The day dawned mostly sunny and with a view from our hotel window of the Queen Mary 2 which had pulled into port overnight!
We started off with a trip to a Telstra store to get new connectivity now that we’re in a different country. Fortunately it was a totally different experience than in New Zealand with Vodafone/Dick Smith, both of which provided useless service and very bad advice (not to mention not even delivering what we purchased.)
Joel at Telstra got us set up with phone and Wifi all in working order and we walked out very happy customers.
Good way to start out, but we would totally love this city anyway. We are staying right down by the harbour where there’s lots of action. From almost any direction, you walk uphill from the harbour into a city with lots of tall buildings, many with very exciting architecture. We continued wandering uphill as far as we could and ended up with a great view of the Opera House and then walked back down through the Botanical Gardens. The streets were all very busy, teeming with people heading into work. It’s a totally urban atmosphere, almost NYC-like. I would live here in a flash.
This aft we took a fast ferry to Manly, mainly so we could see Sydney and the Opera House from the water. The Opera House totally lives up to its reputation. We didn’t go inside so it’s hard to imagine how the stage and the seating fit into the construction!
Manly was not what we were expecting (basically just a bedroom community) but it would sure be lots of fun to live there by the water, ride your bike to the ferry depot and then commute by ferry into Sydney every day! Especially if you could walk up from the harbour to your office building! I might just come out of retirement if I could pull all that together.
Sydney has done an amazing job on their waterfront. Together with Chicago, it puts our Toronto situation to shame.
Thanks to advice from Tim Gibbs, we picked a hotel in The Rocks area which is where the original European settlers first established themselves in Australia, directly around the harbour. Seems an auspicious point to start our Australian visit! The neighbourhood is most interesting, full of old buildings and roadways as well as more recent and modern buildings.
We finished the day with a terrific Italian dinner at Appetito, just down the street from our hotel. The 2-hour time difference with NZ is getting to us and we’re fading fast. Better get focused on packing for tomorrow’s flight to Tasmania!