30th September 2008, Tuesday
Since we were already there in Melbourne, we decided to visit Sydney as well. It helps when you have some friends scattered all over the world (very, very cost effective! Lol! So, Yin Mand if you are reading this, please let your sis know I will come one very fine day to Brisbane to see her!). So, ML took this opportunity to visit her good friend in Sydney.
We took a bus from Southern Cross to Avalon Airport. Sunbus will take passengers to Avalon for Jetstar domestic flights only. You can also take Skybus to Tullamarine, where other domestic and international flights take place. It costs AUD38 for two way journey to Avalon from the city and back. It takes 40 minutes to get to Avalon. They are pretty punctual. So, our Malaysian mind set of “It’s ok to be five minutes late” does not apply here!
We arrived at the airport on the dot. For domestic flight, it is okay to bring water bottle. You just need to take them out and place it in the basket provided to be scanned. LAG rules do not apply. Jetstar delayed a little but we reached Sydney slightly later than scheduled time.
The moment we got into the terminal, we were a little lost to get to the train station. So, to prevent you guys from getting lost, always remember, the train is always located at the basement of the airport. So, get your ass down the escalator to the train station and just follow signboard.
Sydney has useful pamphlet on how to purchase a train ticket. For those who are traveling by yourself for a few days in Sydney, you may opt for an unlimited boarding pass. Since I am going to stay with a friend, I didn’t get the unlimited pass. The ticket from the airport to Circular Quay costs AUD14.60.
We were greeted by this man playing didgeridoos upon reaching Circular Quay. This is the area where the famous world landmarks are – the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. We snapped like 500 pictures of the Opera House alone! Lol!
It was quite convenient to walk around the place. The weather in Sydney is a little warm compared to Melbourne but it was still a little cold. It was nice to walk under the sun and do not sweat at all! So, remember to put on generous amount of sun block and wear sunglasses and hat, or else, you would get sun burn even if the air is cold and crisp. We walked about and soaked ourselves in the charming atmosphere surrounding the Opera House. There were many people jogging in the middle of the day. Yes, at 1 pm.. and there are many families taking their children out for a walk and of course, many, many holiday makers.
As we strolled along the walkway towards the Opera House, we checked on the prices of food on the menus at the restaurants overlooking the Harbor Bridge. They are freaking expensive. Since we would have to pay AUD30 for meals, we might as well take a cruise with buffet lunch from Vagabond. It costs about AUD55. You may also opt for coffee and cakes at AUD25.
The buffet spread was quite generous. They have roast beef, roast chicken, pasta, potato salads, prawns, mussels, etc. They even serve kim chi! I think it wasn’t really a good idea to take this cruise because by the time you finished eating, you would have miss a lot of sightseeing. I ate lunch in a haste to snap some photos. Captain Cook’s Cruises seemed like a more popular choice and it stopped at many tourist spots. We took Vagabond because it was less crowded and we were in a hurry.
We got off the cruise at King’s Wharf and walked about Darling Harbor. It was quite warm then and the sun was too glaring to keep my eyes opened. I don on my sun glasses. I could feel the skin on my face started to get flaky. It was the cool, dry hair that caused my skin to shed. Please reapply skin lotion if you spend a lot of time outside. There is even a Garden of Friendship with Chinese motives nearby. We didn’t go in because have to pay AUD6. Imagine.. going to Australia and entering a place looking like a Chinese temple? LOL!
We walked around the harbor and even went to Chinatown and Paddy’s Market. Since we were already in a hurry to get to the train station to catch a train to Strathfield by 6 pm, where the friend lives, we quickly made our way to Café de Wheel at George Street to try the recommended hot dog. We opted for the chilli dog and only ordered one since it was quite huge. It was hot and yummy! We would like to try the signature Café de Wheel hot dog the next time we come.
As we were munching the hot dog, we sat opposite this Emperor’s restaurant where they sell the Emperor’s Puff. They are actually cream puffs. For AUD1, you can get four cream puffs. They were hot and delicious.
We made our way to Strathfield to meet up with a friend, after a whole day walking about Sydney with backpacks on our backs.