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So it’s our last day in Australia! TEAR! In true backpacker fashion, I’ve had far too little sleep, may still be a little drunk and I’m heading to the airport in about 3 hours.

Yesterday I spent most of the day hanging out with my good (Australian!) friend, Ben. It was great to see him again but very sad. Hopefully he and I will cross paths in Europe in 2010 when I hopefully head out to Amsterdam and either Dublin, Norway, or London. Already planning the next trip, ay? Sounds like a traveler has been born.

Here is a video we made while waiting for my train to take me back into the city from Bondi Junction.

Next stop: Fiji! We will be staying there for 5 days, then heading to San Francisco (via LA). I’m looking forward to both! From there, Kelly and I split up! I head off to Vancouver to visit some friends and family while she heads to Calgary to go skiing in Fernie.

Our grand adventure is coming to an end however, I am most likely going to continue to update this blog for some time with pictures and the mass amount of videos I have. I can’t decide if that makes me pathetic or just normal? Readers?

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The last 2.5 minutes of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. Absolutely unreal. This will definitely rank as one of my top New Year’s Eves ever. You can hear our friend Richard, whose boat we were on, laughing in the background. He was just as blown away as we were I think.

I’ve never seen so many fireworks in my life. Sorry, Halifax, but you got nothing on Sydney. The whole night was a wonderful time, as we pulled into the harbour sometime around 6pm, feasted on pita, dip, olives, prawns, smoked oysters and drank Gin n Tonics, champagne and red wine.

I normally get sea-sick so Tim, Richard’s brother (who you saw earlier in the previous video), was nice enough to construct motion-sickness bracelets for both wrists for me. I think they helped because by the time night fell, I was feeling much better. It was a lovely evening. The wind was low, it was somewhat warm, we saw a fantastic sunset happen right behind the Opera House and then we got to top it off with the best fireworks I’ve ever seen.

2009 has been good to me already!

Here are some pictures from the night:

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Mostly for the parents. Can you feel the excitement building?!

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A quick video because looking at over 340+ pictures is making my head hurt. But they will be up soon, I promise, with recount of my trip. I had a lot of fun and it was amazing.

My excitement SHINES through in this video, can’t you tell? Aha.

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The tour guide is explaining about how they constructed the “sails” using concrete ribs.

Well, I finally did the Sydney Opera House tour today. I bought the tickets online for $27.50 and saved myself some percentage. However, I misjudged how long it would take me to get from my house to the Opera House and ended up running from Circular Quay to the Opera House in 33 degree heat. Arriving a sweaty mess, I got lost figuring how to get inside. Definitely missed the tour but I managed to change my ticket for an 11.30am tour so all was well.

It was a good tour – our guide was a little less engaging than I would have liked but he was a good speaker and kept us moving along quickly with little delay. I expected to see a little more, I guess, but I did enjoy what I saw. We got to sit in one of the smaller venues (of which there are three), and sit in both of the bigger venues. The first big room we went into where the symphony plays was breathtaking.

They have some kind of electrical organ (I’m sorry, I forget the actual name of it) that was massive at the end of the room. It took the entire length and width of one side of the room. Our tour guide explained that it was the biggest in the world and had taken the creator TEN YEARS to make it. And that we only saw 150 (or some small number) of the pipes in the front but that in behind the wall there were 10,000 more pipes that stretched back 80 meters and was 3 stories high. He said that once the creator finished making the organ, it took him 2 years to tune it. That was definitely impressive.

We also learned about the making of the Opera House and how the final design picked was initially rejected. Learned all about the rocky relationship Jørn Utzon, the architect of the Opera House, had with Sydney and how he had never saw his final design in person. That was very interesting to me. The plan was initially supposed to take 3 years to complete and cost $7 million but ended up taking 13 years and $105 million.

Anyway, it was a good tour and I would recommend it. And now, some pictures!

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Just a quick video of part of the gondola ride on Blue Mountain. I apologize for turning the camera sideways during the video – not sure why I did that!

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I made a video!

Posted by: Emma

And I look so happy in it hahaha.

It may take a while for the video to be processed. Be patient!

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