Week One 17 January 2007

Hello!

Our first week Down Under was spent wandering around Sydney like a proper pair of tourists, seeing the sites and trying to avoid buying Didgeridoos, cork hats and kangaroos.

We spent a few hazy hours in Singapore before getting here and found out that it's basically just a big shopping mall with an airport attached to it. Their automatic toilets are quite an experience and the buses run on time but otherwise it doesn't have much going fot it.

When we did finally land in Sydney on New Year's Eve, it was a good three hours before we could check into the much needed five star luxury of our hotel thanks to a rush of fellow pommies coming over for the cricket (the less said about that the better). Once we'd found our room and unpacked our bags, we settled down for a "quick nap" and by the time we woke up it had been dark outside for quite some time.
A brisk walk to the harbour followed where we found masses of people staggering around with their stubbies and trying to find a good spot for the midnight fireworks. As we sat on the pavement with our own stubbies, a generous local asked if we had any tickets and, when we told her that unfortunately we had arrived too late, gave us a pair of tickets to watch the fireworks from the Cahil Expressway which turned out to be an excellent spot (see photo in our previous post!)

After the NYE celebrations, we headed back to the hotel and ate noodles and crisps in our room along with bottles of champagne (thanks Steph & Terry!) before calling it a night (or early afternoon, depending on the jet-lag).

The following day, we took full advantage of the buffet breakfast in the hotel and headed out to see Sydney. After wandering around Darling Harbour, seeing a free didgeridoo show, visiting Hyde Park, the ANZAC Memorial and the Australian Museum, we started preparing ourselves for the reality of having to leave our luxury room and check into the Dulwich Hill YHA the next day.

After another hearty breakfast and a cruise around the harbour, we packed our bags and headed out into the suburbs. The hostel was pretty basic but comfortable and, once we'd visited the local supermarket (with a quick visit to the pub on the way home), we read our books, had some beans on toast and went to bed early!

The rest of the week was spent trying to get the most out of our See Sydney Cards by visiting as many attractions as humanly possible inside seven days. These included Taronga Zoo (the "Zoo With a View"!), the Aquarium (Meh), the Sydney Tower (Great views!), the Opera House tour (Amazing architecture!), the Australian Museum (Great skeletons), Manly Beach and Oceanworld (Better that Sydney Aquarium - they had the top 5 most venomous snakes and bigger sharks!), Bridgeclimb (Definitely worth paying extra for the sunset climb) and Sydney Olympic Park (We even had a swim in the Olympic pool).

I'll get around to uploading some photos soon but now we've got to go and catch a bus to Newcastle.

Cheers, Amy and Simon

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