4 days (3 days, really) in SYDNEY
Monday 12 November 2012
Our trip to Sydney began Monday 12 November, when Jenny dropped us off at the airport (THANK YOU JENNY!). Once we landed, we took a taxi to Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments at 243 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, NSW, and checked in. We got placed on the fourth floor, studio, room 422.
It did not have a view because when we look out our balcony we see a car park structure, not so flattering. Initially I was hoping we’d get lucky and be placed somewhere higher, but the elevators took forever anyway, so I was glad we were only on the fourth floor.
The place has an eerie feel to it. It is an old woolstore, warehouse-like structure…very industrial kind of vibe.
We probably arrived around 3pm, and walked across Darling Harbour bridge and around the aquarium to the ferry stop, where we waited for the boat to Manly Wharf.
The ride was pretty neat, it was slow enough for us to take in the view of the harbour, and appreciate the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, and of course the Sydney Opera House by Circular Quay. The trip was about an hour from our place.
We arrived at Manly and walked around for a bit for photos.
We met with our friend Nick, (see: https://laurexplorestheworld.wordpress.com/category/vietnam/) who we had met during our trip to Vietnam in Sapa and subsequently met up with several times during that trip (Hoi An, Saigon, Singapore and now Sydney). It was lovely for him to drive his bike out after a long day of work to have drinks and dinner with us.
We ordered a taster entree, Chorizo Pizza and Pork Belly Pizza. It was a delicious dinner, best pizzas I’ve had.
It was cool to hear about his exciting travel plans in the near future where he will be sailing with his mates across to the Panama Canal. Ryan will be sending him two books this week – Chasing Sunsets, and Steering You Straight.
After dinner, the three of us walked across the street to grab some ice cream and waited by the beach to see if penguins would pop out underneath the wharf.
We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one at sunset! They have the whole area blocked off so the public won’t scare the penguins away, with one worker to keep reports on the penguin sightings.
Ryan and I then said our farewell to our mate, Nick before catching the boat back to Circular Quay.
Once we arrived, we walked up the many steps around the Sydney Opera Picture and took many pictures of the iconic site. Sydney made me feel like I was actually in Australia.
I got excited when I first saw the opera house emerging behind the Harbour Bridge as we got closer. I am such a tourist. Being in the city felt like being at Disneyland. I felt giddy. There was even a monorail.
We took a cab back to our place after that.
Sydney is an hour ahead of Brisbane because Queensland does not have daylight savings. Regardless, I woke up 6am Sydney time, I was that excited to start the day.
Tuesday 13 November 2012
We walked to Circular Quay and took a ferry to Taronga Zoo.
We didn’t realise that the bottom entrance would not open until 11am, and the only way to the main entrance was through the sky safari, or by shuttle. We were able to go through the sky safari route, which was pretty fantastic with the views along the way to the top. We loved our day at the zoo. Took lots of photos of the animals (will have a separate post for Taronga Zoo).
I like it a lot better than Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo.
Afterwards we went back to our place to rest and change for dinner. Along the way we stopped at Adriano Zumbo’s Bakery in The Star shopping centre. We got two macaroons, lemon meringue tart and a chocolate mousse. (We are gluttons when on vacation)
We made plans to meet Garrett (a college friend of mine who lived on my floor freshmen year at UCSB in Francisco Torres Dorms, 9 North). He is currently living here with his wife while he does his PH.D.
We met in Surry Hills in front of Red Lantern (Luke Nguyen’s Restaurant!). Our server was named Timothy, from Minnesota. He was awesome. He lived in Germany for awhile after leaving Minnesota then moved to Australia, and has been living here for 10 years. Garrett says it is more common to meet someone who is from outside of Australia in Sydney. We had a very delicious meal, though very pricey (it’s Luke Nguyen’s restaurant, after all).
We ordered Bo Luc Lac, Whole Fried Snapper, Bo Kho, Rau Munog and Rice, with Vietnamese coffee and 333 Beer.
It was well worth it, and we had great company (Garrett, if you are reading this, thank you for taking the time to catch up with us).
The three of us walked together until we reached the train station to depart ways. Ryan and I continued on our walk back to our place. We enjoyed the swimming pool, jacuzzi, and sauna back at Old Goldsbrough. I loved the sauna (I can’t believe I forgot to take a photo before we left). We went back in the morning and again in the next evening.
Wednesday 14 November 2012
We spent the morning walking to the city shopping center along Pitt Street and Castlereagh Street.
I got a black dress for work from TopShop and received a student discount (score!) 10% off purchase. Ryan got two dress shirts from Country Road. We continued to walk around the city to take photos of the historic looking buildings.
We dropped off our stuff, and went to have lunch at Hurricane’s Grill by Darling Harbour.
We shared garlic bread, mixed salad and a full rack of lamb ribs. It was sensational.
It was so much food for the both of us. We made it up by walking, lots of walking throughout our stay (I love walking, but wish I had more comfy shoes).
We walked to the Botanical Gardens and took photos of ourselves with the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge in the background. Afterwards, we continued to walk to and through Chinatown in Haymarket.
We stopped by Emperor’s Puff for some fresh hot cream puffs (recommended by Garrett), and bought 2 dozens.
It was so delicious and satisfying. We then walked back to our place and called it a day. My feet and legs were hurting from all the walking.
Along the way, Ryan got a Hot Roast Beef Roll with Gravy from Hannah’s Pies-where there was a sign next to it saying it was Sydney’s best pasties…the beef roll was tasty, but the portion was smaller than what I expected for nearly $7.
We spent the rest of the evening at the pool/sauna then watched some Foxtel telly. Mostly Tosh.O and South Park, and Futurama. Walking all day wiped us out, and Ryan got sick. It was raining in the morning (we had missed out on the Solar Eclipse, because we slept in -it was cloudy anyway). It was hot and cold throughout, as well, messing with our body temperatures.
Some more photos of us.
Thursday 15 November 2012 (Today)
This morning, it was difficult to wake up. We ate instant noodles for breakfast and finished up the chocolate mousse.
Ryan was feeling terrible with his sinus being all stuffed up, and he was a bit feverish. We watched TV and packed up, and called for a late check out. Took a taxi to the airport, and Jenny scooped us up once we landed. I knocked out during the whole flight, which is only about an hour or so.