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Posted Sep 05, 2009 - 03:16 AM
Taking advantage of a work trip for Paul, we headed to Australia for 2 weeks last month. Paul headed out first, for work, and Gloria followed a few days later. The time difference was difficult to manage at first, but got better eventually. We spent the first week In Sydney, where Paul was working. The hotel was located in the “Rocks”, which is the oldest part of Sydney. The location was wonderful, with many shops and restaurants nearby, and only a few minutes walk from the downtown and the Opera House. On the first weekend, we did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, an amazing trek up a 40 story bridge! We also took a wine tour in the Hunter Valley, a couple hours outside of the city. While Paul was at work Gloria had a great time walking around the city. She visited the Botanical Gardens, the Victoria Building(a shopping mall), the Australia Museum, walked up and down St George and Elizabeth Street (more shopping) and enjoyed the cafes in The Rocks. Gloria also took the bus out to Bondi Beach and enjoyed the walk along the cliffs from Bondi to Bronte Beach so much she made it a point to make sure we went back before leaving Sydney.
After Paul finished up work, we took a flight up north to the tropical city of Cairns. We took a dive boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. Paul scuba dived for the first time, and Gloria did some snorkeling. The coral was amazing, but not as much fish as the Florida Keys… I am sure it depends on the dive spot. The next day, we took a scenic railroad to the rainforest city of Kuranda, and got our pictures taken with Koalas, and fed some Kangaroos.
Then we were off to Brisbane. In Brisbane, we caught our breath, and just chilled out for a day. We went to the Australia Zoo, better known as the Crocodile Hunter’s zoo. Later, we stopped to visit Gloria’s friend, Susana and Tim, and Aaron and their new son Alec. The next day, we rented a car, got up early in the morning, and drove up to Hervey Bay to see Humpback whales. It was worth it, as the whales really put on a show. Driving on the opposite side of the road was also interesting. Finally, it was time to go home, and we were missing the kids very much at that point.