdue students and headed to the train station.

You know what’s funny? Wondering around like a bunch of tourists who have no idea what they’re doing and just watching locals smirk at you. So what’d we do? We hopped on a random train – the obvious decision. We honestly had no idea where we were going. We waited two or three stops and got off at a stop that seemed to be popular since nearly everyone else was exiting the train. We wandered around some more and eventually made our way out of the station. An absolutely gorgeous view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge greeted us. It hit me! We are in Sydney. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences of my life and we weren’t done yet.

We were wandering around looking for a place to eat and we “stumbled” upon the Syndey Opera House – THE Sydney Opera House. I had been in Sydney for less than eight hours and already seen two of Australia’s greatest landmarks. It was UNREAL! We grabbed some lunch and literally ate in the shadows of the Opera House. As an aside, I enjoy trying new things especially when it comes to food and I am looking forward to some of the unique cuisine in Australia (call me weird if you want, I understand). I had my first opportunity at the Opera House. I had a smoked salmon (practically raw) and cream cheese sandwich. It was delicious. The view probably didn’t hurt things either. I can’t begin to describe how beautiful the Harbor is. It’s phenomenal. Truly a 360-degree view. We did some more wandering around and eventually headed back to our apartment complex.

It’s currently 5:00 p.m. here and the sun has pretty much set (only causing my body more confusion). I am sitting in a café around the block from our apartment complex making use of their free wifi. I am having a great time and can’t wait to see what else Sydney has in store for me. Until next time…

Cheers! (They say that in Australia)

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