Anyway, we bought a big Greyhound bus pass for the east coast and tomorrow we leave for a town 2 1/2 hrs away called Newcastle. I figure I’ve been in Sydney about NINE days!!
The first few days we stayed in Kings Cross, which is the red light district of Sydney but there are TONS of hostels there… practically one every few feet! First I stayed at a place called Jolly Swagmans, and it was very dirty–literally a pile of trash underneath my bunk and I had to tell them to clean it up. After two days there I moved down the street to a great place called Eva’s Backpackers.
I forgot how backpacking makes you meet SO many interesting, nice, and different people. The first nights I met a very nice Irish couple who wanted me to tell them about Singapore because they were going there. I met a Canadian guy who’d been all over Australia & NZ and he gave me some good advice. Then Jim and I met some Brits named Gerry and Vicky and we went out with them a few times. One night we were at a pub and suddenly there was a drag show (we obviously didn’t know about it). Just 3 guys dressed up and lip-syncing to some songs…it was entertaining, anyway. Then they had a special guest who was apparently either the winner or just a contestant on the Australian Idol TV show. She seriously looked like a very pretty girl– but it was a guy!!! Disturbing. Anyway, he/she was a minor celebrity in Australia, I guess.
There is a fast-food place here called Oporto, and I thought it would just be a crap place, but we got chicken burgers there with chili sauce and they were really good! Sounds like another thing we need to import to the states along with Lipton green tea. (and here, it isn’t NEARLY as good as the stuff in Thailand.)
Sydney is VERY expensive… and especially coming from Thailand! We also realized just how good we had been eating in Thailand. Almost every meal you get is slathered with fresh veggies and you eat fresh pineapple and mango and papaya and watermelon all the time for pennies. Here we are trying to save money and I can tell our diet has gotten so much unhealthier. There are times we both crave for some nice fresh Thai food. I can’t even remember the last time I had fruit. (Well, actually, I can. I bought a nectarine a few days ago.)
We’ve tried the Aussie meat pies and they are pretty tasty.
Although I did have an AMAZING meal at a Czech restaurant one of my first nights here, right next to Jolly Swagmans. It was SO Good…tender cuts of beef with a savory vegetable gravy and soft bread. Oh man.
We’ve done a lot since we’ve been here.. we explored The Rocks, which is a very quaint and historic area near Circular Quay (or Circle K as Jim calls it), where the boats leave and you have great views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Last night we spent at Manly Beach; we took it easy. There were tons of surfers in the big waves. At night we took a long walk along the water and there is a super cool area where the sea/ocean/bay/whatever is blocked off and you can swim in it. I have to show you pictures.
We also went to the Sydney Aquarium, which was fantastic. There are glass tunnels you walk through and the animals are literally swimming ALL around you. There were tons of sharks and rays and seals and awesome looking fish! We even saw some of them get fed, including the sharks. We think they were feeding the sharks–either that or they were just eating random fish! Which is also cool.
We watched this tank forever!
Also, I would recommend getting a weekly transportation pass if you come to Sydney. We didn’t, and I kind of wish we did. Although there were a free subway day today, and we just jumped on and went to North Sydney then walked back over the bridge.
Darling Harbour is also beautiful…There are so many beautiful places in Sydney! Whether it is by the water or in a park somewhere. And the weather has been nice, too.
Oh well, tomorrow we say BYE to Sydney and hello to LONG bus trips….