Back to the western world
04.05.2017 - 10.05.2017 16 °C
So, we arrived in Sydney in the evening at around 8:30pm. Getting there took a while. We had a four hour flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur where we had a layover for 9 hours and then a flight to Sydney which took about 8 hours. The flight was with Jetstar, who we would not recommend to fly with. A few reasons: No TV on the plane, no meal included on an 8 hour flight, no drinks included (even water came at a cost). You couldn't take your own food on board which means that if you haven't eaten before, you have to either go hungry or pay for the food on board. The plane was absolutely freezing and so I asked for a blanket. Guess what, that costs money too. Not really great service either. We ordered a few bits and three of the things which we attempted to order, weren't "in stock". So yeah, just note that down, Jetstar - okay short haul, otherwise don't bother.
So anyway, my friend who I had travelled some of Thailand with a few years back (Shannon) & her boyfriend (Paulo) had 'super sweetly' offered us to stay with them in their new pad, even though they had only moved in the day before we arrived. 😍 They were at the airport to collect us when we got there.
I'm not going to lie, I was gutted that our passports weren't stamped when we got there, the security wasn't super strict either, which is what I always expected from watching one too many airport control programs in my previous (less exciting) life before travelling.
So, we went back to Shannon & Paulo's place. On the way there, we caught up a little and spoke about how happy we were to be in Australia, where things are much more "westernised". Once we got there, Shannon showed us to our room (which had a ridiculously comfortable bed) and the bathroom which had fresh water which you could drink if you wanted! I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but after washing in what is practically sewage for four months, we couldn't have been happier. Only then, I heard three words which every girl loves to hear.... Want some pyjamas? They were brand new actual pyjamas! The ones you wear in cold weather! I can't express how content I was. Shannon seemed to totally understand everything I had needed after our time in Asia. She had done a similar trip and just understood us both. That evening we just chilled out and caught up as we hadn't really spoke for 4 years. It was really nice. Me and Shannon stayed up a little after the men had gone to bed and I didn't actually realise that my clock on my phone was 2 hours behind, which meant that we had a pretty late one. Ah well, no alarm to wake up to tomorrow. 😄
The next morning, I was in major need of some new clothes. I had thrown the majority of what I originally packed for our round the world trip, at our last hotel. I asked Shannon to take me to Sydney's version of Primark (super cheap but semi stylish clothes shop in Europe) so that I could buy an entire wardrobe for a nice price. I also needed to change to more of a winter wardrobe. She could not have taken me to a more spot on place. I ended up getting loads. I even picked up some pyjamas with some sloths on. (A huge deal to somebody obsessed with sloths)😅🙈
After shopping, we went to a pub opposite the beach for a quick one where we met Shannon's friend (Sam). She seemed really nice. We planned some of our evening and then headed back to Shannon's to get ready. On the way, we also picked up some food bits to make whilst we were staying. One of those things being another 'thing that I've deeply missed during our time away' BAKED BEANS! 😄
As we were getting ready, back at Shannon's, another friend of hers arrived (Michael). He was a proper red neck Ozzy, 'from the bush' and was super load and funny. We had a few drinks and then headed out to go see a comedian. We saw Larry Dean, a young Scottish comedian and he was really good. I would totally recommend seeing him if the opportunity comes around.
After, we went to an old English type pub, called the Old Vic with a bunch of Shannon's pals. It was a bit grungy, with a real British feel to it. We felt pretty much like we were back in England. So we had a few drinks there and after, Paul, Paulo, Michael, Shannon and I headed back to Shannon and Paulo's place, where we had a couple more 😅.
The next day, we all woke up considerably early and Michael had got everybody some coffee! What a legend! The hangovers weren't near as brutal as we had expected, but we had a pretty chilled out day. We went for a little walk to some shops, to get some bits for Shan n Paulo, then walked back via a park near their place. We also stopped of at Coles (supermarket chain in Oz) and got all the bits for a shepherds pie, which Paulo cooked for dinner 😍 We decided that we weren't going out that evening to a Drum & Bass night which we had planned to go to, and just chill out instead. We had a couple of drinks, watched TV and taught Shannon and Paulo how to play Monopoly Deal. It was a really chilled out, funny night.
The next day, we woke up early again and Paulo and Shannon took us to the Australia Reptile Park (about an hours drive North of Sydney). We saw all sorts of different varieties of reptiles, including snakes, lizards and crocodiles, as well as other Australian animals, such as koalas, wombats, wallabies, dingos, kangaroos, cassowaries and Tasmanian devils, to name just a few. The park itself was really good and allowed visitors to really interact with the animals. We got some food to feed the animals and took a while walking around. Paul got nibbled by an emu too :'D
After that, they took us to Somersby waterfalls, which were lovely. We had a good little wonder around and got a few pics too
After that, we drove back to Sydney and over the Sydney Harbour bridge (just for the experience). Me and Paul were pretty excited because we had made plans to later climb the bridge. After that, we popped to Coles again, where I bought some bits to make dinner. I cooked everybody a pasta bake and it went down a treat .
That night we watched a film and had an early night. Shannon and Paulo had work the next day and me and Paul decided to take it easy because we had plans to do quite a bit the next day.
The next morning, we ended up having a bit of a late start, just because, well we can do that. Shannon and Paulo had got up early and gone to work. When we did get up, we decided to walk in to the town center, about 45 minutes away. It was a nice little walk in to town though. We really enjoyed looking at how the streets looked so similar to back home. We both agreed that Sydney houses and side streets reminded us of old time England. It has a very British feel to it.
Once we arrived in the center, at Sydney Harbour (known as The Rocks) we were in awe. Looking at the Sydney Opera house on one side of us and the Harbour Bridge the other, which we were soon to walk up, we both felt pretty overwhelmed. We sat down for a while and got some lunch and just enjoyed the view.
As we walked so slowly in to town, it wasn't long to wait to walk up the bridge, so we headed to the office and got ourselves all checked in. Walking up the bridge was an amazing experiance. I was really pleased because we decided to book the night climb, but booked early on, so we got to see the views in the day and night lights. First, we were given a safety breifing which was super detailed. We had to take a breath test to make sure we werent drunk. Then we got our jump suits on and head sets ect.
The walk itself wasnt tough at all. It was pretty paced out and our guide was telling us about some of Sydney's history, as well as the history of the bridge, so with that and the view, we werent focused on the walk. There were a few bits which felt quite high up because you could see through the steps below you, but they were only small bits and then you would be on solid steps again. We stopped often for photos and our guide would just check if we had any questions. It was a great experiance and we were so pleased that we did it. I have always wanted to and felt really proud that we had accomplished it. 😊 It was one of those moments during our trip, which reminded us both of the amazing thing we are doing, taking this trip and we both felt really grateful that we can.
After the climb was done, we got our pictures and ordered an UBER taxi, to take us back to Shannon and Paulo's. We didnt fancy doing anymore walking, lol.
The next day, we walked back in to town again and walked around, exploring. We chilled out in a park for a while and just generally did some people watching.
We headed back pretty early because Shannon had booked an escape room experiance which we were all really excited about. If you havent heard of one of these before, its basically a room which you are locked in for an hour or so and you have to solve riddles and different kinds of puzzles to make your way out. Me and Paul have done a couple before and always managed to escape in time. Shannon and Paulo hadnt done one before, which made it a little better. The room was based on a haunted vampire castle and actually consisted of a few rooms. I cant give too much away about the puzzles in the room and what we had to do, but I will say that it was really good, a good laugh. I got really bossy in there because I really wanted to get out. lol. Shannon and Paulo were super chilled and looked at me like a mad women. I was a bit. lol. Anyway, we did manage to escape in time! Yay!
On the way back, we decided to brach out and get ourselves some Pizza. Being greedy, we all ordered a pizza each from Pizza Hut and it was goooood!
The next day, it was time for us to leave Sydney We had a bit of a lie in and then went to a shop near shannons to checkin and print our boarding passes. We got some breakfast and then Shannon took us to the airport. It was really sad to say goodbye.
At the airport, we were flying with Jetstar again, who only allow 7KG's hand luggage, so we decided to basically wear most of what was in our bags. We got dressed in the airport toilets, to then be told to go straight through to security, without our bags even being weighed. lol, we were boiling and looking slightly obese as well.
Any way, we both had such an amazing time in Sydney, for a million different reasons. Mainly, thanks to Shannon and Paulo. They made us feel so at home and comfortable. We had a sense of being safe again, which was hard to find around Asia, mainly because Sydney felt very much like home (the UK). Also because we were told how low the crime rate was in Sydney. People barely locked their cars or even doors to their houses. Not to mention, how clean Sydney is. The streets are well kept and it is generally a lovely place to walk around. One big thing for me was being able to drink tap water and clean myself with water that I felt actually was clean. People who we met were all lovely and everything that we did went smoothly. We can definitely understand why so many people choose to live in Sydney. It is very similar to the UK in my opinion, but with quite a few more perks. Honestly, I would move there if it wasnt the other side of the world from my family.
We love Sydney. If you get chance, go there! We will most definitely be returning for a visit some day
Shall the journey continue?..... Next, New Zealand here we come!