The Promised Land

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
Trip End Jun 15, 2007

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Monday, December 4, 2006

Driving into Sydney on our final Greyhound bus trip, was a bit like the end of an era. Knowing we were coming to Australias biggest city to settle for a while, find a job, maybe a flat was both a exciting and daunting. Seeing the Harbour Bridge and Opera House for the first time is a sight I'll never forget - they are spectacular and its so wierd to see these landmarks of Australia finally. Also exciting was being reunited once more with Sian and Lucy for our final few months as a group of 4. But, settle we did, stayed in kanga House hostel to strat with and made some fabulous friends, whilst looking for a job. Knowing that my nursing paper work wouldnt be through for a while was a little frustrating but Sian and I got a job together working for The Heart Foundation Charity. The money was shockingly bad, the job was certainly not very enjoyable, but we managed to have a laugh and make some money rather than spending it. I only stuck it out for 2 and a half weeks anyway, as my nursing was due through in the new year and I rather fancied christmas off...slacker!

Chritmas. In the sun. Very wierd, needless to say, but we had a great time at Bondi Beach on christmas day getting some salt water and sun, followed by a fantastic Aussie BBQ, chucking shrimps on the barbie until we thought we'd pop, I did the Sykes family rpoud in that respect I must say. New Years was absolutley fabulous too - we watched the amazing foreworks shoot off the Harbour bridge and Opera House, as well as various Sky Scrapers in the CBD, whilst drinking Champagne in the park. The fireworks were so amazing, but you cant help thinking how much they must cost!

Slightly after New Year, we said goodbye to the lovely Lucy, whose equally lovely boyfriend Stu popped the question at the top of the Sydney Sky Tower - nice one Stu! We spent our last night out, us four girls and took ourselves to The Opera darling. Yes, of course at the Opera House and we all loved it. We saw La Traviata - all in Italian, men and women belting out tunes to beautiful music to reveal a tragic love story - we lapped it up, naturally. We stopped on the way for dinner and thought as we were all dressed up we would dine somewhere classy - straight to the famous Harry de Wheels - a famous pie van located down in Wooloomooloo and sat on the pavement eating yummy pies - classy birds!  

Obviously in between all this we were getting to know Sydney and I was falling for her in a big way. Staying in a very lively part of town, Kings Cross, famous for being Sydney's red light district, a place I now, nearly 5 months on, consider home. Yes, yes, i know I'm asking for some prostitute jokes to be thrown at me by that last statement, but the Cross is just so full of life, you cant help but love it. Pretty little streets run off the main, full of cafe's and bars, restaurants, boutique shops, old bookshops. The range of people is unbelievable and even at 6am, the area is still full of life, although not all of it healthy. Darlinghurst Road where many of the ladies of the night run their business is hard to miss. Neon lights, music, drunks, the afformentioned ladies, kebab houses, restaurants, clubs, bars and more flash, blast, dance, stand provocatively and serve 24 hours a day.

Just a short walk from here is the town centre - some great shopping to be done, of course, with trams, trains, monorail, ferries and pretty walks all making it easy to get where you want to go. Spent some great times down on Darling Harbour - full of swanky bars (slightly more upper class than the cross of course), cinemas, museums, Sydney's famous Aquarium (the only place in Australia where i managed to spot a platypus), it's lovely. There are loads of parks where we'd have lunch or sit all day in the sun (sun cream mandatory) overlooking the Opera House/Bridge or watching various street performers, live music or the token Sydney weirdo's (we kept our distance). People seem to say that Sydneysiders are an unfriendly people, too busy to say hello, but i've not found this so - everyone is pretty laid back in the typical Australian way and often randoms start chatting to you as you wait at a pelican crossing or for the bus.

The other great highlight, is of course the beaches. We've always lived a stones throw from Kings Cross station, where it is so easy to catch a train to the eastern beaches - many a day spent on Bondi, Coogee (my personal favourite) and Maroubra, fighting against the powerful waves, having a lovely swim if you can get past them and relaxing in the sun. Usually followed by a schooner of Tooheys New in The Coogie Bay Hotel's beer garden. Bliss. As well as these, the ferries down at Circular Quay in town take you straight up to Manly and the north shore beaches, with a lovely ferry ride thrown into the bargain - awesome!

Obviously, along with all the fun, comes work and as soon as my nursing paper work came through and I began work for an agancy, Nightingale Nursing, Gem, Sian and I moved to the Great Aussie Backpackers - out of the dorm rooms, to the slightly quieter tripple room for some hardcore work. Of course, there was some play in between - doing all the things mentioned above as much as possible. We worked for about a month before we were tired and in need of a break! And so it was, we planned another road trip in mid-feb and oh what a great one that was......
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