4/10/06 - 10am Greyhound coach to Sydney, will get me into Sydney at 11.20pm!!! Journey went really quickly and I arrived in Sydney around 11.35pm and my gosh!! what a fantastic view coming into the city!!!!! All of a sudden I noticed through the buildings the Harbour Bridge and Opera House just a little way in the distance on my left (fortunately I was sitting in a window seat on the left hand side of the bus), then we disappeared into an underpass. Then low and behold the Opera House was on my left all lit up and it was beautiful, I looked around for the Bridge and then realised then we were actually travelling on it!!!! The view of the city all lit up at night was just breathtaking, it made me sit up in my seat, I will never forget it!! I'm sure it wouldn't have been as spectacular if I'd arrived in the day. However, my feelings of awe and excitement were soon diminished, as I got a cab to Boomerang Backpackers only to discover that the reception was all shut up! The entrance wasn't attractive and I was beginning to feel that this was a sign not to stay here! However, it was now midnight and after hammering on the door for a while a guest let me in and said that yes everything was now closed! I phoned an out of hours number on the wall and the guy who answered said 'we are now closed'. I was fuming, as I had specifically asked if arriving at this time would be a problem and was told it would be fine, he didn't offer any words of apology and the phone just went dead!!! So what do I do now, it's midnight in a strange city, ermmmm! I decided to just go back out and get another cab. The driver was very helpful and took me back to the station, where he showed me a nice YHA hostel. I was so angry, as I had now wasted 2 cab fares to get back to where the bus had dropped me off!! I ended up in a 4 share dorm, as their single rooms were too expensive, but it was fine as there was only one other girl in there, but I felt awful moving in at that time of night whilst she was in bed. Never mind, this was my first and I hope my last bad experience with accommodation.
5/10/06 - Got up this morning and have decided to pay extra to have my own room. Staff here are lovely and everything is nice and clean. I'm now going out exploring!!
Well, what a day, I'm absolutely shattered, I must have walked for miles! Started by going up George Street until I got to Circular Quay where I saw Harbour Bridge and Opera House in close up! Went into the Opera House and booked a ticket for 'Showstoppers', when I'm back in the city in November. Then I walked around the Botanical Gardens and through to Macquarie's Point, where I got some more great piccies of the Bridge and Opera House but from a different angle. Met a couple from Edinburgh who took a piccie of me with everything in the background. Then I carried on walking and ended up at The Domain, a large grass/park area and I got some good piccies of the city skyline and the Sky Tower. Walked through Sydney Hospital, which is a lovely old building and I put a coin in the fountain and rubbed the nose of the bronze boar statue, which is meant to bring you good luck, so I made a wish! Then I wandered through the city and ended up at beautiful Cockle Bay Wharf in Darling Harbour. Had a bite to eat here and it was dusk so it was so pretty with all the lights coming on. Unfortunately Peter, my friend in Sydney, was ill so we weren't meeting for dinner afterall, he and his daughter had been full óf a bad cold. So I went to the cinema and saw 'Devil Wears Prada' which was fab! I got back to the hostel and I was absolutely shattered. Looking forward to exploring The Rocks tomorrow.
6/10/06 - Had a nice light breakfast and walked up Pitt Street this time to Circular Quay and had a look round 'The Rocks'. This is an oldie worldie type shopping area with lots of nice shops and boutiques, a nice change from the hundreds of shopping malls there seems to be here!!
Phoned Peter to check he was ok, he was and back and work, he had a busy day as it was budget time, I took great pleasure in telling him I had left all that behind, this made him laugh! He was so kind giving me lots of info. on both Oz and NZ. We agreed to have dinner up the Sky Tower when I got back in November, this has a 360 degree restaurant, great views of the city, so I'm looking forward to that! He also offered to take me to the Blue Mountains one day, diary permitting.
I then had some lunch at one of the Opera House cafes and watched the world go by for a bit, then I headed for Hyde Park (yes there is one here, but no where as big as ours!) looking for the YWCA's new budget hotel, 'Y Hotel at Hyde Park'. I found it and had a look at their rooms, they are very nice, still share bathrooms but this I don't mind, plus points are that the rooms have a TV, woo hoo and also they provide towels, toiletries and tea/coffee and it includes continental breakfast in their lovely cafe! I've noticed that room rates here in Sydney are so much more expensive than anywhere else, including the hostels, so getting this for 30 quid a night is a bargain! So I booked a single room here from Sun.29th Oct to 9th Nov, then I'll be off to NZ on 10th Nov!
Decided to stay in tonight and watch TV, so vegged out in the TV lounge and ended up watching The Simpsons, Futurama and then the film '8 Mile' with Eminem. Off to Canberra tomorrow.