Please walk on the grass...
Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
49Trip End Jul 09, 2011
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Where I stayed
Right so we arrived in Sydney after a 3 and a bit hour flight (you think of NZ and OZ being right next to eachother dont you...not quite!) plied with free simcards at the airport was a nice touch to be welcommed in before we headed down into the underground of the airport and jumped on the metro. These are pretty cool, double level trains, not seen them before. Getting out at central station our eye sight was filled with skyscrapers and people!!! a tad overwhelming after coming from new zealand!!! we jostled through with our backpacks and found our way to our hostel, luckily was just around the corner! the hostel was lovely a cross between a hotel and hostel we had our own room and bathroom! ahhh! the common room floor provided a free breakfast in the mornings and had an awesome roof terrace five floors up which whether it was morning or night (with the whole of sydney lit up) it was a view you could not look away from
We headed out for a wander around the near by bit of city that evening, we were near china town, everything was buzzing, people everywhere, the trams and buses were nonstop, the monarail was overhead, the buildings were HUGE and everynow and again a beautiful town hall or church popped up in the middle of the chaos, huge masses of people crossed at the traffic lights and (especially in china town) the foody places were spilling out onto the streets. Even doing the conversation from our kiwi earnt dollars into aussie dollars (which isnt the best conversation) there were still plenty of cheap eats there as we held hands and built up our confidence being in a HUGE city again, its been a while after all! We grabbed a chinese takeaway and took it back to the roof terrace, all lit up by blue lights and took in the glittering city from that angle, amazing.
Tuesday was exploring day! we were up and breakfasted early before heading out to see everything sydney had to offer and boy did we walk EVERYWHERE! we started the day heading up the side of the city skycrapers to one side royal parks and botanical gardens to the right. Wandering through with take out coffee cup in one hand, a lovely walk, giggled at the statue of a hog outside the city hospital and just as the sun managed to top the skyscrapers we arrived at the end of the row, right there infront of us sat the iconic sydney opera house and just to the side the harbour bridge
Wednesday we headed out early on a trip up to the blue mountains. Picked up outside our hotel the driver of the minibus very soon had us laughing, i just find the craziness of these downunder guys just brilliant, their lifes-a-ball lookout on life is just so refreshing. Throughout the day as we wound up right into the mountains, did little treks headed up to lookouts we heard so many quips from him about life experiences and things hes got up too..definitely a crazy life
Did you know the blue mountains are called blue because they actually have a blue haze hanging over them? A beautiful sight, due to the masses of eucalyptus trees with the huge amounts of oil in their leaves, as it evaporates it causes it... fascinating! It also doesnt really fit the name mountains, he explained its actually similar to the iconic grand canyon style geography. Throughout the day we popped out at several look outs, including one that involved getting in a cable car and heading out during 105kmph winds over a valley 100s of meters drop below swinging around providing a phenomenal view of the three sisters (a formation of rocks) while your stomach falls out of your feet and your brains convinced your not going to make it across
We finished the day admiring the breathtaking views from the flat rock lookout, a slab of rock that juts out over the heights, before we gathered around an aboriginal carving found on the ground. Using a bottle of water tipped over the markings the water runs around the small troughs created in the ground by the carver highlighting the shapes. Suddenly very clearly you can see a kangaroo
To lighten the mood we were taken to the site of the year2000 olympic games once back in sydney, we heard about the undertaking of the huge cleanup for them to be built and i was particuly taken by the huge array of volunteer poles - interspersed by those covered in artwork, a forest of poles with the inscription of every single volunteer who helped the games take place. We finished the trip on a sunset cruise down the harbour back to the centre of sydney, by the time we arrived the lights were all out, reflecting and twinkling in the water, just beautiful
Thursday was a wonderful day for me, first thing we headed out of sydney central on the trains into the suburbs. And there waiting at the train station was my great uncle laurence! so many years since we last saw eachother we had so much to catch up on. Passing on the news from both sides of the family we experienced his car that drives through hand commands only - no pedals! and visited his apartment and wonderful other neighbours he jokes are the "other inmates". A morning of giggles and cups of tea before lunching at a wonderful chinese restaurant in his little town where i told the delighted chinese owner that the cooking was better than chinese food in england - she had asked!!! Too soon we were on the train back to the centre. A quick pop into the huge indoors paddys markets marvelling at the mounds of souvenirs before we ran uptown and jumped on a ferry to the peninsular of Manly. The feel of being its own island after the half hour journey, its an idyllic holiday town atmosphere with fairy lights dangling over shops and restaurants that line the white beaches offering volley ball nets being put to full use while we were there and with the lines of palm trees it feels simply tropical.
And that finished our whirlwind week in sydney, now it was off to the airport friday morning for the little domestic flight up to see steve's uncle, aunty and cousins.
Lots of love to all,