Thursday, November 29, 2012

MyMulti DayPass -- Thurs., Nov. 29

Subway, trains, buses and ferries--we rode them all today with our MyMulti DayPass. For $21 each we rode all around Sydney, visited Bondi Beach via ferry and bus, Darlington Harbour via subway and walking, Circular Quay by bus and we rode a couple of different ferries just to be on the water with spectacular views.

Our timeshare is about a two-hour drive from Sydney. We figured if we drove one hour to a train station with free parking:
  • We could let the engineer drive
  • Enjoy the scenery from the train
  • Save money by not paying to park downtown
  • Save on gas
  • And not have the stress of driving in the city.
We scored big time on all accounts. Our train took us in to Central Station (huge complex with many levels of trains and subways) where we had to ask an employee where to find the subway to Bondi Junction. He directed us and we ended up going down and down escalators and through hallways, but we finally found our subway, hopped on, hopped off at our subway stop, and caught the bus to Bondi Beach waiting outside the door.

For lunch in Bondi Beach, Bob chose a chicken sandwich and I had a chicken tandoori salad. We took the food to a picnic table overlooking Bondi Beach where we watched surfers and paddleboarders catch waves.

Bondi Beach looking south.
Bondi Pavilion
Bondi Beach looking north.
Bondi beachside cafe.
From Bondi Beach we reversed our route on bus and subway, then headed to Darling Harbour. The harbour was so inviting, we walked along half of it looking at restaurants, fountains, and the Maritime Museum exterior where there were some displays in the water.

Downtown Sydney from Darling Harbour.
A fun fountain at Darling Harbour.
Downtown Sydney again from Darling Harbour.
See descriptions of these ships below.
Submarine HMAS Onslow
Destroyer HMAS Vampire.
Santa's seeing who's nauti and nice.
HMS Endeavor
I never knew before why Captain Cook went to the South Seas. I learned something new today. Click to enlarge photo below.  
Why was Endeavor sent to the South Seas?
For the next leg of our Sydney exploration, we took a ferry to Circular Quay so we could explore downtown further. We stopped in at The National Opal Collection to look at the history of opals which was quite fascinating. They have fossilized remains of a Pliosaur. Some of the bones became opalized because of silica that got in the bones which then hardened and developed beautiful colors over the millenia.
We also wanted to look at The Strand shopping mall which is quite famous.

The Strand decorated for the holidays.
The Strand has three levels of shops.
Cafes on the main level.
From The Strand we walked a few blocks to QVB (Queen Victoria Building), another shopping mall inside a restored old building which has been gutted and restored. We especially liked the stained glass windows and the Swarovski-crystal-decorated Christmas tree. The QVB shopping mall is four levels.

Festive for the holidays.
Walking around downtown Sydney on a workday you see that people dress to the nines to go to work. Bob said looking around at some of the women reminded him of the ladies on Sex in the City. I felt a little intimidated in my "holiday" wear. I have to remind myself I'm on vacation, they're not.

So, our shopping exploration complete, we headed back to the ferries and rode two different lines around the harbour. Such a great way to see the views and get a flavor of life in some of the bays.

A multitude of sailboats wherever you look in Syndey Harbour.
What a spot to wait for a ferry!
Our brains were full, but our tummies were empty, so back on a ferry to Darling Harbour we sailed. We looked at the menus posted for a number of restaurants and both of us thought La Cita looked particularly good and different from all the Asian food we've been eating. Bob had two chicken burritos with guacamole and I had bell peppers stuffed with sauteed vegetables and rice with a tomato-based spicy sauce. Both of us loved our dinners. We shared with each other and agreed we were both winners in our dinner choices.

As night descended, the Christmas decorations lit up the harbour making it magical. What a great end to our Sydney day.

We made it back to the train station with 18 minutes to spare before the next train departed for the town where we had parked our car. We had two hours on the train and one hour driving to get back to the timeshare. We made it back at 11:35 p.m.

Tomorrow we check out and head south of Sydney along the coast. Our Melbourne timeshare never came through, so we will stay in motels along the way and not be chained to a week in Melbourne. (Although we do plan to spend some time in Melbourne!)

Night night.

Travel Bug Susan snoozin'.