It started with a night flight from Heathrow on the 21st Dec. We were going for Xmas with Kim’s family in New Zealand.
We had a 13 hour flight to Singapore, then half an hour for Kim to rush to the smoking room, before reboarding for another 8 hours to Sydney. We arrived about 730am on the 23rd (where did the 22nd go?) We had 9 hours in Sydney and our luggage was being sent on through so we headed straight out to arrivals.
We caught the metro to St James and emerged into the early morning sun. We headed towards the Botanic Gardens and found a quiet spot to change into shorts. The Gardens were mostly still closed so we headed on up to Mrs Mcquarie’s point which had great views of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
We headed down and walked around the waterfront to the Opera House. They ran tours in several different languages and we got on the 10:00 English tour. Our guide was mic’ed up and we had headset receivers. He forgot we could hear every word he said as he swore under his breath when some doors were locked and also when he couldn’t get a video to work. All in all it wasn’t a bad tour though.
Next we headed round the Harbour to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibits weren’t particularly good but they had free WIFI!
I had a look at Trip Advisor and we had already done most of the top things to do apart from the beaches, and it was only 11:30! One thing we hadn’t done was the historic Rocks neighbourhood which had some older buildings so we went there next.
Soon I was looking at my phone every 5 mins. How could it still be morning? There was only one thing for it – it was time to hit the shops.
The shopping area proved an old adage that however far around the world you travel, there are 2 things you can never escape – chuggers and people who play the pan pipes. In fairness, the guy with the pan pipes was playing “when a child is born” adding a rare bit of Xmas cheer to the meagre decorations. We stopped to sit down and a brass band gamely had a go at jingle bells.
In the mall, I was not really up for shopping but found a seat while Kim tried on various shirts (didn’t buy any). We still had a ridiculous amount of time to kill and I suggested heading back to the airport early. In the end we just went and sat in the park for an hour listening to a boring busker and watching children blowing giant bubbles. We then spent some time searching for a bookshop that had closed down and then pottered around one that was open before finally heading back to the airport.