Sydney Travel Blog› entry 1 of 3 › view all entries
Well, of course I left everything until the last minute and got no sleep before rushing off to the airport, speeding the whole way (I don't think I'd have it any other way). I checked in with few hassles, and my dad walked me to the security gate before waving goodbye like a normal person (no tears involved, I mean). I proceeded to Gate 7 by myself, only to find that I was supposed to be at Gate 17, and had to speed walk back out of security, to the other side of the airport, through security again and to the actual correct gate, making it JUST in time. Assuming my window seat (yay!), I settled down to attempt to sleep, but all I ended up with was a sore neck. The sunrise through the clouds was extremely pretty, but I wasn't sure if I was allowed to take pictures before the seatbelt light turned off, if cameras count as "electrical devices" .
After collecting my bag I went about trying to contact my hostel for their "free shuttle bus service". I called them, they told me where to wait and that someone would be there in 15 minutes. An hour later I called them again and they seemed slightly shocked and said someone would be there any minute. 15 minutes later a crazy man walked past talking into his mobile in a crazy language (later found to be Hebrew). I heard him mention "Headquarters" (my hostel's name) and "Bianca", so I looked up, and then he motioned for me to follow to his slightly dodgy-looking van, which was manned by another guy who could speak no English.
Eventually I was dropped off at my fantastic ice cream-coloured hostel. The receptionist spoke to me in German for quite some time before he finally realised I didn't understand a word he was saying. He was quite sure I was German. I assured him I am not. He seemed confused. He gave me my blanket and sheets, a short tour of the hostel (in English, even), and my key, and that was that. My room was a complete mess (and that's really saying something coming from me), fully equipped with a naked woman duct taped to my bed.
By the time I got to the hostel it was 2.30 or so, and extremely hot. It was raining in Perth this morning, but it's totally gross and hot here. so I changed my outfit about four times trying to figure out the coolest/comfortablest ensemble, and then set out to explore Sydney. I didn't have a map, so I just started walking in the direction I sensed the city to be in. I soon came across Kings Cross station, which I decided to enter simply because ... well, Harry Potter. Much to my disappointment there was no platform 9 or 10, or 9 ¾, but I decided I may as well take a ride, and after looking at the ticketing machine for roughly 20 minutes I blindly stabbed at it and ended up with a return ticket to the next station along, which was sightly closer to the city centre, I guess.
There was a gigantic Christmas tree where I got off, so I walked towards it. It was really ... gigantic. Even surrounded by all the massive Sydney buildings. There were also hundreds of funny little kiosks just like in the movies. I took photos of them. And of the Starbucks, Krispee Kreme store and peculiar alley way art installation. I started walking down a road that I sensed would lead towards the harbour (my rough goal), and rejoiced when I finally spotted a bit of Harbour Bridge between the buildings up ahead. So I walked down and around one pylon of the bridge, stopping to take pictures of and have pictures taken by a random European tourist.
Back where I started, with another Christmas tree, I realised I could just walk to the Opera House from here. So I did that. On the Opera House steps I finally broke down and started taking pictures of myself, in possibly the one most conspicuous place in Sydney. From there I walked to the Botanic Gardens and amused myself with taking more pictures of myself with the statues there. By then it was starting to get a bit late so I blindly walked back into the city, miraculously managing to end up back at the station I came from.