Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Sydney Days 1 & 2

Well, you heard about our Uber trip to Melbourne Airport. The flight was good and we were served coffee and biscuits.We checked in at Melbourne Airport using the self check in and self bag drop and it worked, almost seamlessly. It was so much simpler to get to our Sydney accommodation using the airport train than it was in Melbourne. In fact, so much easier, we were early, and we jumped off the the train at Central to change my Opal Adult public transport card to an Opal Senior card. I left R on the platform while I went off in search of the place to change my card. I travelled up and down and along and eventually found a place on the Grand Concourse of Sydney Central where my card might be changed. Oh no, the chap told me. You need to go to the place under the clock tower to do that, and then he launched into a long diatribe about how his area can't do a thing and Sydney Trains are trying to get his department closed and leaving him without a job. Hello, I am feeling a bit stressed. I don't really want to know about this.

With the knowledge that the next train to Museum was soon due, I rushed back to R with our bags on Platform 21......or was that 22. My timing was perfect. Long walks, stairs, lifts and escalators were involved, but no Senior Opal card. Manyana.

I had decided to not wear a jacket to travel but just wear a long sleeved shirt. It wasn't that warm in Melbourne but I was feeling a bit warm. Because we delayed our arrival, I did not call our hostess 20 minutes before our arrival. The last time we stayed there she was quite late meeting us. I called her once we were at our accommodation. Her phone went to voice mail and I left a message. We sat in very comfortable chairs with me reading a book on my birthday present Kindle and R just stared around. Occasionally we spoke. After sitting there for so long, I called her again and she answered and was just a few minutes away. We did not realised at the time, but we saw her arrive earlier on a scooter, that is a foot propelled scooter. She had a new phone and did not get my message. She found my message as we went up in the lift. Our last visit had her chatting to us in great detail and showing us photos of her at Mardi Gras in an outfit. This time I was determined to cut her short and I did. She is nice Russian born lady and has a very dry sense of humour.

Gosh, it is warm in here. OMG, my phone tells me it 35 degrees outside. No wonder I was feeling hot and bothered. And then what I call in Melbourne a southerly buster, came through in Sydney, and it was suddenly cooled.

We went out for provisions. Rainbow flags in Oxford Street. No surprise about that..


Oh yes, I remember the glass swimming pool from our last visit.


We couldn't get the studio where have twice stayed, but this place was ok. Not flash, but adequate.


The next morning Google Maps gave me a step by step direction to Toast Cafe in Surry Hills. Grace of Perth Daily Photo was in Sydney visiting her son and grandchildren and we caught up with her for coffee, like two cups and nearly two hours later we left. Grace is just so lovely, warm and entertaining. From the cafe we walked on to Central Station. I had a mind to go to Chatswood, mainly because it is a big place in Sydney, but primarily because there are great Harbour views from the train on the trips back. But travel time on the train 41 minutes, forget it.


How good is the greenery on this building. Maybe I am looking across Railway Square.


The Grand Concourse of Sydney Central is grand. We have nothing like that at home at our train stations. Christmas trees were up already.



Oddly, on the Grand Concourse I easily found the place to get my Senior Opal Card, but I can't transfer my balance from my Adult Card. There will be more on that, but I then had my Senior Opal card, with public transport capped at $2.50 per day. Business done, we caught the train to Bondi Junction. It is worth clicking on this photo to see the accidently caught woman's expression. The mural was interesting too.


I think it was called The Harbour Food Court. The views from the Westfield shopping centre were amazing. R had forgotten to bring his tracksuit pants that he likes to slouch around in at home. I don't like them, but he found a cheap pair at the shopping centre.


Bus back home to our hotel and now we look at Jacarandas in bloom down Riley Street.


Then it was down the very steep Francis Street to Lord Robert's Hotel in Riley Street for dinner. It has a very pleasant outdoor area but it was cool enough for us to need jackets.


We are from Melbourne and we are not used to steep hills and they exhaust us. We enviously look at local residents walking up hills so effortlessly. I avoided walking back up Wentworth Avenue in the morning, instead walking on flat ground to Central. While we had to get back to our studio from the hotel, we took a longer route back with gentler slopes, up Riley Street and along Liverpool Street. We slept well.

22 comments:

  1. I'm behind the eight ball. Trying to catch up reading your posts. I've been caught up with a few other things and I'm running behind.

    It's good to see the jacaranda out in bloom in Sydney. They are gracing our mountain with the beauty at present. I love jacaranda season...and we are lucky here that there are many trees that turn the area purple...albeit too briefly for my liking.

    Welcome back, Andrew. :)

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    1. Lee, given I haven't posted for a week, are you really so behind with my posts! What are you so busy with? The jacarandas were gorgeous in Sydney but by golly, did the media go on about them. The are so self evident.

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  2. It looks lovely - and how delightfult to meet up with Grace.
    Jacaranda trees are very beautiful. Slippery underfoot I remember, but very beautiful indeed.

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    1. EC, oh yes, slippery underfoot was well discussed by Sydney media too.

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  3. The Grand Concourse of Sydney Central really does feel attractive and the occasional greenery in the centre of Sydney is greatly welcome. They have gorgeous parks, but not enough tree lined streets.

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    1. Hels, yes, yes and yes. Why are our Flinders Street Station and Spencer Street Station so ugly inside when Sydney's Central is so nice? We did see some massive plane trees in some streets.

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  4. The Christmas Trees do look good. Never had the please of seeing a Jacaranda in bloom as yet.
    So your holiday began, look forward to reading and seeing your photos.

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    1. Margaret, surely if jacarandas do ok here in Melbourne, they would thrive in your town. Should I send you a seedling and start a trend?

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  5. Anonymous3:04 pm

    Always fun to read of the adventures of a visitor to one's own town.

    I would not have thought there are so few trains running between Central and Museum as to warrant running back to the platform to catch one, let alone postponing your plan to obtain your precious gold(yellow) opal card. And you could have caught a bus from Central if the wait for the train was too long.

    No doubt were I to visit Melbourne my choices would similarly bemuse you.

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    1. Marcellous, you are probably right about trains from Central to Museum, but R was on platform whatever with our suitcases and I knew there was a 15, or was it 20, interval before the next train. Unlike our predictable Melbourne trams, Sydney buses do my head in with the concentration and knowledge that you need, that with phone apps etc which are helpful, never give the clear picture that I like from maps.

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  6. It has been very cold the past couple of weeks for the most part. :/ I am back in hoodies and beanies and I DO NOT LIKE IT. :)

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    1. Snoskred, a bit unseasonable, methinks. We have broken cold weather records here in Melbourne for this month. It is looking up though.

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  7. My wife is a big Sydney fan. Me; I've never been. A bit early for Christmas trees, isn't it?

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    1. Cro, well sit back and read and I will show you how a tourist experiences Sydney. All tourist maps stop at about a kilometre west of the city, unless you go up to the Blue Mountains, a two hour trip away.

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  8. Considerable work has gone into upgrading Central Station. It is by no means perfect but it is much improved.

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    1. Victor, it is much bigger than what we have with our two stations to your one, but we found it clean, the signage was good, and it was generally attractive. My opinion of Sydney Trains is all good, from our experience.

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  9. The building with the greenery is Central Park a short stroll from Central Station. Has a great eat street there (Kensington Street) with fabulous Desert Bar (Koi)run by Poernomo brothers' (Reynold Poernomo (MasterChef 2015.

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    1. Terrific colour Allan. Let me look at the electric map. Yes, I can see Kensington Street and the building. Keep on reading and adding information or making corrections.

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  10. It's fun to read your post, recognising so many of the places I know so well.

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    1. Yeah, I am sure you have been to Toast.

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  11. The studio looks small but clean. So far no Christmas trees out in public here, but Black Friday ads are out now, so I'm sure Christmas trees will soon follow.

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    1. Ah Strayer, the infamous Black Friday.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.