December 5th, 2016
I visited Sydney before I started this blog but as it’s my most recent adventure and was a LOT of fun I’ll upload it.
The main goal was to renew my American passport (I have dual citizenship between Australia and America). This required an appearance at the closest American consulate as I was under sixteen when I got my last passport. So, after semester was over, I took a plane from Brisbane to Sydney.
There’s a very small amount of security involved with domestic flights so I boarded quickly. I’d just sat down on the plane when I realised something terrible. My camera was still at home. So while I had my phone to take many pictures, they won’t be as beautiful.
Where am I and do I care?
I had booked a stay through AirBnB and couldn’t check in until they’d finished work that evening so I really only had one plan: wander. For those of you who haven’t heard of AirBnB, it is amazing. Locals put up extra rooms they have and for an amazingly cheap price you can stay there. Saves me hundreds.
I grabbed an Opal card from a news agency and hopped on a train google maps told me led to the city centre. An Opal card is another amazing thing. It’s New South Wales’ version of Queensland’s Go card. Put money on it then, on any public transport, buses, ferries, trains, just tap the card on a tiny machine when you get on and off. No fiddling around with cash.
Sydney’s train system is amazing! So frequent and such great routes. The best part? The trains themselves. Double Decker! My jaw literally dropped when one of the locals casually strolled on, took hold of the back of a bench seat and flipped it around so it faced the other direction.
I got off at Circular Quay (pronounced: key) and started off. Sydney is full of amazing architecture, hills and tourists. I cannot express how many different languages I heard walking down the street. While google maps is a godsend, using its GPS was impossible while buildings towered on either side of the road. So I searched directions to my destination and followed the map myself.
Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain is a beautiful work in Hyde Park. It features four statues, all naked. One, a warrior about to kill a Minotaur. Another, a stag and a woman directing a bow toward the third statue, a man with pipes and a family of goats. Standing proud at the top is a man holding a harp and pointing in the direction of St. Mary’s Cathedral (just).
Many people, locals and tourists alike, wander Hyde Park. They lounge on benches and read books, sleep in the shade of trees, picnic together. One man strung up a hammock on one thick branch and fell asleep.
Harbour is just one of the many words we add a ‘u’ to here in Australia. After completing high school in America I still have to check the spelling of many words. I made my way to Darling Harbour quite by accident while I was looking for a library to pass the hot noon hours in. It’s a beautiful place, flaunting the wealth of Sydney and cool with the breeze off the water.
Entering, I walk past restaurants on a beautifully symmetrical path around a large green. One one side, water shoots out of the cement and children stomp on them. On the other a large playground with nets and slides had me jealous of the six-year-olds.
Along the edge of the actual Harbour is the image that kicks off this post. Restaurants, a ferris wheel and Sydney’s Maritime Museum. At the very end of the walk is a small lighthouse. The Maritime Museum is worth a visit, filled with small replicas of old ships, navigation devices and the stories of refugees fleeing to Australia.
End of the Day
A storm hit in the late afternoon and I took refuge in a Starbucks until it was time to take the train across the river to my accommodation. Rest at last.