This is our last day in Australia. We are sad to leave and excited about boarding a cruise ship tomorrow and sailing home rather than dealing with a long, long flight. As we wandered the city today, there were constant cruise reminders, since two ships were docked here today. Big ships like ours dock at Circular Cay, a location right in the middle of town. Smaller ships dock farther away because they can sail under the bridge when they leave - a thrilling experience. The ships dominated the harbor and we caught glimpses of them almost everywhere we went.
The first few thousand steps we walked today were through China Town to Paddy's Market. Nearly all the vendors were Chinese and so were their products. We have never seen so many cheap T-shirts in our life. Since we came here with luggage at the top of the weight limit, we needed a new bag so we could make a few purchases. We had many, many choices at Paddy's. More retail therapy ahead.
Then we walked to The Rocks where an extensive artisan's market offered many temptations. The market was full of cruisers; it looked like a profitable day for the vendors. The market is tucked in below the Sydney Bridge, so we climbed up a few flights of stairs and walked the bridge. We peered down at the cruise ships below, where our new home away from home will be docked soon. Our walk ended at Luna Park, an old, but well kept amusement park that was full of children screaming for joy. School kids have a two week break now in the middle of autumn, and Luna looked like a good spot to spend it.
Words are inadequate to describe the views in this city, everywhere we go. My feet are aching, but I hardly noticed because we had so much fun taking in the scenery. It goes without saying that our friends Al and Sue made our visit here very special. There's nothing better for a tourist than to be in the capable hands of locals. They brought along Opal Cards for us which entitled us to ferry, subway and bus rides so every so often our wanders would include a chance to sit and save a few steps. They asked us what we wanted to do and made it happen. We hope that we can reciprocate their hospitality and see them again soon.