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.