Saturday, August 03, 2013

Jalan-Jalan Sydney (Part I)

Another year, another trip to the land Down Under. Hehe. Last August, we made our first trip ever to Melbourne, and this time around, our destination was finally the capital city of Sydney.

To be honest, what I love most about Australia is of course the abundance of nature; the endless open spaces, the blue ocean waters and all the unique animals we could get up close and personal with. So, not so much for the city life, but then again, you gotta experience Sydney at least once, right?

We actually made this trip some two months ago, so forgive me if I can't quite remember all the details. Anyway, reaching the airport in the morning, we took a cab and made our way to the hotel, the Swissotel on Market Street. And yes, talk about being right smack in the centre of things, this hotel was exactly it.

Although we got in early, the reception guy tried to get us an early check-in, but there were no rooms available. Still, he took my number and promised to call once a room was ready. Great service right at the start!

Back to the hotel's location, it's actually part of a building that houses a huge mall, which is also next door to Sydney Tower and... Westfield! Yup, the same Westfield that we love so much in London. And just around the corner too was the famous Queen Victoria Building. So, really folks, if you're looking for a great place to stay in Sydney, I HIGHLY recommend the Swissotel.

For the first time though, I decided not to hire a car. It was a relatively short trip, so the first thing we did was to look for the City Sightseeing Hop On/Hop Off bus. We bought 2-day tickets as well as passes for 2 city attractions. Yes, very convenient although a tad expensive.

OK, allow me to go into "Highlights" mode now and share some of the cool stuff we saw and did over the next few days...

The City Sightseeing bus took us to all the important landmarks, including the Opera House, of course. It was a rather grey day, but nothing could really take away the wow factor of this iconic structure.

And opposite the Opera House was the Harbour Bridge.

We also got down at the Darling Harbour to do some shopping.

And got into the Sea Life attraction. There are 3 different attractions here, the Sea Life, the Wild Life and Madame Tussauds.

The Sea Life was thoroughly enjoyable and educational, the main attraction being a couple of dugongs...

The next day, we took the bus on a different route to get to the world famous Bondi beach. Unfortunately, that was the day with the worst weather and our trip to Bondi went like this: Got down from the bus, heavy rain fell, hid in a shop, bought souvenirs, got back on the bus...

We stopped at Darling Harbour again later on, and this time we visited the Wild Life Sydney. Honestly though, it just didn't have the same wow factor as the Sea Life.

The weather got better after that and the bus ride back to the hotel was spectacularly scenic.

End of Part I

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