06.03.2007 - 09.03.2007 24 °C
After my last and final overnight bus journey with Greyhound, I arrived at 6am in Sydney. After waiting for 1.5 hours for my hostel to pick me up they told me that the driver didn't bother showing up that day and that there wouldn't be a bus. Great start! I got to the hostel and after not finding my booking, then having booked me for only 1 instead of 3 nights, I finally got to my room and was in complete shock. Not sure what hit me first, the mess or the smell.... Lovely! Exactely what you need after being sick and being on a nightbus. I was in such shock that I had to leave the room straight away. It turned out that I am sharing my with another 4 Swedish guys, probably around 20 (at the most) who have been living in that room for several weeks and that is exactely how it looked and how it smelled! Damn Swedes! They were really nice but so messy! I couldn't help pointing the mess out when I was talking to them which at least got one of the girls to start cleaning in a complete panic being slightly embarrassed. At least you could see parts of the floor again, but the smell stayed. On my last day I saw a notice on the door saying that everyone had to out of the room by 11am for pest contral spraying! Thank God I didn't see that beforehand. So far, I have managed without bed bugs and hope my luck continues :-)
The only good thing about the hostel was one PC that had been unlocked by someone, so you didn't need to pay, which I took full advantag of, spending several hours on it. Stupidly enough I was so happy about it that I told quite a few people about it and never got to use it again! :-(
My first action in Sydney was meeting up with Alex for lunch at the fish market, which was great. Still feeling in treating myself mood and feeling sorry for myself for being sick, I decided that I really need to have the biggest seafood platter I could find on the whole market! Yummmyy........ Lobster, prawns, salmon... the whole lot! Delicious! After that I started exploring the city with Alex. We went to Darling Harbour, the famous bridge, which I found a bit disappointing and the Opera House, which is even more expressive than you expect. As per usual, it wasn't a sunny day, so unfortunately my pics all overcast :-(
Went to the Botanic Gardens, which were great. Great views over the city and the bridge and opera house. Had fun watching the cockatoos and bats. I don't think I have mentioned that before, it's absolutely amazing but wherever you go you see wild cockatoos.... I only know them in cages. Also, several other parots are flying around. We found the bats in the garden.... Well, they are absolutely fascianting and absolutely huge. Never seen anything like it. Absolutely massive. They are hanging in the trees and you can even see their little fury faces and quite often they stretch out their wings and you see how massive they are. Fascinating but also very eery. We saw them the next night flying in big flocks through the city. Most bizarre, huge bats flying through all these modern office blocks.
I had the evening to myself, as Alex was meeting a friend which I was quite glad about to spend more time updating my journal, doing my laundry etc. Damn hostel washing machines. Some of my stuff came out with staines that weren't on there before. I think I probably have to through most of my stuff away before I come back.
So far I have to say, Sydney is a very nice city, but I can't see the big fuss about it. It's very busy, very modern, no history like anywhere else here, loads of business people running around in suits.... But I will see... It is definitely quite strange being in a big city again, it's been a month now without a city and I have to say I didn't miss much....
On my second day in Sydney I went to the Rocks, which is an area in that in the good old days was full with criminals and prostitues and English convicts. It's now all been made up and looks great. Loads of little houses and cottages and narrow lanes and squares. Really nice. I really liked it there, as it was the only place where I felt there was a bit of history to it and although it's all made up now you can still very well imagine what it must have been like in those times. Great! I then took the bus to Coggee beach to meet Alex, who had been to the embassy to pick up her visa for Indonesia. We did the whole walk from Coggee to Bondi beach and it was relly nice. Great beaches, a lot of little bays. I have to say Sydney is already growing on me. It is great to have all that close by. Although a lot of people seem really disappointed with Bondi Beach, I really liked it. Of course, I have seen much better beaches in Australia but considering that it right in big city, is quite impressive. The weather wasn't great though apart from a couple of hours. It starts getting a bit annoying. It is constantly overcast and raining. Chris, the Blue Mountain Park Ranger I met on the diving boat, sent me an email and said he was flying with a helicopter over his area and he saw waterfalls that have been dry for the last 6-7 years. Great for that but not great for me. Bloody Rain, I am in Australia and want sunshine!! :-)
We then met up with some of Alex friends (Tom & Eugena and Miles and Lisa) who where very nice and funny. We went to the north part and went to Vietnamese restaurant which was the best food I had in whole of Australia. Absolutely delicious!
On my last day we went on a tour to the Blue Mountains, which was great. I wished I could have stayed their for 3 days caming in the National Park. We saw kangaroos, so cute! I finally saw my first proper wild kangaroos. As they are quite used to humans in the National Park you could even get quite close to them.
The scenary and the views were great. We went for some walks, to a waterfull, took the steepest railway in the world down and came up again with the cable car. It was really cold that day though and raining quite a bit, as usual. Alex and myself are just laughing by now.... it seems jinxed. Whereever we go, it's raining.
The tour guide was outrageous though. He was patronising and also blamaed the Europeans and English for everything. Killing the Aboriginals, the lack of water, pigeons, cattle, basically everything. He was talking so bad about English that even I got offended and couldn't keep my mouth shut. So, I started one of my favourite provoking arguements with him, which was very amusing for Alex. I don't think he liked me much afterwards, but who cares.... :-)
On my last evening in Sydney I went out with Alex and Kivi and we went to a really nice bar in Darling Harbour overlooking the harbour. For the first time in Australia I got completely pissed, which was a well chosen evening, as per usual. It ended up that I forgot to set my alarm and woke up at 9am, which was the exact time for the take off of my plane! Damn! Went a in a complete rush to the airport and fortunately they just booked me on the next flight without even charging me! Happy Days....:-)