Monday, February 20, 2012

Two Final Days in Sydney

Jan 17
I didn’t sleep very well, maybe anticipating leaving?  I took it easy this morning, a perfect day, sunny and clear. Elisa isn’t coming in until 5 for dinner, so I decided to walk to St. Mary's Cathedral, slowly, for 1:10 pm mass. I walk through the retail district and Hyde Park, stopping in Myers department store for quite a bit. Pretty high end as far as clothes go. I will say the clothes were nicer than what I see at home. Then I had fried rice for lunch and kept walking on. I walked around the church, wishing I could take pictures inside. I spent about 45 minutes looking at all the windows, stations, and statues.  Then I prayed a rosary, the glorious mysteries, what else could I have prayed in that place? Then Mass, which was very full.  Then I made my way to the Darling Bridge and walked over to the other side of the harbor. Sunny, sunny day, love it.
Elisa came in and we went to Harbour View Hotel for dinner, an authentic Aussie pub, right under the Harbour Bridge, so cool.  No pictures, I forgot my camera.  I ate fish and chips and had a Tooheys beer.
Jan 18

My last day in Australia. I woke up, dressed and walked to the Harbour Bridge. It was hot, sunny and mostly clear, some clouds but no rain. I walked up the steps to the bridge entrance, I was so excited. I realize that I have never walked across a bridge like this. It takes me about 20 min to walk across, with stopping to take pictures. It takes longer to walk back because I see people climbing the bridge and stop to watch and take pictures. It is less dramatic than I thought; no harnesses or climbing as if up a mountain or rocks. Rather, there are steps, steep ones, which they use to go up to a platform sort of stop and then they start to go over the bridge on what seems to be a narrow walkway with sides. It is narrow and very high. Everyone is wearing a blue and grey jumpsuit, a black pack around their waist, blue baseball cap and a headset.  They are attached to the bridge with a strap on the railing and at the waist. The view must be breathtaking, but the walk was enough for me!
I wandered around The Rocks for a bit, found a sandwich shop and had a mozzarella, tomato and basil sandwich with a coffee that I ordered with only slightly more thought than at home, a tall black with  milk. I had my lunch in the park, walked a bit more and went back to the hotel to clean up before Mass and going to visit Elisa in Waroonga .

I took the train out to the suburbs; Waroonga is a sleepy little town with wide tree lineds streets.  The family she is working for is very nice.  We had Thai take-away for dinner and then I read to Sarah before she went to bed.  Apparently three books are more than usual, but I couldn’t say no to a five year old!
When it was time to go back, Lisa (the mom), Ben (12 year old) and Elisa gave me a ride.  I was almost glad the train was just pulling in so our goodbye was quick, but I still felt sad as I got on the train.  Sad and happy, that bitter sweetness when you leave your child, perfectly safe, happy and living out her dream, but missing her all the same because she is literally on the other side of world!

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