After our few days in the Blue Mountains, we braved the traffic once again and headed back to Sydney. We were used to the highway by then but it was a little dicey coming into the city. Our GPS was working just fine till it started trying to direct us into a construction zone where the streets were blocked off. We couldn't turn where we were told to turn so we had to improvise and the GPS kept recalibrating to give us new directions. At one point we ended up between two big buses in a bus lane and couldn't get out.
Finally we found the condo we'd rented, unloaded everything, returned the car without any mishaps, and walked back to the condo. We liked it just fine except that there was no dresser in the bedroom for our clothes. We had a small closet but no drawers other than the nightstands. I thought maybe it was just missing from our unit, but when I asked about it, I was told that none of the condos had a chest of drawers. Don't you think that's a little odd? It was a Wyndham property, which are typically pretty nice. I know it's kind of a silly thing, but we consider it a little bit of a deal breaker. No fun living out of suitcases for another week.
The internet addict (guess which one of us!) was happy to have wifi along with the condo. The bad news was that we managed to leave the laptop charger at the hotel in the Blue Mountains. By the time we discovered this, the battery was almost dead and the Apple Store was closing.
There were two small stores right by the condo but they seemed to be more like convenience stores with mostly junk food and odds and ends. We were directed to the mall, World Square, several blocks away, so we walked there and had a burger at a place called Grill'd. It's an Australian chain and I cracked up at their sign. A little profane but pretty funny. And the food was good, too.
We went downstairs to Cole's grocery and stocked up for our stay. They had these cool little baskets on wheels, which I'd never seen before. Have you? Maybe I just don't get out much. :) The store was super busy and everything was pretty expensive, even compared to Alaska prices. We didn't buy a whole lot since we were on foot and had to make our way back to our home away from home.
The next day we packed a lunch and first headed for the Apple Store to replace my charger. Funny thing was that we had to buy an Australian charger and then stopped at another store to buy a US converter so I could use my computer when I got back to Alaska. We also passed a huge bookstore called Dymock's and made a mental note to return when we had more time. After enjoying a picnic in one of the parks, we set out to walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge. If you are an adventurer and have several hundred dollars, you can take a "bridge climb" with a guide and actually climb up the arch. We considered it but didn't really want to spend the money. We did walk through the visitor's center and saw photos of all the celebrities who've done the bridge climb, including my favorite, Mr. Bruce Springsteen, and his two sons. :)
According to the Australian government website: "The Sydney Harbour Bridge construction started in 1924 and took 1,400 men eight years to build at a cost of £4.2 million. Six million hand driven rivets and 53,000 tonnes of steel were used in its construction. It now carries eight traffic lanes and two rail lines, one in each direction, but at the time of its construction the two eastern lanes were tram tracks. They were converted to road traffic when Sydney closed down its tram system in the 1950s." For lots more interesting info about the bridge, click here.
The city and the Sydney Opera House from the bridge
Milson's Point on the other side of the bridge