Circular Quay, where our ship was moored
We arrived fairly early in Sydney
, and after eventually finding our way to Circular Quay
, where our ship was moored, it was only about 9am. We were told we couldn't check in until 2. There were all sorts of neat shops and cafés around, but since we had all of our luggage with us, hanging out for five hours at the port didn't seem like the greatest idea. We were able to drop our bags off at the ship, after a bit of persuading, and then took off to explore.
Mom and I have both had pretty good experiences with hop-on, hop-off bus tours in both New York and Boston, so when we saw one pull up to Circular Quay, we grabbed it - and immediately proceeded to the top deck of the double-decker bus, where I got sunburnt.
Queen Victoria Building
Good plan, really.
At any rate, as usual, this was a great way to see a lot of the city in a short period of time. We got off at a few stops that interested us, then took the bus around the entire circuit just to take in everything. Our bus pass was also good for a shuttle out to Bondi Beach
, so naturally we took advantage of that! Unfortunately, as we had left our luggage on the ship, we didn't have our swimsuits with us, so my beach experience was limited to rolling up my pant legs and wading into the water. I cursed myself for not throwing a swimsuit into my purse, mainly because I would have loved to surf there. Such is life...
We were finally able to check in when we got back to the ship hours later.
Statue of Queen Victoria, outside the QVB
That night, after meeting our tablemates at dinner and getting settled into life on the ship, Damon (see "The Holy Land" travel blog - he was in Jordan and the West Bank with me) picked me up and we went for drinks at the Lord Nelson pub, one of the oldest pubs in Sydney. In addition to being a tourist attraction (on the outside, at least - the pub was pointed out to us on our bus tour earlier that morning), the Lord Nelson also brews its own beer, which was the reason we went. In between catching up, having not seen each other in five months or so, he attempted to explain the cricket game that was playing on the TV in the corner. Saw a bit of Sydney by night after leaving the pub, then headed back to the ship to get over my jet lag.