Our delegation in front of the Opera House
I left my house on Friday, June 20th. Our first flight from Charlotte to LA was 4 1/2 hours long. The next one from LA to Sydney was 14 1/2 hours long. I barely slept and watched a few movies. Mostly I checked on the students and read. We crossed over the International Date Line and completely skipped over June 21st. When we arrived it was Sunday morning, June 22nd.
Right off the plane we we met our delegation manager, Dion, and were whisked away to the Sydney Cricket Ground. First we visited the Rugby field. Then we toured the famous Cricket stadium and were able to go into the VIP lounge and locker rooms.
In my jet lagged state, I was less than enthused but our guided related it to Fenway Park so I started to appreciate it a bit more. We walked out on the field and they attempted to explain to us how the game is played. Despite my sleepy state I actually was able to follow some of it. We went across the street to an indoor batting cage area. We were able to try “bowling” and hitting.
View of the Sydney Harbor Bridge for the first time out the Coach window
After cricket we went to a local mall for lunch and shopping. We found out really fast that there would be a lot of shopping on this trip. I actually grew quite frustrated with it after a while. One can only buy so much crap. Oh and you can believe that the students were buying plenty of it!
Still sleep walking we headed to the Sydney Opera house. I had a breathless moment as soon as it came into sight out my coach bus window. It made me realize that I really am here… in Australia! We had a private tour of the inside. We learned that a Danish Architect, Outzen, won a design contest for his opera house plans. They had lots of problems with the designs and also lots of financial problems. Outzen began the project when he was 38 and never saw it finished. Although he is still alive today, he is too old to fly from Denmark to see the finished product.