It’s hard to believe our trip is almost over, and this is our final day in Australia. It will certainly be tough to return to the cold Philadelphia winter after experiencing the Australian summer, but at least we did our last day right. During the morning we were free, and many of us went over to Paddy’s Market to purchase some final souvenirs. One group, on the other hand, took the opportunity to do the famous Harbor Bridge Climb. The Harbor Bridge is the bridge across Sydney Harbor that frequently shares equal billing with the Opera House on postcards, but the postcards don’t show that there’s actually a set of metal steps that run along the top of the arch of the bridge. From these steps, you get an incredible view of the city from a staggering 150 meter height.
After that, we boarded a ferry next to the Opera House for the 30 minute trip out to Manly Beach, a popular surfing area. We had a team surfing lesson scheduled, even though the conditions didn’t entirely comply. The rain from the day before was still lingering, but the swells were consequently as high as 4-5 feet and a wetsuit was more than enough to keep us going
The surfing lesson was great, and by the end everyone had managed to get up on the board. Still, barring the experienced surfers on our team, we spent more time getting worked over by the waves than actually riding them. One member of our team probably made it into local legends by wearing a Borat-style swimsuit for the entire lesson. Passerby would stop and gawk relentlessly, and many took pictures too.
Afterwards, we were free briefly before our dinner at Blackbird Cafe on Darling Harbor. Almost the entire team used this final dinner as a chance to try kangaroo steaks. Final verdict: very tender, a little gamey, and very rare. Finally, we were free for one final night in the city as a team. Unfortunately, tomorrow we will board the plane for our return, so this will be the last post on this blog. I hope you enjoyed the stories of our time here and that they encourage you to experience Australia as well.