Layover in sunny Sydney

Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
Trip End Jan 23, 2010

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no staying here!

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, January 22, 2010

Mark here..
Our flight from Wellington to Sydney was uneventful, except that flying with United sucks compared with flying with Air New Zealand or Canada Air. The agent in Wellington informed us that we would not be able to leave the airport in Sydney if she checked our bags all the way to LA. She said if we wanted to make use of our layover and see some sites we would need to claim our bags and go through customs and then recheck them- possibly only able to do this 3hrs in advance of our next flight.

Obviously this seemed excessive. So, I thought we'd try it my way! We checked the bags to LA and walked out of the airport in Sydney and got on the metro- no problem! When Customs asked if this was all our bags (our day pack and shoulder bag) I answered "We are just here for the day, flying out in the afternoon." 

Getting off the subway at the "Circular Quay" (they pronounce it "key"), we walked past buskers (street performers, remember?) on the wharf and mozied on to the Opera House. The White tiled shell of the opera house glistened in the sunshine and contrasted nicely with the blue sky. The weather was warm- the hottest we'd felt on our journey. We decided to find some shade so we walked into the nearby Botanical Gardens. Impressive sulfur crested cockatoos and pink and gray gullah's wandered about near giant strangler figs. Giant fruit bats hung in the trees flapping their wings to try to cool off.

Inside the conservatory we were impressed by the orchids and large variety of carnivorous plants. Many alien shapes and bright colors captured our interest, and we went a little photo crazy.

Walking back toward the quay we made it a point to find the shady sides of the street, walk quickly in the sun and then slow down again to savor the shade (just like Guarddog!). We stopped in at one of the sidewalk cafes for amazing large salads and iced coffees. While we were not used to the heat; the locals seemed to be, as many people were running for exercise, apparently oblivious to the 35*C swelter.

Passing the buskers we paused to watch a juggler atop a 15ft tall unicycle and 7 piece Aboriginal band playing some good Digeridoo groove/chant. On the metro we found our way back to the airport and went thru several layers of security (enhanced for flights to the US). No problems checking in, aside from feeling like herded livestock.  

Only a long flight between us and the U.S. of A.!  Thanks to our faithful blog followers...only one more left to go!
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kahanastreet on

These are all great photos. Its hard to say I like just one. Esp. the closeups.

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