The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Sunny Day in Sydney

Days 445-446, February 15-16, 2012

The distance between Canberra and Sydney is only about 4 hours, so even though there is no train between the two cities, the trip doesn’t feel all that bad. During the bus ride, I ended up befriending a girl seated beside me long enough to get her to let me borrow her laptop so I could work on a few blog posts. The plan for being back in Sydney was pretty simple: meet back up with Steve who would be in town for work.

And because he works for a large company, his hotel room was being paid for. A two bed room overlooking the famous Hyde Park in the Sheraton On The Park Hotel. Cost: AUD$390/night.

Holy hell.

My room – photo via

By the time I had arrived in Sydney, Steve was deep in meetings so I made my way to the hotel on my own. Lucky for me, he had left me a key at the front desk. Unlucky for me, he had written down the wrong room number on the envelope. Though it was funny in its own right to go back to the front desk, looking all backpacker-grubby, to get the actual room number.

Sheraton on the Park – photo via

The room was stunning, as were the views. I’m still not sure I’ve thanked Steve enough for his generosity for everything he had already done for me during my Australian stay. Even better was the free breakfast offered to guests of the hotel in the top floor Club Lounge. Again, I felt wholly underdressed but it’s free food. I just opened up the newspaper while eating to appear civilized and business like.

Sheraton on the Park Club Lounge – photo via eBookers

Sadly, I would only be able to stay in the room for a couple nights as Matt was going to be coming to spend the rest of the time with Steve. That’s understandable though. It would be rather awkward to stay in the same hotel room as the two lovebirds.

Thankfully, this first little section of my return to Sydney was sunny. I spent it wandering around downtown. I met Steve and some of his Sydney friends at a restaurant for a really expensive lunch before heading off on my own.


One thing I noticed is some of the odd sculptures scattered around Sydney.

Warthog Water Fountain. The water drips out of the mouth. IMG_1194



My little wander took me through The Domain Park which had beautiful views of the city landscape from some of its hills . . . 


. . . as well as to a few of the many Wharfs in Sydney, including one that housed some Australian Navy ships . . .


. . . and finally to Sydney’s Botanical Gardens.

Mrs. Macquarie’s ChairIMG_1213

Sacred IbisIMG_1231

Unbeknownst to me, I was actually sitting only a few feet from the starting line of the Amazing Race Australia 2IMG_1229

The Botanical Gardens were a beautiful park in the heart of the city. Huge as well. There were dozens of people in the park laying on the grass and just enjoying the peace and quiet. It was strange to know that your were so close to major roadways, but still have such serenity.

Even cooler still, was when I happened to look up at one point and noticed that many of the trees were stripped bare at the top. The reason:


Flying Foxes. The park is filled with these giant bats. I’m not squeemish at all so seeing so many of these things in the trees above my head was more fascinating than anything else. It’s just as fascinating to me to see these as to see the wild cockatoos that are also found in abundance here.

The wanderings continued into Sydney Harbour where I finally got to see the Opera House sans rain.


I also marveled at the little plaques imbedded in the ground that showed the location of the Harbour shoreline in 1788 and 1884. The power of human advancement is amazing.



As the day continued on, I found my self at the Harbour Bridge. As the cost of doing the Bridge Climb was far and above anything I would be willing to pay, I opted for the cheap route: walking across for free!




It made for some amazing views of the Harbour as well.


As the sun set, I made my way back to the Sheraton. The day, in my opinion, was a complete success.


PS: And do check out Steve’s baby: It’s an amazing website, especially if you’re really into video games and the like.

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