Sydney was a very pleasant surprise. I didn’t have huge expectations or even I did not have any expectations at all. I probably thought it to be just a large city, super crowded, fast paced and filled with city people that just don’t talk to each other. I guess I was expecting it to be a bit like London…
What I thought was that Australia and pretty much all of the commonwealth countries follow British’s culture or the “Anglo Saxon” way of living. Hence why I thought to find a city that resembled London in many aspects and below you’d be able to sympathize with a few of them.
We stayed at a friend’s house some 20 minutes away from the city center. The journey from the airport was really fast and it consisted in a train and bus, even though it could have been two trains (an option that Google Maps did not provide and that I simply forgot to ask my friend ?). So the airport is less than 10 minutes away from Sydney central station or 4 stops! That is super convenient; what was not convenient was that the cost of this short ride was AUD18, which for two people it could have meant a Uber taxi ride.
From Sydney Central we hopped on the bus, which was supposed to drop us nearest to our friend’s house. It was roughly 10pm as our flight was delayed for one hour due to the Singapore air show practices that closed the airspace for one hour or so (or was it because of that plane crash??). Anyways, it took very little after boarding the bus to feel like we were heading towards the countryside. Don’t worry, we did not take the wrong bus! It’s simply because the roads just outside the city center were not very much lit and it felt we were quickly getting out of town, which was not the case. The suburbs of Sydney are really really quite and this is something I was not expecting. Very few shops around all most seemed to be closed. Some 20 minutes later we arrived at our destination where a cold beer and a warm welcome was waiting for us.
The following day we set off to explore the city. That is when we found out about the other most convenient way to get around I.e. the light rail. Convenient is convenient, but also bloody expensive. Perhaps I am spoiled by the super efficient, cheap and cool public transport in Singapore.
We arrive at our destination and given a tour of one of the Google offices in Sydney. Our friend works there, hence we get a chance to have breakfast together and tour the cool space. After a while though we take off and start exploring the city.
The weather was glorious. The temperature was probably between 26 and 30, but slightly cloudy and the gentle breeze made it feel greatly enjoyable. Not like in Singapore where that kind of temperature melts you away and you loose all your body fluids to sweat. I don’t think I have perspired much in my sort stay in Sydney but at the end of the day I was still showing some signs of sunburn.
Our tour started at the darling harbor and from there we passed by cockle wharf and then barangaroo. A lot of people were exercising. It seems the most natural thing to do and perhaps this was one of the expectations I had. I knew that Australians like sports and that they are laid back. And this was seen immediately as from 11am until lunch time, all were doing all kind of sports or were dressed as if they just finished a yoga class or something. All the eateries were full and some people were simply eating on the benches along the wharf. The whole ambience invited to chill out, enjoying the views, friends and colleagues’s companies (don’t forget it is still a business district we are talking about) and simply be sunny.
Watch a short video of our visit here: