Cruising Sydney Harbour, and Amelia’s Cottage

Friday 21 May, 2010 – Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Upon arrival at Sydney International Airport, I instantly noticed the difference from Brisbane International – for a start, Sydney has check-in counters A through to something like K or I, whereas Brisbane has about 6 rows. But the big difference I found was the airport train! Signs everywhere telling us to go south, north, up, down – soooo confusing. And once we finally found the train and bought a ticket, we got on and found we were to stand in between carriages holding on to a pole (with a loud businessman in a checkered, shirt which looked like one of those old school red and white table cloths, pressing up against my hand – like seriously, you don’t know I’m there?!?!). It. Was. Packed. Managed to get off one stop past where we were supposed to, luckily a nice security guard let us off without having to pay the extra 40c.
We safely found our way up onto the street (the train is underground) and off we went!

Check-in time isn’t until 2pm in most hotels, and we arrived at about 8.30am – unfortunate, but a good opportunity to go and find some food. I had pre-researched restaurants and such, in Sydney and found a place called Bambini Trust. Only a few blocks walk from Vibe, Bambini had thee most delicious scrambled eggs, hot chocolate and a kind of thin buttery toast on a type of bread I’ve never seen before (but nevertheless was gorgeous). It’s in an old building, quite posh and seems to be very popular with business people. It was a nice atmosphere, sitting outside with pretty leaves everywhere on the ground.

From Bambini, we carried (wheeled) our bags (thankfully carry-on only) to Vibe, to leave with them until we could check in. Vibe, exceeded my expectations from the moment we walked in the foyer, to be honest. I know it’s 4 star, but from the internet photos, I was expecting something a little more backpackerish. It’s lovely – marble floors and all. I was a little annoyed having to pay $100 bond (that’ll teach me for leaving my credit card at home), although it probably would’ve gone towards Jam Donuts at some rowdy pub, anyway.Having left our gears with the nice lady at Vibe, we headed off to have a wee looksie down Pitt Street before heading to Circular Quay to catch our Harbour cruise. Found an AMAZING music shop with sax music and I found a book that can be ordered from NZ. Can’t wait to bust the solo from Foreigner’s URGENT! Unfortunately it started peeing down around lunch time, so after a quick lunch in a fairly average food court, we ran to Circular Quay and jumped on the boat with wet leggings (well, I had wet leggings). The cruise (free of charge being a travel agent) was surprisingly good, considering my last experience with Captain Cook Cruises, which consisted of old ladies dressed in pink and creepy Dutch men, oh and lets not forget the 1800’s version of Trivial Pursuit. I quite liked checking out famous people’s 23 bathroom mansions on the coastline. Also, it was good to let my leggings dry out over the hour and fifteen minutes it took.

After checking into our room, and having a wee sleep, we headed out for a quick bite to eat before heading to Cadman’s Cottage at The Rocks. The Rocks is a historic area of Sydney, located beside Circular Quay. It’s all old cottages and shops, cobbled streets, and lots of rowdy pubs full of barmen ready to give you heaps about being a Kiwi.

Flicking through my agent discount guide, I had come across “The Rocks Ghost Tour” and thought that sounded like me. So here we were, standing in a circle in front of a man dressed like the Grim Reaper, as he handed out characters, so that we could all play a part in the stories. I was lucky enough to be handed the key to Amelia’s cottage – an underground cottage, which was discovered not so long ago. My part in the story involved being taken inside this underground cottage, and being locked in there, in the dark, by myself…then jumping out and screaming like a psychopath when the rest of the tour finally came inside. The tour guide told me I would feel tugging at my hair and hands on my shoulders, but to be honest, I was so nervous about jumping out and screaming that I didn’t even think about the supposed “ghost”. In all, the tour was fun, not scary, but enjoyable. It rained a bit, but they gave us very hot looking ponchos, which kind of made us look like the ghosts. At the end they gave us a voucher for drinks at a local pub, so we headed down for some drinks (including jam donuts , which were Aussie style (Baileys and Chambord instead of cream and Chambord)).! It was raining quite intensely by the time we left the pub, so we ran back to the hotel – blisters, ponchos and all.

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