We made it safely to Australia, albeit a very long flight- 19 1/2 hours from Dallas/Fort Worth, TX to Sydney Australia. As I am typing this communication, we are fourteen hours ahead of Eastern standard time. When it is 5 p.m. in Baltimore, it is 7 a.m. here, the next day. Yes, we crossed the international date line. We lost a day in our travel, however, we will reclaim that lost time when we return. We got through customs in Australia with everyone in the group retrieving their luggage. Unfortunately, it rained most of the day. In fact, the tour guide said that rain was in the forecast for the next day or so. I understand that there was interesting weather back in Baltimore, with the touchdown of a tornado in the Eldersberg, MD area.
We left the airport around 10 a.m. Australian time. As with most hotels, we could not check in to our hotels until 3PM. The itinerary included an informal tour around Sydney, the largest city in Australia, a stop at the Queen Victoria Building, a renovated warehouse of upscale stores. Australia may be perhaps the most expensive city that we have visited. One reason for the expensive economy is the high minimum wage in the country of $15 per hour, i.e. no cheap labor. After the Queen Victoria Building we spent several hours in the Sydney Aquarium. There we grabbed a bite to eat.
We are staying at a modest hotel in Travelodge, however, the location is in the middle of the downtown area, just a short walk to the Sydney Opera House.
A well-planned welcome dinner was served to the group before heading to bed.
Already news of our arrival has hit the news in this country, with important officials planning to attend our performances. See link to press release:
Must head to bed. More to come.