Thursday, July 02, 2009

Holiday Day 3 Sydney Day 1 Big Post

We had investigated the best way to get to the airport to fly to Sydney. Taxi? Airport bus? Take the car? We decided to take the car and park at the long term airport. Cost $69 plus petrol and Cityclunk charges. Airport bus cheaper but much less convenient. Taxi, maybe $100 return. I had also decided this holiday that we would try not to use taxis, only proper public transport. Ok, it is not making sense that we drove to the airport. Forget it.

The bus from the carpark arrived quite quickly and it is no longer a minibus with a trailer but a proper bus with half the seating area devoted to luggage storage, similar to the airport buses from So Cross Station to the airport.

No cars were parked on the freeway waiting to hear from airport arrivals requesting to be picked up. Maybe some enforcement has been happening? Perhaps authorities should look at the outrageous short term car parking prices to stop the freeway parking?

And why don't we have a train from the city to the airport?

We drank some ok coffee and shared a muffin. More outrageous prices. What is it with Melbourne Airport that they can charge such excessive prices? Their costs should be no higher than a shop in a fashionable street.

The flight was uneventful, as it should be and we arrived on time.

We went to the airport train ticket desk and spoke with a person who's first language was not English. I thought I had it right, but not quite. Only at the end of the holiday do I think I worked it out and remembered what perhaps I should have noted down. I wanted a $50 public transport ticket for five days and an airport train gate pass. The airport pass got me out of the airport but not through the barrier of the city station. I checked with a person at the gate and he asked if I had another ticket. I had my five day ticket, so I said yes and he waved me through. I believe I could have used my weekly ticket to get through the city station barrier but the five day period would not start until the next time I used the ticket.

R was using a one way concession ticket though and he payed a supplement for all day public transport in Sydney, but his did not allow him through the barrier either. Apart from the last day, that was our last real confusion with tickets.

I had checked which was the closest railway station to where we were staying and knew where to walk once off the train from the airport. It would seem I got that wrong. Museum Station was closer than St James. I am totally lost as to how I screwed that up, but still, it wasn't too far to the hotel.

I rang the number as instructed and the lass who I exchanged booking emails with met us in the hotel lobby. She was very nice but had to immediately apologise as the room we had booked was not available. Instead we must suffer the family room, larger, better views and two double beds. Yippee!

She showed us around the room and pointed out the water view. I immediately snapped back at her that it was only a Sydney real estate agent water view, a sliver of water but actually at night I saw ferries and lit boats passing. The main view was to the east over Kings Cross.

The slit water view.

The main view to the east. How dominate is that apartment tower at the Cross? It sits on a high piece of land, almost an island, and can be seen from many places in Sydney. How come we have never really noticed it before? Any goss on it Victor?

Now while this is proper hotel, it seemed we had no connection with the hotel itself. We had no contact with reception. I am not sure how this works. Does a private company lease a floor of a hotel and onsell the accommodation? As you can see from the website where we found the accommodation, it is not quite to the standard of a normal hotel website. This prompted me to do much more research of where our money was going before booking. We still had use of the facilities though, the pool, gym, spa and sauna. Well that will be fun. We have all that at home. Where is the tennis court and barbecue?

In one corner of a bench was a tangle of wires, an odd box and what seemed to be a phone. I would be lying if I said I had no idea of what this mess of equipment is, but it was irrelevant to us. A wireless router and VOIP phone. Better to look at some pics of our room. Someone left that bottle on the bench. Nothing to do with us. We don't drink. We also had a complimentary bottle of red wine. We forced ourselves to drink it. Rather nice actually.

Our hostess had already marked the nearest Coles supermarket on a map she gave us. I had checked that out in advance anyway. We walked to the supermarket at the corner of Liverpool and George Streets and bought supplies. Ah, a Liquorland too.

I think we then rested and freshened up and sampled, or was that emptied the free bottle of wine.

Now I became confused. When we visited our dyke friend in Sydney, I thought we went to the Colombian Hotel. Seems not. The Colombian is not far up Oxford Street. We had a drink. Cute enough barman if you like dark smoldering Latin looks.

I had not eaten fish fingers since I was last in Sydney and of course, we can't go to Sydney without going to Betty's Soup Kitchen. What an institution. I forget what R had. The same Dutch? guy served us who has been there for yonks. He is quite amusing.

Our energy levels were still not bad, so we strolled up Oxford Street to the Oxford Hotel and had a drink in an outside area. The hotel has been remodelled inside since the the last time we were there. I can't remember when that was. I could then also see the hotel where we went with our dyke friend. Stonewall.

I bored R with telling him about this street is where the tram from Long Bay Gaol delivered prisoners to the court for their appearances and Darcy Dugan escaped from the tram by cutting the roof. I think I bored R often with my knowledge of Sydney trams.

We had caught the tv news earlier and saw this Bruno poster being erected by guys clad in something brief and glittering. An promotional image of Bruno seemed to be on every second bus. For a hairy dude, he sure waxes up ok.

Gosh, must be eight o'clock already. Time for home for old men. Must contact Victor tomorrow.


  1. There are two reasons why there will never be a train line to the airport. One is the airport earns great money from the overpriced short term carpark and don't want to give up that possibility. The second and more sneaky reason is there was an agreement between Transurban and the government to never put one in so that it doesn't take away from their toll road revenue.

  2. I'm a convert to the long term car park at the airport now too. The bus always seems to turn up at the station right after I get there. Can't complain really ...except it's still rather pricey.

    As to the Sydney airport train ticket window. It is Sydney after all, most people working in customer service seem to speak English as a second language. Not having a go at Sydney people, I just notice there are a lot more migrants in Sydney than other places in Australia.

  3. Loverboy11:24 pm

    Wooh! What a joint!

    How much?

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  5. Loverboy11:35 pm

    (Sorry, that was my naughty brother.)

    In America I ate exclusively from supermarkets, even carrying food from San Diego into Mexico. How's that for thrift! And people spend years in private schools just to learn it.

  6. I think that's the Coles we went to. Maybe? Was it in a big shopping center...World Market, I think?

    Later we found a much closer grocery store though--about two blocks away from us. So we started going there instead.

  7. Long-term car park at Tulla definitely the way to go!
    Bruno looks interesting in a smooth way ;)

  8. Anonymous6:44 am

    I heart Oxford Street..I heart George Street too..I heart Sydney.. thanks for the tips on places to go next we visit there. :)
    Suchi Train is one place I always love to meet up with friends there... yummo!

  9. Not that secret Fenz, as I know about it. Mind you I have not heard it mentioned for a good while. Now what happened to removal of clearways in Toorak Road, another condition?

    Ben, there are also off airport carparking sites and they drive you to the airport in a limmo. We used one once. Worked well and cheaper, but looked a bit dodgy. I can't say that I noticed a difference in the numbers of foreign born to here.

    Very thrifty LB way to live LB. The room cost about $160 per night.

    That is it Dina. Later we used the IGA in Oxford Street, close by.

    Jayne, he is certainly smooth.

    Yep Cazzie. We saw Sushi Train somewhere.

  10. Dina; it is World Square.

    Andrew; the tall building is Harry Seidler's Horizon Building. Subject of plenty of controversy, there have been noise problems - apparently residents could hear their neighbours going to the toilet and other more interesting sounds.

    Lots of the 'A-list' bought into there and many couldn't get out fast enough. It is completely out of character with everything that surrounds it; including the active back alley public prostitution that provides neighbourly entertainment. But when you are inside looking out, the views (I am told) are simply sensational.

  11. Victor, I have heard of the building but I did not connect the info with that one. Thanks.

  12. Yes Seidler's Horizon, inhabited most famously by the criminal class, Harry M. Miller and his lovely wife Deborah Hutton, also fashion designer Peter Morrissey and maybe a Channel Ten newsreader I really can't remember, all the stuff you read about in the Tele!

  13. Thanks Ian. I didn't know the very amusing Hutton was married to Miller. Better hand my gay card in.

  14. Loverboy3:48 pm

    That building is a horror.