The bus arrived in Sydney at about 9.30am, where Maggie (my mum's friend who moved to Sydney with her family 8 years ago, aka my friend Heather's mum) was waiting to meet us.
Unfortunately her car battery had just died, but we didn't have to wait long to have it sorted out and went back to their lovely house in Balmain where we unpacked our things and collapsed on the sofa with a nice cup of tea! Later on Maggie took us for a delicious Vietnamese lunch down the road, and then we went to the hospital to try and finally discover what was wrong with my stomach. The doctor looked at me and said he didn't think it was serious because i still looked healthy, but they did some tests anyway to be sure, and said the results would be back in a couple of days. When we got back to the house, Heather soon arrived home from work, so it was lovely catching up with her before we had some yummy spaghetti bolognese and apple crumble for dinner and met Heather's boyfriend, Tom.
On Thursday, Nat and I weren't in a hurry to get up, and had a nice day getting the ferry across the harbour to the city (taking the typical photos of the bridge and the opera house), and wandering around the shops, popping in to see Heather in Billabong on the way. We didn't buy anything but it was good to see the city (again, for me) and that evening we relaxed back at Maggie's with a yummy Turkish pancake for dinner and 'Definitely, Maybe' on DVD.
On Friday we set off to the aquarium, which turned out to be the best one that either of us had visited. We got to see sharks, turtles, seals, penguins, a crocodile and obviously loads of fish. All of the displays were great, especially the Great Barrier Reef one where we managed to find Nemo. Unfortunately the weather outside was not so good - it was pouring down with rain - so after the aquarium we headed back and watched 'The Golden Compass' before having some delicious sheperd's pie and going out to a club called Purple Sneakers with Heather and her friends. It was a good night out, although we only had one drink each as the thought that we could get 2 meals for the price of one drink played on our minds!
Saturday was one of the market days in Sydney, so Nat and I visited Balmian, Rozelle and Glebe and got LOOOOADS of clothes. As much as we tried to remind ourselves that our rucksacks were already full, somehow our eyes kept wandering and the money kept coming out of our purses. However, we actually didn't spend that much considering how much we bought, as the Rozelle market was a second-hand, vintage stalls market, and even at Glebe and Balmain we managed to get really good bargains! Luckily for me, Heather was taking a big suitcase to England with her, so she took some of my purchases straight home for me! That evening we stayed in and had another lovely winter dinner - beef casserole.
On Sunday we had a fairly lazy morning, and then Heather's brother Richard came round with hid girlfriend Nubia to cook us a mexican lunch. We had nachos, quesadillas and hot chocolate, and it was all delicious! After stuffing ourselves, Heather, Nat and I went to Bondi to have a wander round the market before it closed, where we did each buy a couple of things, but no way near as much as the previous day! That evening Heather and I had a little Spanish session, chatting away and going over some grammar points, which was particularly useful for me as i hadn't looked at things like that for months and months!
On Monday Nat and I went out with Heather again, this time to Newtown, where i somehow bought 3 more dresses, but it was fine because Heather and I had a really cheap but delicious Thai lunch to make up for it. Oh, and a mars bar milkshake which was yummy too. That evening we packed our bags and dreaded leaving Maggie's the next day! After living in such luxury we knew it was going to be a shock to the system, and knowing that Heather and MAggie would be at my home in a couple of days made me feel quite homesick.
Finally on Tuesday morning Nat and I managed to squueze the last of our new clothes into our bags, and after another yummy Vietnamese lunch at the same place we went to on our first day in Sydney, we said a sad goodbye to Maggie at our hostel, down the other end of Darling Street (dangerously close to the Rozelle market, but we were strong and did not go back there). That afternoon we relaxed in the TV lounge watching Shallow Hal, and then managed to cook some dinner in the tiniest kitchen ever, where i could barely move. The hostel was full of people who were working in Sydney for months so they all knew each other well, but they were all friendly to us even though we'd only be there for 5 nights, and we had good facilities like free internet, free washing machine and drier, and free raisin bread for breakfast! What more could you want?!
On Wednesday we had a lazy day, catching up with the blog and having a hot chocolate in a cafe on Darling Street. That evening we went for dinner with Heather, and were then jined by Nush who had just arrive din Sydeny but was staying in the city. It was a lovely evening and we chatted away for ages before heading back to the hostel.
Nat spent Thursday doing a day trip to the Blue Mountains, but i spent a few days there when i came to Australia before, so in the interest of saving some moeny i went back into the city to meet up with Nush. First we went to the Opera House, as Nat and I were keen to try and get some tickets for Don Giovanni which was currently showing there. Nat wasn't due to return from the trip until 8pm, but the woman said tonight we could get $200 tickets for only $50 because we were students and it wasn't a busy night. On Friday it was fully booked and on Satruday there wouldn't be a 'student rush'as they called it, so tonight was our only chance! Nat'said she could be there at 7.15 so i agreed to go back at 6.30 to join the queue for the student tickets. Nush and I then walked across the Harbour Bridge and climbed up one of the pylons, which gave us a great view of the city. We would have done the Bridge Climb, but it was very expensive considering you only go a bit higher than the pylons. After that we got some lunch and i said a sad farewell to Heather, before going back to the hostel so i could change into something a little more appropriate for the Opera House, and grab some clothes for Nat too, as we didn't think her hiking boots were that suitable. After queueing up for aaaaages (at the front of the queue) i was just starting to was just starting to wonder if they would actually sell us tickets, when two women came over and offered me theirs! They'd just done a tour of the Opera House and were feeling ill, so insisted on giving me the tickets for free! I checked to make sure we'd be able to see the English subtitles from those seats, which we could, and then at 7.15 Nat came running through the doors, had a quick change and then we treated ourselves to some maltesers and a frozen mango daiquiri whilst we enjoyed the show! It was a great experience, and obviously they all had wonderful voices. We couldn't believe how lucky we'd been!
On Friday i had a fairly lazy day, but doing productive things like making Spanish verb tables woo. Meanwhile Nat did the Bridge Climb, which she loved, and then we chilled out with the other guys in the hostel that evening.
Saturday was our last day in Sydney, so we had a wander round the market in the Rocks (managing not to buy anything), visited the Museum of Contemporary Art (which had some very unusual installations on display) and then met up with my sister Emma's friend Mark who lives in Sydney for a drink. That evening we just packed and i tried to get an early night since i'd be getting up at 5am (Nat was on a later flight to mine and Nush's one) but most other people in our hostel were drinking and talking very loudly outside our room till about 11pm when they finally went out.
On Sunday morning they then woke me up at 4am by blaring out music till 5 whilst i lay awake before getting up and ready and catching a taxi to Nush's hostel. From there we go a shuttle bus to the airport, only to discover that our flight was delayed by two hours! Great. It was rubbish old Jetstar again, and this time we didn't even get a free drink or meal which was a big letdown. But coming into New Zealand we did get the most amazing views of endless snow-covered mountain ranges.
Nush here: Well ive been lazy so im going to run through these accounts quickly! I met Stu on the bus from Byron to Sydney and ended up checkin into a 28 bed dorm!! Me and Stu met again and went for a wander round the city, and to all the sighs, saw the sydney harbour bridge and opera house, had a look inside and bought tickets for Hamlet for 30 dollars!! and went to the gym, because we're good like that! i booked a trip up to the blue mountains which were amazing!! met a friend up there, ditched the group and stayed with him and his friends who i met back in Thailand and had a great time, only to get back to sydney and have a night out before i got on the plane to NZ early the following morning!