Sydney - Settling in!

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December 26th 2009
Published: December 26th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY


Well we headed through security and kept an eye out for Little Liam, but he is nowhere to be seen! We go and do a little window shopping and settle in, then up pop’s Liam just before we board. Turns out he was on the viewing deck watching planes come in. Bless him, we want to adopt him!

Three hours later and we land in Sydney, gosh it does fly by (pardon the pun) when you are used to doing 12 hour flights and being cooped up in a bus all day! We go over to the accommodation board and call the hostel for our free transfer. Three hours and several phone calls later and we are still there. We make one final call and they assure us that if he has not turned up in the next 10-15 mins, to go and get a shuttle and they will pay! Typical the driver turns up at the eleventh hour! He was so funny we did forgive him. Apparently 2 previous drivers had been and gone, having not been able to find us (sitting exactly where we’re supposed to and blending in to the crowd like we always do).

After a slightly hair raising journey to the jolly backpacker, we check in and life is good (apart from the heat) time for a strollette through the local area for a spot of dinner. Kings Cross wholesome family area! With beautiful statues, fountains and Cafes, lovingly complimented by strip clubs, vagrants and an ever present smell of wee. We find a bar called The Sugarmill that has $10 steak (these places just find us honest!) nice food, a couple (5) of drinks later, back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep.

As we get nearer to Christmas my mind turns to the poor turkey stuffed into an uncomfortable hot box for hours. Well that is how we felt that night in the room, too hot to sleep and too tired to do anything else.

Day One in the Town of Sydney, Phew what a scorcher! 5,000,000 degrees (and that’s just in my shorts!). Kings Cross doesn't seem too bad in daylight, a bit of McD’s for brekkie and free Wi-Fi and off into town. As we’re here for 3 weeks we went for a weekly travel card type m’bob (buses, trains, and ferries).

The trains here are nought like the ones back in London, stations are quite open and air conditioned. Double-decker trains also air conditioned and on some trains flipping seats, that’s seats that flip to your desired position with the direction of travel, not an exclamation! 15 mins later we’re at Circular Wharf with Sydney Harbour Bridge to our left and Sydney Opera House to our right. We head towards the Opera House. It’s a magnificent structure (looks a bit like nuns in a rugby scrum) but smaller than Liam expected. After a wander around and a little light refreshment (it does get hot out here!), we check out the prices for New Years Eve. Far too much for our poor pockets! So we head over to the Botanical Gardens for a little look around.

We jump on the little train on wheels and are guided around some lovely parkland. We see a girl doing Yoga in the shade, overlooking the harbour, the governor’s house and beautiful herb gardens we see bloody great big fruit bats in the trees that crap all over us, and yet are incredibly interesting. We jumped off at the coffee house stop and grabbed a drink before wandering around the ponds and the gift shop. We jumped back on the train to stop 3 of 4 and alighted to see Mrs Macquarie’s chair. She was the Governors wife and he promised to make her a chair in the rock, so she could watch the sailors come home.

About eight feet to the right of the chair is a pole. They say it is to hold up the ageing rock to prevent injuries to tourists, bollocks! Mrs. Macquarie was a pole dancer and they just won’t admit it! A nice little walk around into Woolloomooloo Bay, past a very pleasant looking swimming pool, (pleasant looking, see later), all the rich people’s boats (bigger than most country estates, and with more staff!) and then back home.

Today we chill out before meeting up with Other Charlotte and Jason who got in a few days ago. We meet up in circular quay and are regaled with stories of Jason’s walk up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Turns out it is $200 for a very safe walk up and back down, you don’t even get to go all of the way over! That put us off of even looking at it.

We got the train over to Darling Harbour which we had a little look around before deciding our tummies were a bit empty and it maybe an opportune moment for supper. After looking at a few of the many restaurants on offer, we settled on the boat permanently moored there as it offered both fish and steak. Charlotte had over cooked steak, while Liam enjoyed a cheesy Lobster. We walked over to the other side and the Christmas tree looked a lot better now it dark and the lights were on! We went into a bar for a little drink before heading home for the night.

Other Charlotte and Jason got thrown out of their hotel today, not because of her snoring, (I can talk!) but because they had not booked as many nights there as they had thought! They trekked off to Manly to Toya’s place, she is a girl we met on the Magic bus, who also came out for Liam’s birthday in Dunedin, who saved the day. So we popped over as we wanted to see the beach and the ferry there was included in our metro pass m’bob.

We got off of the ferry and made ourselves comfortable on the beach, while Other Charlotte and Jason dropped off our bags. Charlotte did think the beach was a little small, but we both went in for our first swim in Oz! Liam had returned to shore and was guarding the bags, as Charlotte braved the cold waters, when we saw Muscles (aka Jason) walking along the beachfront on his own, looking for us. It turns out that Manly Beach was on the other side of the shops!

As we were walking over we saw one of Charlotte’s favourite shops (a dollar store) and decided that it might be a good idea to get some beach towels, as our travel towels are just getting sandy! Charlotte also managed to find a new toothbrush and reindeer antlers too! We headed down to meet the girls, antlers a bobbing, and had a lovely afternoon wave jumping. The sea was about 4 or 5 degrees warmer on this side!

Muscles had disappeared off to try and change his flight, so he will be here in Sydney for New Year, so as the clouds came over we headed into the nearest bar. A plan was set for a bar-b-que that evening back at Toya’s, so off to the supermarket we go! Toya is staying in a very nice flat that belongs to a friend she met whilst on her travels. He has all the mod con’s including a gas BBQ on the balcony. Charlotte made the best salad in the world and other Charlotte cleaned the BBQ while Liam and Jason did boy’s things (i.e. cooked the meat). We had a lovely evening relaxing in a home environment. We had forgotten how nice it was to have everything to hand, even free internet, so we did spend half of the night searching youtube!

Unfortunately the evening finished far too early for us, as we had to get the 11pm ferry home to tie up with the train. It was quite a funny ferry back (perfect timing as we walked straight on!) as it was quite rough so we were a little tipsy and getting thrown all over the shop.

We had a slow start to the day and were planning to go back to Manly beach again, but decided the weather was not that great, so lazed around before deciding to go down to Darling Harbour and visit the sharks at the Aquarium. When we got there we ended up buying a combo ticket for the Aquarium, Wildlife centre and the Sky tower. Good move as it saved us 25%!

The aquarium was cool and we spent ages in the Durgon and Shark tunnels. Then headed off to book tickets to see Avatar on the IMAX 3d screen. It was so booked up we could not get in until Tuesday evening. We went off for a supper at Wagamamas, it was Liam’s first time and he was well impressed, I think we will be visiting again.

We went over to Manly again on Monday to see Other Charlotte, as Jason left yesterday morning for Alice Springs. We chilled out on the Beach for a bit and Liam got to do a bit of wave jumping before the cloud came over again! It got a little chilly with the wind too so we fell back to the local bar (Kelly’s Bar) for a warming cup of hot chocolate before heading off for a bit of window shopping. Window shopping my arse! Charlotte found a lovely dress which would be ideal for a Christmas present.

A couple of drinks in the Bavarian bar overlooking the sea and the return from Sydney of a confused Toya, she had been at the embassy trying to sort out visas all day. We headed home via Woolworths for all of our supply’s, then went home and cooked up a storm.

Today was shaping up to be a big day. We started out with breakfast at Dov on the corner of Victoria Street, before heading over to The Sky tower for some fantastic views of the city. We also had included in our pass, The Oz experience, which was a 4d experience. Sort of like a theme park ride where you watch a film and the seats rock n roll you around.

We then headed off to Darling Harbour and The Wildlife centre. We were greeted on entry by Spiders, followed by snakes and lizards (Sorry Other Charlotte, we know you could not make it past this point!). But were rewarded afterwards with Koala’s, Wallabies & Kangaroos, So cute!

We finished earlier than expected so wandered around and found a lovely fish restaurants ‘The Blue Fish’ for a spot of dinner. Liam had a huge cold seafood platter with half a lobster, half a crab, Oysters, smoked salmon, King (bloody huge) prawn and crayfish, along with a nice avocado salad. Charlotte had a Chicken Schnitzel as it sounded posh. Turns out it is beaten up chicken breast deep fried in bread crumbs! But nice.

Then it was time for the main event, Avatar at the IMAX in 3d! Wow! If you have not seen it yet, go, now, no really, go! Amazing.

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