I got up extremely early in the morning and checked out of my hotel. I tried to check my email while waiting for the bus to pick me up, but apparently they don't turn on the lounge internet before 6am. The trip to Sydney went without incident, and I was picked up there by another bus.
The travel agent checked all the new arrivals into their various hotels and then took us on a whirlwind tour of Sydney. We started by making a tour of three gorgeous beaches. Along the way, the travel agent gave a running commentary about all the things we were seeing, pointing out the lack of bicycles, the location of Russell Crowe's house, and the gay couples on Oxford Street. We stopped at one of the beaches to have a quick lunch. I bought my lunch at a fish and chips shop; note that I ordered the medium-size chips. There must have been at least three potatoes' worth in that package. I saved what I couldn't finish and ate it for supper, and I still had some left over.
After seeing the beaches, we were taken to a lookout spot where we could take pictures of the Opera House and Harbor Bridge. It was quite scenic. They later took us to the Opera House itself so that we could get pictures close-up. The travel agent explained that it is tiled with a combination of white and off-white, because if all the tiles were white, the reflected light from it would be blinding.
There are tours that one can take to climb to the top of the bridge. Somehow I managed to restrain myself.
We then swung by St. Mary's Cathedral (inside view). Unfortunately, we couldn't get very good pictures because of all the scaffolding. It is being spruced up in preparation for the Pope's visit later in the year.
By the time the tour ended (dropping us off at a duty-free souvenir shop), it was nearly 6pm. I signed up for two more tours to fill the next two days and hopped on the shuttle bus to my hotel. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my room had a microwave and small sink, along with some plates and silverware, in addition to the typical refrigerator. That made it much easier to eat at a reasonable price, because I could get
Incidentally, I found it interesting that my hotel happened to be located on Wentworth Avenue, considering the fangirling I have done over Scott Wentworth.