Sydney, Australia: Day 3
Let's just say that lacking a car in Sydney, or anywhere can mean a lot of walking. We ended up sleeping in that morning, getting breakfast at our usual spot, and then tried to walk to a local car rental place. Well, after 30 minutes of walking, they were closed. Those are the moments that seemed a little bit of a loss, but thank goodness for cell phones. We walked back to the hotel, called another car rental place, and arranged to pick up our car soon. In the meantime, we got the concierge to call a cab. We were not prepared for the the craziness of driving on the opposite side of the street, and jumbled requests of the driver, and the multiple "almost" accidents within the 3 miles we rode with him.
We arrived as Avis and went through the procedure of renting the car. When we got into the car, I walked to the passenger side, but realized that it was actually the driver's side. Thank goodness for Google Maps! Not only did it tell us where to go, but what lane to get in. We probably hit 10 tolls by the end of the day, and surprisingly had to listen to kilometers and meters versus feet and miles. I have never seen Jordan put both hands on the wheel, but wow did he have to. It took a conscience effort for both us to say "we are turning left, but going in that lane." It was certainly a crazy adventure, but one I was glad we experienced.
The reason behind renting a car was to drive to Featherdale Wildlife Park just north of Sydney. You can't go to Australia and not pet a kangaroo or koala. So, this smaller zoo had open range kangaroos and had an opportunity to touch the koalas. Those kangaroos must have been tired of eating near the front of the zoo, so we we made our way to the back. We got in a line for taking a picture with a koala and got to talking with the people in line. Apparently, Australians are very involved and knowing about American politics. Yes, we gave in to the tourist trap of the picture, but they actually took the picture with our own camera. My conclusion is that koalas are lazy, fluffy creatures that sleep most of the time. When we got to the back of the park, we got to pet multiple kangaroos, which made me completely satisfied to go to the Blue Mountains.
On the way to the Blue Mountains, we were starving for something to eat, so we swung by a McDonalds. I know, what you are thinking. Really? McDonalds? We probably haven't eaten at a McDonalds in years, but we needed something quick and there is comfort in recognizing a restaurant title. Little did we know how much Australians love this place. They were completely wrapped around the building, in multiple lanes and had at least 20 people working behind the counter. By the way, it was the quality of a Chick Fil A, but with a variety of choices. The locals referred to McDonalds as "Macca's" and we decided to order the "Aussie BBQ Angus." If you are interested in the menu options at a Macca's in Australia, you should check it out.
We got to the Blue Mountains, got our wristbands, and started on the various hike options overlooking the "Three Sisters" rock face. It was breathtaking to overlook the valley and to climb the waterfall cascades. We finally got to see a different side of New South Wales. We took the Scenic railway to a steep ride below and then took the same ride back up to see the beauty of the mountains. The last ride was on the cable car. We stood in the center of the cablecar on the frosted glass. As we rode across, the frosted glass became clear and revealed the valley below. It took a couple of hours to drive back, on the opposite side of the rode, all the way back to Sydney. Oh was it worth it!