Australia – Day 4: Sydney

Friday – September 9th

I woke up early and after getting everything together, checked out of the hostel. It was drizzling outside. My plan was to take the City Loop tram around the city for one final tour, one final goodbye. Unfortunately, when I got to the station I saw a sign that said they don’t start running those trains until 10am. My plan was to leave for the airport by 10:30am, so this would be too late.

What I did instead was to do my own makeshift tour of the city by hopping on and off trams in the Free Tram Zone and riding them around the CBD until I got back to Southern Cross station where I would board the Skybus to Melbourne airport.

Once there I checked my balance on my Myki card just to see how much I was leaving on the table. To my surprise, I had actually overspent and so I ended up coming out ahead. Next I went to Hungry Jacks (aka Burger King) and got a “Brekky Hero” sandwich and a latté. I then went over to the Skybus where I ate my sandwich and sipped my coffee.

I had two options, wait in the city or wait at the airport. I decided to wait at the airport. I took a 9:30am double deck Skybus to the airport where, after getting my tag for my luggage, I easily passed through security. Security at Melbourne airport is an absolute joke. I didn’t have to take off my shoes or show my boarding pass or show my ID. It literally took me 30 seconds to get through.

img_4547My Boeing 737 as seen on the tarmac at Sydney airport

I then spent the next ~3 hours fighting bad internet, looking for a power outlet and writing part of yesterdays post. I figured I’d write the rest of it on the flight. Boarding started at 1:10pm and pushback was at 1:30pm. The 737 was packed and I was literally sat in the last row, in the center seat. Both armrests were being used so I was squished typing in an uncomfortable position.

I then started watching Sherlock and shortly after, they started serving food and drinks. No sooner did I finish my drink when they started collecting my trash, and no sooner after that we were preparing for landing. The flight was almost exactly an hour and, apart from the turbulence, the entire flight was fairly turbulent, it went by smoothly.

The only other scary thing was the landing because a) we came in over the water which felt like we were too low and b) because of the crosswind and what felt like a tailwind, it felt very fast and unsteady.

img_4548An OG Qantas aircraft at the domestic terminal in the Sydney airport

I got off the plane, took some pics in the terminal and by the time I got to baggage claim, saw my suitcase right away, grabbed it and headed for the train. I then got my Opel card, topped it up, and waited for the train. It was a short ride into the city and from Central Station it was a short walk to my hostel.

After checking in and getting situated, I grabbed my map and ventured into the city. I made my way straight down George St, took a right on Liverpool St and when I saw Hyde Park on my left, entered it. I walked through Hyde Park, stopping and paying my respects at the Anzac Memorial.

img_4554Looking back at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park

At the end of Hyde Park, I exited the north east corner and made my way down Art Gallery Road. I headed all the way down to Mrs. Macquaries Point to Mrs. Macquaries Chair, a bench built into the rock, along the way getting a glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I then rounded the corner of Mrs. Macquaries Point and as I did, got my first glimpse of the Opera House. I paused, I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. I had waited my whole life and traveled so far just for this moment, I didn’t want it to disappoint me. As I rounded the corner, I kept my head down until I was sure I’d be able to see it in full. And then, suddenly, there it was.

img_4560Not my best picture of the Opera House but the first of many that would follow

I stood and took it in for a few minutes before making my way around the Royal Botanic Gardens and passed the Government House to get to the bottom of the steps of the opera house.

Once there, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. I fervently walked around shooting it from every angle. I eventually made my way inside the lobby and enquired about tours. I then found the Opera Kitchen where I grabbed dinner under the glow of the Opera House. Eventually I said my goodbyes and made my way through the city.

img_4585Walking away from the Opera House and heading back into the city

I was just sort of wandering. I knew the general direction I needed to head in to get back to my hostel. The only real goal I had was to get to the Sydney Tower Eye. Eventually I made my way to its entrance so I would know how and where to find it when I went on my last night in town.

After that I headed back to the hostel where I wrote a blog post and Skyped with my Mum and my Dad before going to bed.

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