Sunday, March 17, 2013

Seeing the Sights (and Baby Wallabies!!!) in Sydney!

USA women in Sydney!

Yesterday, we had an awesome Sydney adventure—in just a few hours, we managed to check off all of my non-racing-related to-dos for the trip! We (very briefly) walked through the 2000 Olympic Park, took a ferry through the Sydney Harbor and saw the Sydney Opera House, and stopped by a wild animal park on the way home and got to see some kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and incredible birds, very up close!

The USA ladies visit the 2000 Sydney Olympic stadium!

After starting the day off with some solid racing pieces, we packed up into a small bus with some of our fellow racers from South Korea and Portugal and headed out to quickly see the sights! First stop was the 2000 Sydney Olympic Park and athlete village. Giant statues of the Olympic symbols--a runner and others--towered overhead, and we maneuvered around the dozens of columns in front of the athletic stadium, trying to find US teammate names!

Couldn't have picked a prettier day to cruise into Sydney!

Then it was back into the bus and off to a ferry that took us through the beautiful Sydney Harbor--lined with amazing houses, yacht and boat clubs, and natural and historical parks--right up to the Sydney Opera House and the Financial District/downtown! We got in a bit of sightseeing and souvenir-ing before it was time to take off again.

Baby wallaby!!!!!!!!

This time, we headed to a wild animal park, and we were SO EXCITED to get to see real Australian wildlife up close--REALLY close! As we got off the bus, a park guide handed me a swaddled up baby wallaby, which was about the cutest thing I'd ever seen. We also got to see kangaroos (with joeys!), kookaburras, echidnas, ghost bats, and everything Aussie in between.

Emus are startlingly large! But friendly, if slightly aggressive. I also saw the most brightly colored bird ever--wow! Thankfully, the animals were incredibly friendly. It was amazing to get to see so many awesome creatures up close!

Finally, it was time to head home--our friends from Portugal and South Korea had another training session, and we were all pretty wiped from the adventures! Many thanks to the Sydney International Rowing Regatta (SIRR) and World Rowing/Sydney Rowing World Cup organizing committees for planning this trip for us. What a great glimpse into Sydney and Australia, and an awesome chance to meet some of our fellow international racers, before we get into straight racing mode this week!

Power naps for everyone!

Thanks for following our journey, and Go USA!

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