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  • Day343

    Goodbyes are exhausting.
    After leaving Armidale we all felt a bit empty and emotionally drained. It didn't help that we had to say goodbye to Soph that day too (even though we will see each other again in a month). That was why Bente and I spent our first days in Melbourne quite relaxed.
    We went for a stroll through the botanical gardens and had a look at the Shrine of Remembrance on the first day.
    Our second day was spent at the SeaLife in Melbourne and with a visit to the Queen Victoria Market where we went Souvenir shopping. Other than that we didn't do much except eating and sleeping πŸ™ˆ.
    It is actually really nice to have such a relaxed little holiday between leaving Armidale and going home. It gives us time to recover and adapt to the changes that are yet to come.
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  • Day342

    "Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard, oh take me back to the start..." 🎢-The scientist by Coldplay.
    I really never imagined it to be so hard to leave. It was really heartbreaking πŸ’”.
    The hardest part was that there are no words to express how grateful I am for everybody I got to meet and everything they did for me. Nothing seemed to be enough after the absolutely perfect year we had here.
    We did lots of baking for everybody and wrote countless thank you cards and walked around handing them out and crying all the way through. I guess that shows that we had an amazing time but in that moment and yet still it is just way to said knowing that the people that have been with us for a year are soon going to be over 16.000km away.
    We got so many goodbye gifts and everyone of them was yet another reason to make us cry because they were all too beautiful.
    One of the hardest goodbyes I had to do was saying goodbye to my Transition kids and the best teachers in the whole wide world.
    We had a surprise goodbye party with lots of food and the kids told me what they had enjoyed while I was around in the room. I lost it again when they sang their special goodbye song and gave me the best (most heartbreakingly beautiful) presents.
    Again there are no words to express how much I'm going to miss these kids which I was lucky enough to get to know.
    I learned so much in my time in the Transition class room and I'm leaving with more fun stories and memories than I will ever be able to tell. I guess all the tears I shed are the best proof of the amazing time that l had.
    I want to thank everyone (you know who you are) for making my Gap Experience better than I ever dreamt it could be. I wish you all the best, you deserve the world and I hope I will be back one day to see you all again. πŸ’•
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  • Day340

    Germany doesn't have school uniforms which is probably why we find them so interesting (they probably aren't for an Australian).
    One of the last things we did while we were at NEGS was going to the Uniform shop to try on the winter and summer uniform of our school.
    We had heaps of fun and got some photos that make truly great memories. πŸ’•

  • Day336

    Socials in Australia are a special phenomenon. 😏
    Normally it means one or more boarding schools visiting another to have a party for their students with social interaction (hence the name). πŸ˜„
    Especially when the boys visit our girls or the other way around everyone gets really excitedπŸ˜….
    And because we live in a country town and basically everyone is a farmer we hear a lot of songs about tractors, cowboys ("save a horse ride a cowboy" no joke πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚) and other weird country songs you have never heard before. Australian also loves its themed parties so every time the girls and boys get to dress up with the boys usually wearing less than our girls πŸ˜….
    Anyway we only have one week left so we decided to host our own "Gappie Social" for our girls.
    We decorated the assembly hall with balloons and set up a photo booth for the girls. Of course we all had a theme for the girls it was "Leave a little sparkle wherever you go".✨
    The girls came as their sparkliest self and we handed out glowsticks as an added bonus.
    Since it was our social we finally got to play some good songs that you can actually dance to πŸ’ƒπŸΌ.
    We played games like musical statues (when the music stops you have to freeze), had dance battles and sang karaoke. 🎢
    It was heaps of fun 😍 We danced all night and our last song was "Castle on the hill" as it is our coming home song.
    The girls were really cute and made a tunnel for us to walk through as well as giving us three cheers. πŸ’•
    We will really miss them all ❀️
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  • Day331

    After four amazing days in Sydney it was time to say goodbye. Goodbye to this extraordinary city which we visited so many times in the last year and if it was only as a stopover at the airport. πŸ™
    We left heavy hearted because it will probably be quite some time (I do plan on coming back one dayπŸ’•) before we will see Sydney again.
    Next week we will fly to Sydney but only to change planes and fly to Melbourne so that wasn't much of a help.
    Those last four days showed me a new side of Sydney (not quite as crowded as on New Years Eve and somehow more relaxed than usual) which I've come to love and I think I can say that Brisbane and Sydney are now equal at first place in my top Australian cities ranking. 😍
    It was not only our last time exploring Sydney, it was also our last time flying home to Armidale. The place we got to call home for the last year.
    I still can't believe how fast time has flown by and that we only have 8 days left (it is the 15th as I'm writing this) until we have to leave this place and all our friends here behind.
    Two days ago on Tuesday we had our farewell at the school assembly (one week early because the last week tends to get quite hectic).
    We were praised by the girls and got a goodbye card from the people we worked with and a NEGS sports bag with our names embroided on them as a gift (quite handy because I needed a second piece of luggage anyway πŸ˜‰ and they really are beautiful). πŸ’•
    Heather also said a few words about us and we gave a short thank you speech to the school and everyone we worked with. ❀️
    It was one of the hardest things we had to do simply because it meant recalling all the wonderful friendships that have formed and all the amazing experiences we got to make with the knowledge that it will soon be over and we will have to leave. πŸ˜₯
    Anyway I'm immensely grateful for everything and everyone that has happened to me during this year and I'm so lucky to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. β€οΈπŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί
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  • Day331

    What better way to end a stay in Sydney than with watching a show at the Sydney Opera House? 😍
    We had managed to get tickets for the world premiere of "Mountain". It is a cinematic and musical odyssey and a collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the director Jennifer Peedom. It evolves around the people's fascination with mountains and the beauty and danger that comes from them. πŸ”
    We spend the morning with shopping for souvenirs and when it was nearly time we enjoyed a glass of wine at the Opera Bar in the sun β˜€οΈ 🍷
    It was a dream come true when we finally got to walk into the Opera House to find our places right at the front in the third row. 😍
    It is such a beautiful and impressive building both from the outside an from the inside. Before the actual performance began Jennifer Peedom, Willem Dafoe the actor who did the voice-over for the movie (he played the joker in Batman and also the author in the Fault in our Stars and in many more movies as well πŸ™ˆ) and the musical director came on stage and said a few words about the movie and the journey they underwent to make it.
    The performance itself was magical and the best way to end our trip. We were enchanted with the amazing live performance of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the movie on the big screen. 😍
    Everyone visiting this amazing city should definitely take the chance and see the magic that performances in the Sydney Opera House hold within them. ❀️
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  • Day330

    Guess what we did that evening? 😏
    Of course we went out to discover the last of the Vivid lights we hadn't yet seen. ✨ We started of in Darling Harbour where we arrived just in time for the "Magicians of the Mist" show with fireworks at 7pm. It was just magical seeing the water fountains creating mist in which light was being projected and that was accompanied by fireworks and music. 🎢 πŸ’₯
    Barangaroo enchanted us with the Manta Rays floating over our heads and when we revisited the Botanical Gardens we got some more great views of the Opera House as well as the Harbour Bridge. πŸ’•
    To fit in with all the glowing lights we bought glowing flower crowns βœ¨πŸ˜„ and since it is winter in Australia right now we did get to drink some mulled wine 🍷.
    Once again we watched the kiwi birds change colour and the Dandelions sparkling away until it was 11pm and the lights went out which was our sign to go to bed and get ready for another exciting last day in Sydney tomorrow. ❀️
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  • Day330

    On Sunday we took the train to Katoomba which belongs to the Blue Mountains National Park.
    The trip took about 2h bei train from Sydney and we arrived at around 11am. πŸš‚
    We had already purchased a hop on/ hop off ticket for the explorer bus and so we just quickly went to pick them up before we jumped on and went to our first stop. It was a lookout that was supposed to give you great views of the "Three Sisters" which are famous rock formations but it turned out to be so foggy that you couldn't even see anything from the lookout except a white wall of fog. πŸ™ˆ
    Well it wasn't the best start to our trip but we still wanted to make the best of it and took the Skyrail over the valley to the other side. I was actually a bit glad for the fog because it was the highest cableway in Australia and I'm not to fond of heights but we couldn't see the ground anyway. πŸ˜…
    We got our on the other side where the fog had already cleared a bit and went straight to the next cableway that would take us right to the bottom where we would to a small rainforest walk 😊.
    That cableway was seriously scary because it was quite a steep way down but I managed and we did get some good views through the fog.
    We followed the broad walk that lead us to an old coal mine and some information about mining in that area and eventually we reached the railway.
    It is one of the steepest railways in the world as it goes straight up the cliffs and even through them at some stage. πŸ˜…πŸ™ˆ
    We managed to get the best spot at the back because the train was going backwards up the cliffs which meant we had the best view. πŸ˜„ Steep doesn't even come close to describing what this railway was😱. It was like being on a roller coaster and at some point I swear we were nearly going 90 degrees straight up the wall πŸ˜…. It was a bit scary but definitely also heaps of fun πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ.
    Most of the fog had lifted when we reached the top and jumped back onto the bus. 🚌
    Hot chocolate was seriously the best wa to warm up and have a short break from walking and all the excitement. 🍫We stopped at a chocolate cafe where you got to make your own hot chocolate with hot milk and little bits of milk chocolate. 😍
    Warm and happy we continued to the next lookout from which we walked back along the cliffs. We finally got to take pictures of the "Three Sisters" without the fog and we even touched one of them.☝🏼😊.
    We had a great day in the Blue Mountains which are beautiful with or without fog ❀️
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  • Day329

    When something is free the Gappies will do it πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ.
    We joined the Sydney Free Walking Tour at 10:30am that took us to different important places in Sydney for the next 3 hours. It was actually quite interesting and we did learn some new things about the city 😊.
    We finished the tour at the bottom of the Harbour Bridge and walked over to catch a ferry to Darling Harbour. β›΄
    We started a little shopping tour and just enjoyed being in a big city again πŸ™πŸ’•.
    After we had brought our shopping bags back to the hostel it was already after 6pm which meant we could go and explore Vivid Sydney some more.
    Illuminated swings, a screen that gave you wings, neon clouds and the light projections onto the Museum of Contemporary Art where some of our favourites but all of the around 60 light installations we saw were wonderful.✨
    We ate at Vapiano which surprisingly was opened until 11pm (normally it is hard to find something to eat after 7pm πŸ™„). When we left at 10:30pm we had 30min left before the lights went out so we made our way back over Martin Place where we got to see 6 more light installations. One of them included a piano and so we stopped to listen for a while. πŸ’•
    Vivid gave Sydney even more atmosphere than it already has. We definitely didn't regret our choice to spend the weekend here ❀️
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  • Day328

    Luckily Queens birthday in Australia means no school and since it was a Monday we got Friday to Monday off as a long weekend. πŸŽ‰
    We (Sophie, Bente and I #squadgoals 😘) decided to spend our last trip together in Sydney. Sydney itself is incredible but as an added bonus we had the Vivid Sydney Festival that was on every night after 6pm. ✨
    We flew from Armidale to Sydney which is only an hour and arrived in SydneY at around 12 noon. We seriously had the best accomodation. Our room in the Sydney Harbour YHA in the Rocks was a room for three with a bathroom and we had the perfect view onto the Opera House. 😍
    It also only took us about 5min to walk down to the Circular Quay which was perfect.
    We spent the first day taking in all of Sydneys iconic sights (no matter how often you visit Sydney it is always a great pleasure) and then Bente and I walked Sophie over to the Harbour Bridge climb and then waited for the lights to turn on.
    We had the best view of the Opera house when the light projections began and we stayed there just looking at the Opera House for a long time. ❀️
    We finally decided to walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens to look at more of Vivid Sydney. Unfortunately it started to rain and not a little but heaps. Everything turned into giant puddles and we soon had drenched shoes an feet β˜”οΈ.
    Nevertheless we continued walking and enjoyed the positive side o the rain which was no crowds. It was definitely worth it and I must say it was incredible how many light installations Sydney had on show this year. πŸ’₯
    Everything from giant glowing sunflowers, over sparkling Kiwi birds, blinking Dandelions that where activated through blowing to Umbrellas over the street that lighted up when you danced beneath them 😍. That is only a small part of Vivid and it took us all the days we had to see everything but we sure where excited for more when we went to bed that night.πŸ’•
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  • Day327

    No matter if on a scooter, a balance bike, a bike with or without training wheels everyone of our kids gave their best in the Tour de St. John's. ❀️
    Our little ones got to ride inside the tennis courts while the older students rode around the turning circle.
    They each got a mark on their hand for every lap they did and none of them were going to give up so they all kept going until we had to finish it up because it was lunch time. πŸ˜„
    We and they were all really proud of their achievements and the good sportsmanship they showed that day ❀️
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  • Day314

    Our schools athletics carnival was held on the 26th of May and even my little ones were invited to join. 😊
    We got to do some marching with the whole junior school as an opening for the carnival and it was lots of fun as always. πŸ’•
    Transition also got to participate in a little sprint which they all mastered brilliantly. πŸ…
    The big girls dressed up to support the house they are in and Georgie was dressed up as well since both of her sisters are in Green. πŸ’š
    It was a nice day and active day for everyone. ❀️
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