Goodbye 07 and Hello, "how you doin" 2008??!

Trip Start Apr 30, 2007
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Katie and I got up stupidly early and hit the showers. We then packed up some drink and set on our way into the city. We were heading to the botanical gardens on the next cove up from the Opera House. Apparently the doors were open until midday or until they reached full capacity, which was something ridiculous like 20 thousand people. We got into the city at about 10am and it was already heaving. We walked around to the botanical gardens and headed towards the back of the queue... 20 minutes later we were still looking for the back of the queue. It was the longest line I have ever seen in my little life. It went on for eternity and didn't seem to be moving. Katie and I literally walked for about half an hour and then gave up and started to think where else we could go.

We decided to head towards the Opera House in the end. As the Opera Quays is full of bars, we presumed that they would be charging an entry fee and you wouldn't be allowed to just sit out by the river to watch the fireworks. Thankfully we were wrong. We had to go through security but we walked right up as far as we could get, right close to the Opera House and sat right at the front next to the railings. There was no one really there when we got there so we didn't know if it was ok to do so but nobody told us otherwise so we sat there for a bit.

Katie being well organised had brought some bed sheets with her for us all to sit on (when I say us all, I mean all the girls that were due to meet us later, at this point in time it's just me and Katie!) so we laid those down and started to relax in the sun. There was a guy called Rich who was sitting in front of us, who also had a load of sheets and was waiting for his mates.. so we sat and chatted to him. It was soooo hot and it felt like we were sitting in a sun trap. We were in direct sunlight and couldn't move or get in any shade otherwise we would lose our place and we hadn't put any sun cream on or brought any water or food!!! Thankfully Rich said he would keep an eye on our stuff whilst we went to the shop before we dies on starvation and sunstroke!! Thankfully I had my umbrella so I spent most of the day sitting under that!

By the time the girls had turned up, the Opera Quays had started to fill. All you could see for miles was a sea of bodies!

They had an aeroplane writing things in the sky and a live band playing some music. We sat in the sun, playing cards and chatting with Rich and his mates when they eventually turned up.

When the girls got there, Katie and I headed off to a bar for some shade and something to eat. It had one of those minus 5 degree bars upstairs and toyed with the idea of sitting up there for an hour in hope cooling down but realised the prices were stupidly high.

After a bite to eat and a bit of shade we headed back to the girlies and had a few drinks. By this time the sun was starting to go down and a million more bodies had appeared out of nowhere.

At 9pm they had a little fireworks display for the kiddies and played the Hairspray sound track.

At about 10.30-11pm ish I decided I had better make a dash for the toilet so I had enough time to get there and get back again ready for the fireworks. Big mistake. Big. HUGE. It took me about half an hour to get through the crowd to the toilets and a further hour to get back through. Not in all my life have I seen anything like it.. or will I again I'm sure. There were literally millions of people crammed into the Opera Quays like sardines. There were no crowd control officers or police or anyone keeping an eye on the crowd for that matter. There were Indian families, all ages sitting on the floor with new born babies in their arms and a little gas stove in the middle cooking rice! There were people in wheelchairs in the middle of the crowd, barely able to breath, let alone see anything. Toddlers seem to be getting lost between adults ankles.. it was unreal.

As I said, it took me about an hour to get back to the girls again.. I very nearly missed the fireworks. I was alone and to be perfectly honest.. scared. I was trying to follow the people in front of me pushing through the crowd.. but that's all they were doing.. pushing. They weren't trying to find their mates, they just wanted to get to the front so people stopped letting them through. Some Indian guy started shouting at me and nearly made me cry (what a wimp I know) so I had to turn and go all the way back and try and get through another way. Thankfully in the end I found a lovely lady who took pity on me and helped me get through the crowd. I don't know why I was being such a wimp, I guess I was tired after sitting down there in the full sun for nearly 14 solid hours and all emotional as I was alone and big Indian and Pakistani men were shouting at me! And more to the point, I was petrified of missing the bloody fireworks!!

Thankfully though, in the end I found my way back to the gang in time.

Sydney Harbour Bridge all lit up and the count down started. The crowd cheered and then as soon as it hit midnight the crown erupted and the fireworks kicked in. We all jumped around hugging each other and taking in the sights.

14 solid hours of sitting on a pavement in the boiling hot sun was an absolute nightmare, one I swore never in my little life to repeat.. but my God, it was worth it.

I'm not a massive firework fan, I hate those people at Alton Towers that give up their place in the queue for Nemesis to stand and watch the fireworks when all they do is say "ooohhh" and "aaaahhh". And anyways, you can still see them from the queue.. they do go up in the sky after all.

These fireworks were different though, I guess it's because it's something I have always wanted to do. I always watch it on the TV in the morning and it always looked so glamorous and I remember thinking.. one day (along with a new years on times square as well.. that's also got to be done). And yet, here I am.. really doing it.

The fireworks went on for about half an hour I guess, maybe a bit more. It felt like seconds to be honest. I snapped a few pictures and a couple of video's but was too busy actually seeing it all for myself rather than seeing it through a lense, which is what you sometimes tend to do.

Once the fireworks were over, everyone started to leave and head home or on to a club. Katie and I were officially shattered, emotionally and physically so we decided to call it a night and head home instead. We walked through Sydney and stopped to look back at the Opera Quays which now resembled a smoky rubbish dump. My heart went out to the street cleaners.. although not to so much that I stopped to help. In fact I couldn't get away any sooner in case I got the blame for some of the mess!!

The walk back through to the city to get on a bus was a long one. It wasn't particularly far but we were shattered and some of Katie's mates were a little drunk so we had to keep an eye on them!! Everyone was in high spirits and were singing and dancing in the streets. The city centre had all been shut off so there were endless amounts of people drinking, dancing and singing in the streets. The police were patrolling on foot and horse back to keep an eye on things.

Finally we managed to get back to Katie's and we both slumped into bed. We were absolutely drained. Oh what a day and night though.. one I will never ever forget.

New Years in Sydney is amazing.. but as I said, one I will never do again!


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