06.29.2016 - 07.01.2016 57 °F
We arrived in Sydney, Australia and after checking into the hotel we started to walk around in the Old Sydney area (also called The Rocks). 1/2 a block from our hotel we had an amazing view of the Sydney Opera House! We went completely tourist and started taking pictures of the opera house while walking along the taxi boat pier. We quickly found a Starbucks right across from the Circle Quay train station and everybody got caffeinated.
Note on jet lag: Heading west is not as bad as heading east, so for this part of the trip jet lag was a factor but not a huge factor. We planned to stay up as long as possible and then just wake up the next day at a normal time. In order to keep going this first morning we needed coffee.
Note on coffee in Australia: If you order coffee they will ask you what kind of coffee. A black coffee is called a long black and is similar to an Americano. A coffee with cream is a flat white...
Note on exchange rates in Australia: At the time the exchange rate was 1 US dollar = 1.30 Australian dollars. Which is really good since we are coming from the US. However it seems like everything cost about 30% more in Australia so it was really a break even. A grande coffee at Starbucks was about 5 AUD. Lastly, the places we visited were tourist spots so the prices tended to be higher than what you would find elsewhere. My way of saying that Sydney is not inexpensive.
While on the pier taking pictures we met some folks from the US. One of whom was from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Small world indeed! After walking along the pier we went over to a double decker (jump on jump off tour bus) and purchased a two day pass. We love these buses since they travel to a ton of tourist spots while sightseeing. We have used them all over the world and they are a great way to see a city.
We made our way over to the Royal Botanical Gardens and had a great time walking around in this amazing park. The park leads around to the opera house where we continued taking pictures and soaking in the sites. Sydney is absolutely beautiful. The weather was great with clear skies and cool temps.
We got back on the bus and rode around checking out the sites until lunchtime. We stopped at Harry's Café De Wheels to enjoy some meat pies. We ordered a mix of meat pies (Tiger Pie is crazy good), hot dogs and fries (chips). It was all delicious! Highly recommend if you are in Sydney.
After lunch we continued to sightsee and made our way to the Sydney Fish Market. We saw a ton of crazy fish and sea creatures to include the largest lobster we have ever seen! There were several stalls where the vendors were cooking the seafood on a grill right in front of you. After the fish market we went back to the pier by our hotel and saw some folks making their own YouTube style music videos. Some dancing, some singing with everyone enjoying the afternoon.
We were pretty tired at this point so we went to the hotel and crashed. Since it is winter in Sydney it starts getting dark at 4:30pm and is completely dark by 5:15ish. After a long day and giving in to jet lag we were all asleep by 6:30pm.
The next morning we hit the road and had a Starbucks breakfast before heading out to Bondi Beach. Bondi is absolutely stunning! We went out on the beach and got our feet wet in the water even though the water was cold. There were surfers riding crystal clear waves while we stood and watched. We had lunch at a noodle shop where they made the noodles in front of you by hand. After Bondi we went back into Sydney and walked through Hyde Park and saw the other half of the Botanical Gardens. We went back to Harry's for some more chips and then rode around sightseeing some more. After another great day we headed back to the hotel for the night.
The next morning, Friday, we watched the sunrise over the opera house before checking out. We took a cab to the rental car agency to pick up our car and start our next driving adventure to Brisbane.