Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Octopus, an opera house, and two beaches!

Today we also scuba dived and finished our open water diver certification. We went to the same place to dive (Bare Island). This time we saw a lot more stuff, including :

Port Jackson Shark

Tons of jellyfish, blue groups, starfish, and a lot of little fish. Today wasn't so tiring because it was a much shorter day, plus we weren't nearly as jetlagged. I was so excited to see both a shark and an octopus which were pretty much two of my goals in life.... Now just a sea turtle and a clown fish and I'll be the happiest scuba diver!

After diving, since we weren't that tired, we took a ferry out to Manly beach fro mthe Sydney Opera House. It was raining, but as soon as we got on the ferry the clouds opened up and we had some beautiful views of the Sydney Harbor.

Manly beach was pretty nice. It was very relaxing and had some great views. We had spinach and cheese filo pastries and mom got some fresh mango ice cream :)

We missed the ferry that we originally wanted to get, but that ended up working out for the best because the ferry we ended up on turned out to be during the sunset and we got some amazing pictures of the sunset and the opera house with burning orange clouds.

Mom and dad wanted to go to Bondi beach after this. It wasn't really that late but we were so worn out by this time. Scuba diving is very tiring! I never realized! Anyway, we grabbed food at Bondi beach. I got a straberry yoghurt smoothe and Sonali got fresh juice. Mom got chicken gyros and we all shared this for dinner and just walked around some.

Some people compare Manly beach and Bondi beach to eachother. Both of them are beautifulbeaches with very nice sand. They had small cafes and promenades nearby so they make great daytrips. Personally, I think Manly Beach better because it is kind of quirky and laid back. For example, while we were there there was a neon toga party going on. There were surfers and families too. Bondi beach was definitely a lot more touristy. The clubs were high class. I saw some people get turned away because they were wearing flipflops. There were also quite a few fast food places and chains instead of locally owned places.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scuba Diving in Sydney!!

The hill!

Today, we woke up early to go scuba dive to be able to complete our open water check out dives so we can finally get our certification. We set them up at a dive shop that is somewhat far from our hotel, but with it being the weekend before Christmas, we took ewhat we could get.

The shop was called Snorkel Inn Dive Centre in Kogarah. We took the train to get there which was pretty cool. The people there were very nice and for the two days we had the same instructor, Lisa.

First, we did snorkeling for a bit. Then we did two dives. The first was pretty murky, but the second was much clearer. We saw some blue gropuers who were pretty cool because you can feed them and one even let us pet him. I don't know how I feel about feeding them though because she killed a sea urchin to do it, but there are so many around there that I think it's ok.

The dive site was at a place called Bare Island in La Perouse. Apprently, it was in the Tom Cruise film Mission Impossible 3. We had to get all of our gear on and walk quite a bit to where we were diving, which was pretty difficult especially when we had to climb back up the hill to the truck.

We were absolutely exhausted after diving and being jetlagged so Sonu and I came back and slept for 3 1/2 hours in the hotel room before mom and dad were able to drag us to Darlin Harbor. We were extremely hungry and sitll tired but we enjoyed ourselves. There were a lot of parties going on and the lights were really nice.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Arrived in Australia!

We arrived in Australia yesterday at around 10:30 am after a 5 hour flight to LA, 5 hour layover, and 15 hour flight to Australia. The second flight was somewhat frustrating because we were delayed 1 hour because it was raining so much in LA that the airplane couldn't backup.

After sleeping for 8-10 hours on the flight and watching the The Illusionist, we arrived in Sydney to long customs lines and disorienting exit lines. It was very frustrating and confusing...

We finally got to our hotel to freshen up. We were staying in an amazing hotel in downtown. We walked around and got tickets to see Billy Elliot that evening. Sonali and I split up from our mom and dad. We had tons of food at a Chinese restaurant that we found near the theater which happened to be in the middle of an awesome Asian town in Sydney (perfect for me!) Then feeling very jet-lagged, we rested in a park and slowly wandered around the city.

We went to see Billy Elliot which was a musical based off the movie. I think that it was great, but I don't know if I would see it again. It was a little too melodramatic for my taste I think but I would recommend people to go see it. I think part of the problem was also the fact that we were sooo tired and maybe didn't have much tolerance for a music on a day after traveling so far from the U.S.