Sydney - a breath of fresh air
Sydney Travel Blog› entry 1 of 12 › view all entries
April 28th, 2006 – by: o_mendfornd
We revelled in such simple pleasures as walking on a pavement, and wearing shoes, long trousers and fleeces. We were also rather spoilt by virtue of the fact that we had booked ourselves a free four-day stay in the Sydney Harbour Marriott using loyalty points which I had been collecting while travelling with my job.
The flip side of all of the comforts was the traditional Yorkshireman's refrain on heading out to buy lunch on the first day there: "how much?!". (I'm allowed to say that, as I'm the Yorkshireman in question.) We'd forgotten not only how life was lived in our country, but also how expensive it is (as things in Australia were certainly no more expensive than they would have been back home). The money which we withdrew from an airport cash machine on arrival was gone in two days, and the trend continued.
It's funny how it affects you, though. The fact that we couldn't live as cheaply as we had been had the strange effect of making us spend more than we otherwise would have done: if I wasn't sure whether something was worth spending money on, then I'd find myself thinking, "Everything's expensive here, so a little more spending won't really hurt". It was a great attitude to have, as it meant that we did lots of different things. It was to be the theme for our time in Australia; barely a day went past without our doing something new and exciting.
On our first day in Sydney we had to do the obvious. We were staying right by the harbour, so it was a short stroll from our hotel down to the Opera House, and up onto the Bridge. We also walked around the Rocks, including a look at the oldest house in Sydney, Cadman's Cottage. We kept our sightseeing low key; we mainly enjoyed just strolling around with nothing much to do. We headed up the Sky Tower for a great view over the whole city.
Another day we headed over to Manly beach, where we had an ice cream, and strolled along the sea front. We didn't find much to do in Manly, but it was pleasant just to walk along. The ferry over affords wonderful views of the harbour.
Another afternoon we hopped on a bus down to Bondi Beach.
We had factored in a six day period to do some further exploring in New South Wales. We had no plans about where exactly to head to, but the time was meant to be spent travelling on public transport. However, in the spirit of spending more money, we decided to hire a car, which would enable us to see more places in the short time available to us. And so, armed with the phrase "what's the cheapest car you've got", we approached the AVIS desk at the hotel and we were sorted for the next week.
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