Xmas and Sydney

Transportation and the City

So after grabbing ourselves a quick bite, we rushed to the trains station. Why are we rushing? That’s because my dear Mariam could tell that the next train is arriving soon with her hands. No, she’s not a witch. She has a smartphone and Sydney has a site called 131500 to help travelers plan their journey around Sydney using the public transport. It is very easy and efficient.  The only bad thing here is it cost a bomb to get to the City. The tickets were rather expensive at about 16 Aussie dollars per person! If there was another person with us, I would rather take a Cab into the City and it would probably cost just as much.

City Rail Network Map
City Rail Network Map

So we traveled all the way from the Airport station to St. James Station. We were heading to Vibe Hotel @ Rushcutters bay for me to drop my things off and freshen up before going over to Mariam’s place. I chose to stay there because it is just on the outskirt of the city but it is much cheaper than staying in the city. Also, the bus takes only 10-15 mins to Circular Quay from which you can take a free shuttle service, 555, to travel within the city.

The plan was to make a quick move right after I dropped my luggage but I ended up crashing on the bed the moment we got to the room… too tired to g0 anywhere after being on the move for more than half a day. I caught a good 2 hours nap, freshened up and was back out again to view the city at night! Well, made a pitstop at Berala to drop Mariam’s stuff after which she brought me around. I must say Sydney, or Circular Quay to be more precise, is very beautiful at night. Mariam brought me to the Opera house, an Iconic symbol of Sydney, for a tour and the the place is just awesome. There are a lot of fine eateries and bars along the stretch which got me hungry again. And I’ve also heard a lot about this place called “Pancakes on the rocks” (Mariam kept telling me about this place all the time during our phone dates that I just felt the need to try it) but somehow…we ended up in Lindt for waffles and ice-cream. Indeed, it was a very sweet night to remember.

King Cross Experience

Though Sydney is actually a very nice city to visit, I guess it is just yet “another city”. But I do have a few recommendations of things you can do. Unknowingly and unplanned, I happened to stay near the most popular night scene of Sydney. It was just one train station away and I could just walk over. I did a small Google search to look for good eateries around the hotel and found this place recommended by the locals called Govindas. The area is rather dodgy but Govindas is a restaurant cum Cinema. It serves a nice spread of Indian Dinner buffet for just $19.80 and a further $10.00 for the movie/dinner package. The best part of this is the Cinema has no seats. Its just pillows and mattresses. Yes! You get to lie down with your partner to watch a movie on the big screen! It is an interesting idea which kills 2 birds with 1 stone for me as it will probably take another year before I can take Mariam out for a movie cum dinner date again. And honestly, the buffet is good and we watched “The Hangover” together which is also a very good show!

There are lots of history and culture to see in Sydney like the Town Hall and the Queen Victoria Building but you should not miss King Cross out. I felt like I walked through the Moulin Rouge when I walked out of Govindas. Ok right after the movies I somehow felt hungry again. All the dine-ins are closed and I didn’t have much choice except to look for a late night fast food chain. I managed to find Oporto store to be still opened. Mariam have heard that Oporto uses Halal chicken for their burgers and was feeling less guilty eating it but she wanted me to confirm. Being thick skinned, I had no problems asking about the authenticity of the meat. Unfortunately, the first counter girl I asked had no idea what Halal meat is all about. Then yet again, an Indian staff came from the kitchen and spoke to us and confirmed that their outlet uses Halal chicken for the burgers. That’s all we needed to gobble down the without any guilty conscience.

Sailing through Sydney

As we are such social butterflies, we paid my Aussie friend a visit. Eddie lives very near to Rushcutters bay, in fact he lives just after the Rushcutters Bay  Park. It was a pure coincidence that the hotel I booked is so near to his place but it was worth it since I actually walked back home after visiting him. Eddie invited me and Mariam over to his party at his place and introduced us to his school buddies and the party was swell. The party was a good ice breaker with his friends and Eddie wanted to show me Sydney through Aussie’s eyes. So he suggested sailing! I told him I get sea sick easily but he said it won’t be that bad. So we did it. Followed him to go sailing with his friends on his Grandpa’s boat.

Eddie’s dad drove us all the way to the other end of Sydney where the boat is. I didn’t have a good feeling about it but I went ahead with the plan. Got on the sailing boat and I have to say that Eddie’s Grandfather’s boat is so damn cool! We set sail at about 10 am in the morning and he showed me Sydney through the river. It really is a fantastic experience. From the “jungle” and into the city. It is all good until the point where I started feeling sick. Motion sickness caught up with me and my head got so woozy that I opted out of the return trip. Eddie pitied me and dropped me off at the side of North Sydney where the Luna Park is at. It wasn’t a good place to drop off a sea-sick man especially with the roller-coasters going around me but I was better off there than to be curling up inside the boat’s cabin…

And having sailed through Sydney, we decided to go elsewhere for the New Year’s Celebration!