A couple of weeks ago James and I went to Sydney for my cousin’s wedding. We arrived on Friday morning and left Wednesday evening. James managed to time it with a business trip so his flights and taxis were taken care of, plus it made sense to do one trip instead of two. His boss was really nice and said to charge all my food to the company too, so I ate for free, yay.
Here is James checking in at the Melbourne Airport. About a month ago when we chose our seats we got ones in the third row, which I think has some extra leg room (at least that’s what James said, and I don’t have any other seats to compare it to).
We had breakfast at the Virgin Lounge. I didn’t take any photos inside because my hands were full with breakfast (2 plates plus a glass of juice). The lounge is to the left after these sliding doors.
It’s a pity because it’s much nicer than the Sydney lounge (which I did take photos of).
From memory they had some cereal, muesli, fruit, various kinds of bread for toasting, jams, mini muffins, juice, and a barista. And also a pancake machine! It could make 2 pancakes at a time, which took maybe 20 seconds. There was a progress meter and the pancakes slid out the right.
They were actually pretty tasty – not as good as homemade, but definitely on par with Maccas pancakes. I added syrup and a dollop of cream.
I slept on the plane – and kept waking up when my mouth fell open, gah – and James watched Breaking Bad on his iPad. When we arrived in Sydney it was about 9am so we had a few hours to kill before check-in. We had our first lunch at Bourke Street Bakery (which I will blog about at some point), our second lunch at a cafe we picked at random, and explored the CBD.
I love these (Ibis?) birds that seem to live in all of the public parks. All we have in Melbourne are crappy seagulls and pigeons. They were all scraggly from the rain and humidity.
Differences Between Melbourne and Sydney
- Sydney traffic is much worse. In Melbourne there’s only really traffic in the CBD and inner suburbs – in Sydney there’s traffic everywhere. Howie said that 10km in Sydney feels like 30km in Melbourne, which I agree with. OK maybe only 20km. But at any rate, the traffic is awful.
- Sydney is more humid.
- The Sydney CBD is larger and more spread out than the Melbourne CBD.
- Sydney is a lot more spectacular. You turn the corner in the CBD and get a million dollar view of the Harbour Bridge or Opera House.
- Melbourne has much more of a cafe culture.
After the wedding festivities we went to North Ryde, which is where James works in Sydney. It’s right near Lane Cove National Park, and we had a wander around Sunday afternoon while we had some free time and it was pretty and sunny. Lane Cove National Park is gorgeous, and it’s so remote-feeling that it’s hard to believe it’s only 12km or so from the CBD.
Here is James enjoying the country air.
Edited to add: when James was reading this blog post he disputed my description of the above photo. He said “I was being a lizard!”, and then he pointed at the next photo and went “see??”
There were lots of lizards running around. Apparently James no longer goes running in this park because he was once startled by a lizard on a narrow path. The lizard freaked out and went all frilly, and James was so scared he turned around and ran back the other way. He assured me that the lizards we saw that day were much smaller than the one he encountered. Here is one of the lizards.
There was a lake that we walked beside for awhile, but mainly we walked aimlessly around, following a trail and seeing lots of people hiking and picnicking. Luckily I managed to fit in some BJJ.
Since it was a holiday we basically ate like crap the whole time. We had pizza one night – almost finished two family size pizzas between the two of us – and found a nice Thai restaurant that we went back to the next night as well (but more on those in a future post). On the last day, Sam – the wife of James’ colleague – took me sightseeing. We took the ferry to Watson’s Bay and afterwards went to Pancakes on the Rocks where I very decadently ate some chocolate pancakes for lunch. I gained about 1kg in 6 days.
After James finished work we met up and took the train to the airport where we bummed around at the Virgin Lounge in Sydney for awhile. James said the good thing about the Sydney Lounge is that it’s located after security so you can relax before your flight, whereas the Melbourne Lounge is located before security, so you need to leave yourself some extra time.
There were cold cuts, rolls, and a salad bar, some soup (tomato and basil), and a soft drink machine. The staff also came round once with tasty miniature beef and burgandy pies. You can see the salad bar in the background, and around the corner is the booze bar. James got 2 Fat Yak beers and a bowl of potato chips.
This is me, very pleased with the Sydney Lounge (and repping Maromba in Sydney, osss).
The flight was delayed by 30-60 minutes, but it’s almost tolerable when you have the lounge. It sucks when James is away on business, but I could get used to the perks! Speaking of perks, I didn’t really appreciate it in Melbourne when we were early for our flight, but in Sydney we got there after everyone else, and with the priority queue we were able to breeze past the 80+ people already in line. Then we tucked our bags under the seats and chillaxed until Melbourne.
Here is us just about to land in Melbourne around 9pm Wednesday night.
When we got back, one of the cats (most likely Kyoto) had vomited in the kitchen, and the apartment smelled like the copious amounts of cat food we had left for them. At least Mouse still remembered us, which is lucky because he is very stupid.
Week 1: Made vanilla extract
Week 2: BJJ day camp
Week 3: Used Myki and went to Beatrix
Week 4: Tried new skincare
Week 5: Competed at the Pan Pacs
Week 6: Joined Kiva
Week 7: Tried durian and frog fallopian tube
Week 8: Attended a chicken auction
Week 9: Graded for my BJJ blue belt
Week 10: Went to Isthmus of Kra
Week 11: Makeover at Mecca Cosmetica
Week 12: Tried the Melbourne Bike Share
Week 13: Picnic at the Carlton Gardens
Week 14: Johnston Street Fiesta
Week 15: Sydney getaway