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A Honeymoon Tale...Down Under

We were married on January 23 and the following morning we were on a plane
bound for Sydney.  We spent five days in Sydney.  New South Wales is the largest
state of Australia in terms of population, and Sydney is its biggest city, with a
population of over 4 million.


Adjusting to the new time zone was pretty easy (coming back to the states it was
not).  Andrew, our limousine driver, was waiting for us at Sydney International
Airport with this sign:

We did not plan anything our first day there so we just explored the city and did a
lot of walking.  January 26 was Australia Day; similar to our Independence Day.
There was a big fair down at the Circular Quay, and it was very crowded.  We
went down to the harbour area (where the opera house is located) and found
the Sydney Jewish and Holocaust museum.

The Opera House at Sydney Harbour.

Upon our return to the hotel, the staff had left a bottle of champagne and chocolate
covered strawberries in our room along with a note of congratulations.

The temperatures in Sydney were very mild; ranging from the high 60s at night
to the high 70s / low 80s during the day.  We had booked many day tours through
Qantas Vacations and the agent we spoke with told me that this was the rainy
season in Australia and to expect rain every day we were going to be there.
We're happy to say that it rained only parts of two days while we were there.

Flowers at Sydney's Circular Quay.

The following day we took a day trip out to the Blue Mountains, which are
located 100 km west of Sydney.  The tour bus picked us up at 7:00 a.m., so part of
the tour included breakfast in the mountains.  It was pouring down rain when the
bus picked us up, but by the time we arrived into the mountains, it had stopped.
We navigated some very steep grades to get to a remote valley where we set up a
picnic style breakfast.  At breakfast, Jenny tried:

We were surrounded by approximately 30 wild kangaroos.

The tour guide told us that while they were not tame, they were tolerant of
humans being near them, and just not to attempt to pet them.

Look really closely at the kangaroo's pouch and you will see a little joey!

So we were able to get as close as a few feet from some and take some
remarkable pictures.

In addition to the kangaroos, flocks of cockatoos were as common in the
mountains as pigeons are here in America.

After breakfast we went on a drive through the mountains and stopped every
once in a while to take in the breathtaking views.  The Blue Mountains are part
of the Great Dividing Range which separates coastal New South Wales from the
drier inland, and they truly appear blue.  The blue haze is due to a physics
phenomenon called scattering. Eucalyptus trees release oil droplets into the
atmosphere. The sunlight hits these droplets and the different wavelengths
get deflected in different directions. The wavelengths corresponding to the
blue are deflected more than the wavelengths corresponding to the red, and
thus, our eyes see a blue haze.

The Three Sisters - Blue Mountains, Australia.

Jamison Valley featuring the Three Sisters.

We stopped for lunch and shopping in a very quaint town called Leura.  If one was
a native, Leura would be an ideal getaway from Sydney; in the mountains with
little antique and arts & crafts shops, cafes, and bed & breakfasts.

Later in the day we visited a wildlife preserve where we got to feed and pet
kangaroos, koala bears, wallabies, wombats, and other animals indigenous to

Jenny holding Monica, the wallaby.

Larry feeding an ice cream cone (full of feed) to a young kangaroo.

We named this wombat Marty.

Click on the following link:  A Honeymoon Tale...Down Under to continue...

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