A nice easy start to the day. Up around 8:00, a nice shower, and down to the lobby for breakfast. Forgot my room number (!) but we eventually figured it out. Breakfast was quite good with a large selection of items – and, oddly enough, the eggs did not have bacon in them. The odd thing was a bird – a magpie – that was in the dining room landing at tables and eating people’s left overs. Servers didn’t seem to mind. If there were no empty tables the bird would squawk.
Back to the room and finished packing then to the lobby. Transport showed up a bit late (ten minutes) but no worries (the most popular saying we’ve heard. Usually it is a reply to ‘thank you”). Nice driver and a lady from Finland. Lively conversation through the whole ride. At the airport we checked in and visited the gift shops – prices two to three times what they were in town for pretty much the same stuff. Nott he biggest airport (but bigger than Lynchburg) and all planes are walk ups.
Flight took about three hours – over the many Australias. We left the red heart of the continent (island? Who decided these things?) and went through the salt flat/lake area – the whole center was once under the ocean – a little bit of the ocean is left. Then to more scattered scrub growth, then to hills with some trees, then to the farm fields, then to mountains, rivers, and large reservoirs, then the suburbs and finally Sydney and the ocean (Tasman Sea). In any event the flight was uneventful except Alice shower one of the stewardesses how to fix some guys TV screen, which was quite funny.
At the Sydney airport we got our bags and called the transport people – then the ride. From the airport to the hotel took almost 90 minutes through rush hour traffic – The city reminded me of both Brooklyn and London – many small shops and bodegas (except most here are Asian), some upscale restaurants and some dives. Lots of names like King’s Gate and Paddington. Very interesting.
We finally got to the hotel and it was a bit of a disappointment. The room is rather cramped and it looks out on another building. I was not too happy. Also no internet. I grumbled a bit but we went to dinner in the hotel – expensive but not too bad. Alice got Caesar Salad without bacon (but with hardboiled egg) and a pasta dish (with olives she didn’t eat). I had salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
After I went to the desk and asked for another room. The clerk said they had none available tonight but if we packed our bags they would move us to another room tomorrow. I said that would be fine. Alice was astounded!
Anyway, tomorrow we have a morning half day tour of the city then we’ll see for the afternoon. I think we’re going to ride the monorail as they will be tearing it down next month! It doesn’t support itself financially and there is light rail in the city now.
In any event both Alice and I are starting to get a bit worn. We haven’t killed each other yet (I’ve been tempted and I’m sure she has as well). We’ll make it!