17.01.2011 - 23.01.2011 28 °C
Sunday - we got a taxi into town to our next hostel (Wake up!) to save us from the effort of dragging all our stuff across the city (I know, I know, that’s what backpacking is about...but I’ve done it for 10 months now and am an old lady so sometimes I need a helping hand!!). We checked into Wakeup!, or rather dumped our bags in an incredibly messy room (looks like its a party room) then went to wait til we could check in at 12. Once we'd checked in we walked to the botanic gardens to the Museum of NSW to be cultural and view art for afternoon. Hel went to see the Terracotta warrior exhibition (I had seen this in China so didn't bother) so I headed back to the hostel exploring a different route back. By evening though I was restless and I needed to be out of the hostel so I dragged hel to a pub for a glass of wine in the eve to people watch and write our diaries!
The hostel we are staying in has 7 floors, 2 lifts and no stairs. We live on the second floor which has ten rooms each with 10 ppl capacity. It is a massive hostel in the city. It has it's own bar and cafe, Internet lounge and kitchen area which you'd think would be heaving all the time but I guess people must eat out cos the kitchen is never too busy. Our room is large and has three ceiling to waist height windows. There's nothing more really I can say but that it'd be a nice room to chill out in if two of the occupants (Dutch boys) didn't treat it like their bedrooms n have empty water bottles and crap spreading out like a disease from under their beds...agh!
Mon - the hostel provided a free walking tour of the city which took about 3 hrs until we got to the Sydney Opera house, where we split off to meet Lisa (Bondi) and her friend Emma. We went to see the Anne Leibovitz exhibition then walked back to hostel for dinner and drinks, which turned into a night out trying to avoid Gregory, a Canadian stalker :s Basically he edged his way onto our table and listen to our conversation until I introduced myself (out of politeness rather than wanting to). Little did I realise what a terrible mistake I'd just made. He then spent the rest of the night staring inappropriately at us and telling us we were beautiful (cringe). We ended up changing bars to get away from him only to return later (hoping he'd left) to find him on the dance floor (internally crying inside at the memory)... Agh!
Tue - hungover (had to be to cope with Gregory) but still managed an afternoon in the maritime museum, where they showed Finding Nemo for free, the highlight of my day and the museum was good too. Lots of info on child immigration from UK to oz due to over population...and we did the pub quiz in the eve...
Wed - we visited Circular Quays to explore the Rocks area, went into an art gallery- the artist is usually commissioned to do a piece for the sailing regatta so lots of boat paintings. Over the road was the Rocks Museum, which was really well done. Then which we ate lunch and headed to the Sydney harbor bridge south pylon to climb it for beautiful views of a panoramic Sydney. We walked to the observatory and had a look inside (lots of telescopic stuff) before heading home via the Queen Victoria building (shopping centre). Phew! Cuppa tea back at the hostel and an Internet admin eve...
Thurs - it was a sunny day so we went to Manly beach, caught the ferry over there n saw beautiful views of the bridge and opera house, sunbathed and ate ice cream - double choc chip and white choc chip n caramel. Yummy. Then ferry back (same views but different light) to the city. We tried to go up the Sydney Tower for a drink at the bar but there is a dress code (no shorts or people who look like backpackers who have spent the day getting Sand everywhere!) so we went back to the hostel to get ready to go out...we met Emma in Kings Cross and went to a few local bars whilst trying to meet up with my mate Neil (I'd met him in Kuala Lumpor) but annoyingly I diet get I to the bar he was in cos I had flipflops on (this is Australia, since when were flipflops NOT allowed? That's like saying you can't have rain in England!)... Anyway. We found a late night bar n ended up getting in after 5?!
Fri - hangover day. Or really more like catch up on sleep day! We headed out to the Botanic gardens cos it was sunny n we had a picnic on the grass near the lake overlooking the harbor water. Neil made it down in the afternoon so got to catch up properly then we headed home via the cinema, where we watched Black Swan with Natalie Portman in - amazing, an emotional roller coaster that was gripping. A good finish to the day.
Sat - Steve and Sharni picked us up at 12 and took us for a drive around Sydney’s coastline. They took us to a tiny cove with a small beach that had grass all the way up the bank. We sat under a tree and ate our picnic accompanied with wine. Then a sea icecream boat sailed past, Steven whistled and it turned round n came back for us! We ran down to the waters edge n bought a magnum equivalent. Yum! It was very novel, a memory I’ll hold dear as I do love icecream (had u noticed?) n it's not everyday you can order it from a boat!! Afterwards there was a bit more driving which ended back at the hostel. We said our farewells (til next time!) then Solent the day on a 'go slow'.
Sun-our departure day to Melbourne. We have a nightbus journey, our last trip ever on the greyhound! It's served us well. So as it was a beautiful sunny day we spent it in the park opposite the hostel and finished off our picnic items from the other day. I think I read a good quarter of my book in that time before we had to get the coach. Onward to Melbourne!