So after months of planning on the 7th June I finally land in Sydney Australia, feeling oddly excited and very tired all at the same time. My good friend Bentley was there to collect me from the airport and so I soon forgot that I was on the other side of the world and got completely caught up in catching up on all we had missed with each other.
On Saturday 8th June we got the ferry from Manly, where Bentley lives, over to Sydney. Being the keeno tourist that I am I wanted to sit outside on the front row centre of the boat so that I could get first view of the city that I had heard so much about. All the locals sat inside. I soon found out why. The boat hit a wave about a minute into the journey and a tidal wave of water came rushing over me and Bentley's heads! Lesson one of travelling learned - do as the locals do.
So the boat pulls into Sydney and I step off into the city looking like I've just been on Tidal Wave at Thorpe Park. Being a keeno tourist I wasted no time in dragging Bentley over to the Opera House to take the mandatory "I went to Sydney and saw the opera house" photo. Facebook profile picture sorted.
We then took a walk around the royal botanical gardens. I'm not exactly an expert in horticulture, so couldn't explain all the different varieties of plants / trees I saw, but I thought it was all very pretty, and a nice walk on a sunny day.
Next on the list was the Sydney Tower Eye. It's the tallest building in Sydney, with a circular roof top allowing great views of the city. Before taking the 44 second lift which shoots you up to the top floor we went in the 4D cinema which introduces the experience. We donned our 3D glasses and watched the short film about the history and future of the city. The film included soaking the audience in water; I couldn't help but wonder if I was ever going to be allowed to dry out on this day trip.
The top of the tower was really magnificent. And unlike the London eye it doesn't move, and so there are no time restraints on how long you spend up there. It was a great way of seeing everywhere you had been / wanted to go to. And the ipads all around helped tourists such as myself see what it was that they were looking at.
Next we went to Paddy's market. Loads of cheap merchandise was there aimed at the tourists with T Shirts stating " I love Australia" around every corner. Unsurprisingly, I did not invest it one.
After that it was time for a well deserved drink. The bar we went to lit up bang on six o'clock with a flower print all over the front of the building. Bentley informed me that it was currently the "city of lights festival" in Sydney, and all iconic buildings were being lit up, many with clever moving images brazened over them.
We headed over to one of the harbours that had a water and lights display going on. See the photos, it was oddly impressive. Then we watched some of the street performers, and I felt just like I was back in Covent Garden.
We then traipsed around looking at some of the hundreds of light displays and taking pictures of many of the iconic buildings which had been lit up for this event. Again, it's hard to explain, so just look at the pictures.
I love Sydney, and this day trip was without doubt the best way of kicking off this adventure. To any tourists thinking of giving it a visit, wear comfy shoes as there is no underground so you will be doing a lot of walking, and whatever you do, don't sit outside on the ferry!