I saw a lad kick a train station ticket barrier and it then opened for him. I think I can still land a kick. Why did we bother to put $50 on our Opal public transport cards? All we needed to do was kick a train barrier but then you can't kick a bus driver and with a $2.50 Senior cap for public transport in NSW including ferries, who would bother. The Senior cap in Melbourne is $4.50 and we don't have public transport ferries.
The bus route changes in the south eastern suburbs are untenable as I see it and must be reconsidered. I expect there will be changes. TfNSW wanted to dump passengers from the south east at the tram terminus to change to the light rail to complete their journey, adding hugely to their travelling time and bad luck if you wanted, as many do, to travel to Oxford Street. There is an interchange at Kingston that could be used but I can't see a possibility of one being built at Randwick. I am truly surprised this was even suggested.
Generally public transport is good in Sydney, aside from as mentioned being dumped nearly half a kilometre away from Circular Quay when the quay is the bus destination. I think worse is the absurdly long distance to walk from the Central Station bus stop to the entrance of Central. It took an absurdly long time for the pedestrian lights to show green to cross Pitt Street.
My city Melbourne is referred to as the culture capital of Australia, the sporting capital of Australia and the food capital of Australia. It pains me to say Sydney does basic cafe and restaurant food as we eat better and maybe 10 to 15 percent cheaper than Melbourne. Much better. You can now get good coffee everywhere in Sydney which wasn't always the case. We've had some truly terrible coffee in Sydney to the standard of a dishwater coffee at a country bakery.
Melbourne people are known for wearing black and this goes back decades, but many Sydneysiders seem to have now embraced black clothing. Still, there is no doubt that Sydneysiders dress more casually than Melbournians.
During past Sydney visits I never noticed commuter cycling, but it is big now. Some effort has been put into cycling lanes along with other cycling infrastructure and that is great to see.
Around Sydney Harbour it is truly beautiful and never ceases to amaze me. The harbour makes it a great tourist city. The Blue Mountains are wonderful, but in between there are many areas of bland and unattractive housing, lots of social problem areas and generally not desirable places to live. It is the same in all large Australian cities.
While it has struck me in the past, I really noticed it this visit. Sydney people are much more friendly towards strangers. Maybe even staff in shops and cafes etc are friendlier. But then customers seemed more friendly towards staff too.
We are all Australians, but depending where we live, we might be a bit different.
A couple of things I haven't mentioned. I did say Melbourne had gone into lockdown in our absence which meant the demand for air travel dropped and flights were cancelled. We were returning by Virgin as its time suited us best. Hotel check out time in Australia is 10am and our flight was for 11am. On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday that flight was cancelled but only an hour to the next one. We were lucky. Monday, the noon flight was cancelled and the 11am went ahead.
Before we met James for a catch up, he kindly sent me a link to download the Services NSW venue check in app. It not something I had given any thought to. In spite of Melbourne having more COVID outbreaks than Sydney, Sydneysiders are much more serious about checking in to venues. Well, they were. Melbournians are now taking checking in seriously. With our app we just check in. With the NSW app, you check in and check out and it was hard to remember to check out. I often did it the next day when I tried to check in to somewhere else. Where the NSW app is really good is that you can add a dependant and when you or your dependant, I suppose that can mean partner, check in you just and once entered the first time just check a box to include a partner. Brilliant, but of course Victoria had to reinvent the wheel and build its own app and not include such a useful addition. Oh how I hate reinventions of wheels.