Day 53 – 59 Sydney (Old and New Year)

Saturday, 28 December Flight back to Sydney
Yesterday we did our last shopping on Tasmania, including breakfast for today. We had to get up on time +/- 08:00 hour to take a taxi to the airport +/- 30 minutes drive . The counters are simple on the airport, but we still had our boarding passes to print. The flight was at 10:30 and as it is a short flight to Sydney where we are at the 12 o’clock. We can take there a taxi or go by train to the center of Sydney. It has become the train because our hotel is within walking distance from the central station. Should it be bad weather, e.g. rain, we can still take a taxi to the hotel. But that is not necessary as it is sunny and +25 degrees. In the Netherlands you can buy all in one handling your train tickets, here we had to perform three times all transactions including credit card.
Every 10 minutes come an train that runs at least to the Central Station or further, or destination. It’s just a short trip of about 20 minutes and then you are in the city and then we walk to our hotel; Pensione Hotel Sydney at 631 George Street. We know that we are a little to early (check in time) but we tried to check in, this is soon proved to be a problem. There was no room available for us, and they wanted to accommodate us in two different hotels. Which is obviously not acceptable. They asked us to wait in the living room and gave us a drink. The reception had to call her boss to discuss how to solve this. Because that is not easy in this busy period of the year with Old and New Year. They came back after a while to say that it will cost some more time to make a arrangement of us. And they offered a free Wi-Fi connection to get the time through. At about 15:30 finally received an answer , they had one room arranged on the 2nd floor. After all paperwork was done, incl. 6 days free Wi-Fi (they have offered) , we could go to our room. After first installation done, Els would start washing some clothes. When Kevin and I are going to do shopping in the nearby supermarket across the road. We have to buy stuff for breakfast and drinks for a number of days, because today is Saturday. Also provided a number of bags of chips. Dinner we do somewhere in the city as there are enough restaurants to be there. With Kevin always is a little bit tricky to go diner, because he is not so in for changes. What he does not know he does not wanted to have, and that is sometimes unfortunate.

Sunday, 29 December Sydney exploring
Today is to be exploring the city of Sydney. First check how the bus system is working in Sydney, as there is a free bus circle, and drive true our street. And where you can buy tickets if needed for the normal busses. Today we wanted a little stretch our legs, we have been sit the last days to much in bus and airplane. We also be looking for photo dealers because we still need a tripod for filming the Big fireworks at bridge at 31th December!. We like to go an early dinner, as we are going up to the Sky Tower of Sydney when it is dark. Yesterday we did search where we can find the entrance to the Tower and also what are the opening times to get upstairs. We had a nice view over Sydney in the dark, but through the dirty windows it is difficult to take pictures.

Monday, 30 December Exploring Opera house + seat fireworks
In the morning we checked the photo stores what the have on tripods, and found one that suite or needs and what also not to expensive is. After bring it back to the hotel we are now going to the biggest sights dignity, The Opera House. That visit has a dual purpose. Visit to the Opera House and look for a good place where we can sit / stand for viewing the fireworks tomorrow night. First of course go sightseeing the famous Opera House. We have done the tour with something to eat is linked. This could you do better at yourself when you go to the restaurant. It was fun to get food served on various boards in the style of sushi. The Tour in the Opera House is an Guided tour. On the days just before Old Year the make some adjustments while they building up podia for that night. I you like to enjoy those podia, you have to buy tickets months ago for that and they are not cheap. After we did eat the food we walk back over the promenade back to city and looking for an nice spot for the firework tomorrow. We did seen some nice spots but, are they still tomorrow accessible. As the city circle bus is not running any more ( it stops after 17:00  hour) we have to walk back to our hotel. Near the hotel we do the last supermarket shopping for tomorrow, extra water/drinks as well food. The weather forecast is sunny and HOT, but also possible a little rain shower in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 31 December Take place and wait for fireworks
After the breakfast in our hotel room, we packed our backpacks. Two with food, towels and sunburn cream and one with photo equipment. Today is the day of firework at Harbor Bridge of Sydney. All early in the morning we picked the bus to Circular Quay that is the place as we can come near to the harbor. The rest we have to walk, a lot of the area is closed with fences. The wanted to controlling the mass of people that are on the area. As we are early we could found an nice spot near Thunder Jet Boating pontoon. We could put all our bags on the first row behind the quay fence. Spread out our towels on the floor and place the bags behind it and started to buildup our photo equipment. We had the sun already well standing on our head this the morning, so we begin to grease or arms and legs with suntan oil. And also started drinking a lot of water, we took a lot of water with us, but is that enough?. Yesterday when we are at the beginning of the boardwalk a water fountain was within our cut off area. It’s not like in Netherlands, that much dink and food stalls are built-up by such event. You have to do what you take with you and what else you can buy by the open permanent tents. On the hole area there was one open. Later in the evening you could got off the area and buy some food by like McDonalds. Steadily in the morning, more and more people find their place. you will heard many nationalities, and there were also Dutch are included. Soon you are to talk to people where do you came from and how is your vacation. Until quite late in the afternoon the sun kept us up. Finally we bought some umbrellas to shelter for the sun.
Around 9:00 pm when it was getting a bit dark, we got to see the first fireworks show. This was especially done for the children who might not stayed up wake up to see the large show at midnight when New Year begins. If you have to wait some time then it takes longer than you think. During the day, I (we) also tried to sleep a little bit, but well covered for the sun. In the evening there was also a boat show on the water of illuminated boats. As the time is going more and more going to midnight, all the people where wakeup. We checked our photo equipment for the power load and go into position to make movies and nice shots.
The fireworks were on two places one on the harbor bridge and one more in the area off Darling Harbour. After the fireworks was gone and new year is a fact, a lot of people directly going home or into the city. Hole downtown was made traffic free, so everybody can walk freely till near central station. We wait some time to let the first stroke gone, then we go to  walk back to our hotel. We arrived there about 01:30 hour.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 ! Explore Sydney
We get late up today, January 1ste is as an “Sunday” not much will be open to visit. Els and I go walking into the town to go the Hyde Park Barracks Museum and after that we look when the “money museum” is open. So we can visit it the next day. As it was an nice sunny day, we go walking true High Park with it’s old trees. At this side there is an nice water fountain with an balanced water outlet. There was an ice cream cart which sells Soft cream ice as we have much in the Netherlands. This ice cream was very good creaming. Walking true the park and across the road at the end we the walk to the Anzac War Memorial. I did explore this memorial a little as we did in the Capital the great exploring of the history of Australian with the wars in the world. From this point we walk back to the George Street where our Hotel is, while looking to shops at both side of the street. We have to find a restaurant for tonight within exportation of Kevin. There are a lot off restaurants in the city, but the are early closed at 19:00 hour. That and the fact today is a 1st of January, most restaurants are closed. At an side of the street we found an restaurant in Irish style, here go we eat tonight. The prices are not bad, you have order your mail and drinks at bar and you have paid directly. The drinks you will get direct with you. The meal will served out.

Thursday, 2 January Explore Sydney
Els and I are going into the city, to visit the National munt + Money museum. The National Mint is now not to visit, some parts are open for walk true and looking to art, like paintings and sculptures. The building next to it is the place where all new victims are pass-true when they are coming from England
and are registered. When you decided to visit you have to pay a entrance fee, for that you get an audio guide that tells over every room an story what’s happens in the past hundred’s of years when Australian begins to grow. The most are set to work for the new colonial from this place, starting early in the morning go to work and come late back. On the top floor (3th) there are 4 big rooms with hang bags where men or woman are laying very near to each other. On the second floor where the administration most of the time was house vested, are now display what the have found in archives and stuff during some renovations. They have a lot of small items found between the two layers of wood off every level. The ground level is now under renovation for the foundation, but they do not like to touch it as it is brose. You can see that in time the foundation is rebuild over with different stones and sizes. We did the hole tour in about 2 hours. After this we where to the Money museum, were the history off the Australian mint is displayed. In the beginning there where more banknotes because every bank gives out there own. This was not the best solution for the country, when the states are more came to form, they make one note for every state. After the start to get one government, there was the need to get one notes an requirement. So all old notes has to be transferred to the new currency and had to be done in an small window all over the country.
When we finished this early in the afternoon we where go back to the hotel to meet Kevin. We had a appointment to look for to buy some good to get lost of money and get over 300 dollars of buy good in one shop. You can then ask the paid TAX back when you leave the country (it means about 9% discount). We have 2 possibilities where we can over the 300 dollars, the store were we buy the tripod or where we did buy extra electronic goods. It is the last store where we did buy the extra to get above the limit. To night is the last diner in Australian, we are going to an pizzeria to spend our last cash money. After it Els and I walked to the backside of our hotel, then you can walk true a part Chinatown off Sydney. Back at the hotel the last items has packed in our luggage bags.

Friday, 3 January, Go to Airport, do TAX and start Flight back to The Netherland

Saturday, 4 January. Back in the Netherland and go HOME by train.

Category: Days to block-5, Sydney
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