Oceania Travel

Sydney, Day 1

10 March 2012

After several delays, we were finally in the air. One hour later we touched down in Melbourne’s rival city — Sydney. This would be Alex’s first visit to the touristy city and he was awful excited. In fact, as was I. I had never been to Sydney as an adult, and never really as a tourist, as I have extended family here.We decided to catch the train from the airport to our hotel. We entered the underground station and waited for our double decker train to arrive. On we hopped, but little did we know what was waiting for us in the final carriage. For one moment I actually thought that single carriages could be rented out for functions. The entire lower level was full of screaming, swearing, drinking citizens. The whole carriage smelled like a bar. It was pretty atrocious and I wondered how so many people could completely disregard and disrespect their fellow citizens. I felt embarrassed for my country, as these people were the first impression of Australia for the foreign travellers in the carriage. Anyway, one of them screamed out, “Central **** Station!” and they flocked out of the train. There were about forty in their group. The aftermath was not pleasant — the carriage was full of empty cans and bottles and alcohol was all over the floor. We discovered that they were probably going to the Future Music Festival. Security there must have had a fun day.The day started badly but ended nicely. The train continued on to Circular Quay station, which provided us with a marvellous view of the Harbour Bridge. And wow — it was much, much bigger than I remember.

We arrived at our station and got our first taste of Sydney. It was a beautiful day, and we were quite intrigued by the difference of climate here in comparison to Melbourne.

We arrived at our hotel. Yes, a hotel. After our fun times backpacking through New Zealand we decided we are a little too old and married for hostels. Plus, the idea of a gym, TV, personal bathroom and mini-fridge was altogether very tempting.

We headed out first to see the main attractions of Sydney. We took a few quiet streets and were intrigued by how quiet the city was at such close proximity to the Harbour. We noticed that the houses were rather old and the homes to retirees. One of them even greeted us very jovially. Friendly lady.

We eventually made it to the beautiful area of The Rocks. There was an artisan market, where I found sewing inspiration. Soon we were right under the monstrous Sydney Harbour Bridge. In the background was the iconic Opera House, and we spent a long time taking photos.

Before heading to the Opera House, we decided to have lunch at the nearby market. After our refueling we headed towards the Opera House. We noticed its intricate tilework, which from a distance can not be assumed.

We spent a good hour sitting on a relaxing reclining concrete seat by the shore, admiring the House and enjoying the beautiful day. We returned to the hotel to relax after being on our feet for 3.5 hours.

Before arriving at our hotel, we decided to search nearby for a convenience store. Alex has a tendency to point out random strangers who look like celebrities: “Hey look, Michael Cera,” he joked. Although this time, after a second glance, we realised it actually was Michael Cera. Alex and I didn’t really know how to act around a movie star, so as Michael ran across the road and just avoided getting hit by a car, Alex took a not-so-sneaky and terribly blurry photo of him and his friends. We were very excited. Upon arrival to our room, I was reading a local newspaper which said he was in town performing a play with Kieran Culkin. I checked Alex’s photo, and sure enough, there was Macauley’s little brother, quite clearly staring at the camera. Too much excitement for one afternoon.

After relaxing for a long time, we headed out and filled our tummies at a nearby gourmet Italian restaurant. Our waiters were very friendly and as a Melburnian, I can’t help but be suspicious of nice people. Where I come from, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to be nice to strangers!

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