The Down Under: Sydney, Australia

I had never been so excited to fly as I boarded the plane to Sydney. I was shaking with excitement and jumping up and down. I couldn't believe it. I've always wanted to go to Australia. Now my dreams were coming true and this was only the beginning.
After arriving in Sydney, one of the first sights I saw was the Sydney Opera House. Already shocked I was in Australia, I was even more thrilled to see the Opera House. The Opera House is one of those famous landmarks I thought I would never see in my lifetime. Last semester, I studied a little about the Opera House and the architect, Jørn Utzon. Now I got to see the Opera House up close in its architectural grandeur. Jørn Utzon is one accomplished architect. Overlooking the Sydney Harbour, the Opera House truly looks as though the building belongs there. It's an incredible building for its time. How they lifted those concrete slabbed roofs amaze me. Utzon certainly deserves more credit than he received.
Last year when I was in Hawaii, I bought a shirt from Gilly Hicks with 'Bondi Beach' on the shirt. I didn't even know Bondi Beach was in Sydney, so going there made it an exciting trip. Despite the Aussies' bias towards Bondi Beach v. Manly Beach, I absolutely love Bondi Beach. It's now one of my favourite beaches in the world. The sand at Bondi Beach is one of the softest and even though it was a chilly day at the beach, I still ran down to the ocean to dip my feet in the cold waters. There were lots of surfers and a few beach goers laying out on the sand. The houses sitting in front of Bondi Beach are gorgeous. I've always wanted a house in front of the beach.
Our family went to the Sydney Aquarium (Sponge Bob themed). We loved it and ended up spending three hours there. Some of the highlights were seeing a platypus and a dugong. Also, the penguins were probably the cutest sea creatures there. I found Nemo, Dory and Crush. I learned a lot about some of the sea creatures and didn't know some of them existed. Sea snakes? I'm already scared of snakes. And although the platypus looks playful and cute, they have venom in their tails. Oh and I had no clue what a dugong was until I saw one. Their huge size makes them look dangerous, but they're vegetarians. I touched this odd squishy shark (not an actual shark), a starfish and a sea cucumber. Even though I knew they were perfectly harmless, I was slightly scared to touch them. The sea cucumber felt so weird. I jumped and almost screamed.
What seemed like one of the longest days we spent in Australia was the tour we went on. At Featherdale Wildlife Park we saw wallabies, kangaroos and koalas. We loved them all! They're so cute. We fed the wallabies and kangaroos. I didn't want to leave. Wish I could have taken them all home with me. Then we drove to take a picture at the Blue Mountains. We had lunch in Leura. I love that small town with the Farmer's Market and everything. We bought honey there and I learned a bit about honey, too. After lunch, we saw more of the Blue Mountains and the famous rock formations of The Three Sisters. After taking a short scenic tram and an extremely steep cart ride down a mountain, we walked for a while into this forest-like area. There were fascinating vegetation, really pretty. At the end of the day we took a ferry back to Circular Quay and enjoyed a scenic view of the Sydney Bridge and the Opera House.

I love Sydney! We were only there for a few days and I can't wait to go back one day, hopefully very soon. I would love to see more of Australia, the Red Rock and the Great Barrier Reef. One of my favourite places in Sydney is the harbour. On both sides of the harbour, I would always see many runners throughout the day. I can't help but think how much I would love to run along the harbour and take in the beautiful scenery.

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