When we last left our intrepid traveler, she had gone on a lovely bushwalk along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk to the Three Sisters. There’s an uber-steep stairway that leads down to a footbridge where you can cross over onto the base of the Three Sisters – I was relieved I wasn’t the only one stopping to pant for oxygen along the steep climb. The view was nice but somewhat limited (as you’re under a big rock), but the panorama from Echo Point was magnificent.
I was pooped after my trek and hopped back on the Explorer bus for the short ride to Leura, where I disembarked, grabbed a really tasty sandwich for lunch and was off to the train station to head back to Sydney. In retrospect, I should’ve spent a little more time exploring the waterfalls and such, but you know what they say about hindsight.
The next day, we decided it was time to explore North Sydney and hopped the ferry to Manly. Manly was more like I expected Bondi to be – not that I know what that was. Manly Beach is also where I discovered chicken salt. After joking with the proprietor of the kabob shop about how the Americans always want ketchup – I was well adjusted to tomato sauce by this point – he asked if I wanted to try chicken salt. Sure, why not. Tasty, tasty goodness. Not something I could eat everyday, but definitely a tasty alternative to be indulged in every so often. Like, say, the next time I’m in Australia. [Unlike Vegemite. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever again. Ever.]
There were plenty of surfers out enjoying the beautiful day, but unfortunately, I slacked and left my longer lens back at the hotel so I don’t have any great pictures of them. After watching the waves roll in and a quick stroll, we each had a half litre at the Bavarian Bier Cafe while waiting for our ferry, then headed back to Darling Harbor. A great way to spend our last day in Sydney.
Adelaide was by far my favorite of the three cities we visited. While Sydney was more iconic with its well-recognized symbols and gorgeous beaches, Adelaide just felt more approachable. Our airport shuttle driver gave us a mini tourguide spiel as we wound our way through town, pointing out the pedestrian mall and the main drag of cafes and pubs. Our hotel was beautiful, and more importantly, had laundry services. W’HOO!
The next day, we hopped on the tram and headed to its end in Glenelg, an adorable beach community west of the city. The beach wasn’t quite as pretty but I blame that on the weather. It was beautiful when we left city center, but the clouds had rolled in by the time we got to the shore. The walk along the beach was dotted with benches with dedications on them that brought Holly and I to tears on more than one occasion. You could just imagine the families that had sat there over the years, gazing out over the rolling sea. When the showers finally broke free from the clouds, we headed back towards town to mosey along the main drag, popping in and out of shops as I looked for vacation jewelry and anything else that caught my eye. We grabbed a quick lunch then raced across the street the grab the tram back to the city.
We could hardly make a visit to South Australia without visiting wine country so the next morning, we got up at o’dark-thirty to catch a Prime Mini Tour bus for a mini wine tour of Barossa Valley. The tour called for us to stop at one larger vineyard and three smaller ones. The first – and largest – was Wolf Blass. The wines they selected for us were okay, but then we were given the option of paying a little extra to sample their Platinum or Black Label wines. I tried the Platinum Label and Oh. My. God. It was, mostly simply, the most divine wine I have ever had. For $175 a bottle, it had better be, but it was magnificent. H tried their black label (I think) and thought it was exceptional as well. Everything else was bound to be a disappointment after that.
I believe our favorite white wine – and the one we ultimately purchased a bottle – was from Barossa Vines Winery (Grant Burge). Both the Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and the straight Semillon were delicious. We took the former back to the hotel with us and paired it with a lovely Domino’s pizza, as I recall.
The next day we traveled to Hobart, which was – on the whole – uneventful. The Salamanca Market on Saturday was fantabulous, but on the whole I found Hobart unremarkable. To be fair, I’d been traveling for two weeks by this point and Hobart by far had the least appetizing weather. It was still somewhat chilly and grey in that neck of the woods, and the weather was uninviting the entire time we were there. The seafood was great and the scenery – when the clouds weren’t obscuring the view – was lovely, but other than that, it was just sort of there. Because of that, and H’s bum knee, we spent a lot of time just lounging in the hotel room.
That's it in a whirwindy nutshell. No exotic tales of dancing on bars in The Rocks, belting out "Sweet Home Alabama" at the top of our lungs, going down in history as those gals that took Australia by storm. It was a fairly mellow trip, for the most part. I'm sure bits and pieces will come back to me as my brain wakes back up, but that's the long and the short of it. Additional pictures can and will be found in my Flickr photoset, which is only updated through Sydney.