Small Town Kids in the Big City
Sydney Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Before our trip I did a bit of asking around
And yes, itâ€™s difficult to avoid the feeling that life is a lot faster paced here â€¦ something that folks from a sleepy little death-toll town arenâ€™t going to react well to, but our experience was really quite pleasant. The busy-ness didnâ€™t really get to me, the public transport is terrific, the speed cameras are signposted well in advance, and for some reason all the drivers seemed really courteous. Also, even though the old age of the city (by Australian standards) is very apparent in parts, around the harbour it really is breathtaking. Maybe itâ€™s one of those places that are good to visit, but would grind you down if you lived there for too long.
The hotel we stayed in was easily the best lodgings of our trip (Mercure in city centre â€“ with a cheap deal from Wotif.com!), and little extras like a â€śpillow menuâ€ť seemed like revelations when compared to the drab hotel experience in
On our first day we checked out the National Museum (intending to get an overview of the whole thing before closing time, but instead getting stuck on an awesome exhibit of wildlife photos), and walked amidst hundreds (thousands?) of flying foxes/fruit bats in the trees of the botanical gardens (which are apparently pests, but itâ€™s a pity â€“ they look and sound awesome).
The next day was spent on a bus tour that took us to
Other moments worth a mention include; fraternising with the locals at a music quiz night (we didnâ€™t win, but I'd say we performed admirably), being cooked dinner by celebrity chef Kylie Kwong, and seeing the city skyline at night from the ferry heading back from Manly beach. The zoo was worth the wait too, with the setting being as much of an attraction as the animals. I thought it was pretty special to be able to jump straight off the ferry and into a chairlift that took you over (and into) the zoo itself. Plus, I couldnâ€™t help but be fascinated by the chimpanzees who suddenly decided to scream and chase each other while we watched (it reminded me a lot of that opening scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey).
But it was on our last day that we had perhaps our most memorable experience â€“ climbing the Bridge!
Weâ€™d seen a few pictures of the bridge being built, with workers sitting on beams 100m above the river without a harness or any other kind of safety equipment, so it was a little surprising when we had to go through a huge amount of safety preparation and bureaucracy before the climb.
After all that safety stuff itâ€™s hard not to get a bit nervous when you start the climb, but the way theyâ€™ve designed it there really is no way to fall off â€“ even if you wanted to (sorry, no dramatic suicides today). It was great to come up by ladder through the road level and shock some of the regular pedestrians (who stopped to wave and take photos), and yes the views at the top are spectacular!
And so ended our little east side jaunt.
Once again it was a little heartbreaking to know we were returning to the real world with all its rent, bills, and full time employment â€¦ but at least we had a great souvenir of the city we were leaving behind â€¦ plenty of photos -
And two big boxes of Krispy Kremes.