03 June 2014

Good Reason for Bad Blogging - Aussie Edition (Part I)


Australia has been on my travel radar for years.  I started saving for this trip a couple of years ago and, with the encouragement of some very special loving friends, I booked my flight and never looked back.  Seeing as how the ticket was non-refundable, I suppose I couldn't look back.  Hah!

Since this was an epic voyage of three weeks, I'll spread out the deets over a few posts.  If you're interested in traveling to Sydney and Melbourne, I hope the information I share will be helpful!

Traveling to Sydney:  I left on a Wednesday afternoon and spent about 24 hours in transit.  I had a 4-hour flight to LA, 5-hour layover, then 15 hours to Sydney.  I arrived on Friday shortly after 6am local time.

For the most part the flight was fine.  15 hours in a shiny metal tube at 40,000 feet can drive anyone insane.  Rarely do I complain about any flight.  Some flights/passengers can be annoying, but any flight that takes off and lands without incident is a good flight.  For international flights, I always get an aisle seat.  My constant-sitting limit is 2 hours.  After that, I have to get up and walk around.  Having an aisle seat makes this SOOO much more convenient. =)

Staying in Sydney:  I stayed at the Sydney Harbour youth hostel.  I picked this location for three main reasons:  price, location, and reviews.  The hostel is in an older part of Sydney's Central Business District called "The Rocks."  It is a less-than-five minute walk to the harbor and right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The view from the rooftop is spectacular with the Sydney Opera House and Bridge in full site.
 
 
  (view from the rooftop)
 
The other buildings are part of The Rocks neighborhood and are filled with eclectic shops/boutiques, restaurants, and offices.  There is even a vintage button shop!  I forgot to take pictures, but I did buy some buttons.  =)

Below is a picture of a passageway called the Suez Canal.  As described by the tour guide on a walking tour I took, the passageway got this name because of the amount of sewage it used to have.  People didn't have ways to dispose of sewage except for out of the window.  The sloping narrow passageway served as the outdoor toilet where sewage would collect at the bottom.  Eventually 'sewage' started to sound like 'suez' and the name was born.  The city finally made the name official and labeled the passageway with a sign.
 
The Suez Canal is also donned with lighted figures (and descriptions) to denote the types of activity that used to frequent the area.  Gangsters, drugs, debauchery - this was The Rocks of yesteryear.  Nowadays, it's a hip and happening spot with lots to do.  For my local peeps, it's like Cass Corridor meets Birmingham.

The hostel receives great reviews which are well deserved.  It's fairly new with a full kitchen, laundry room, rooftop patio, and each room has its own bathroom.  I stayed in a 4-bed female share which was moderately spaced.  There are other rooms available with more or fewer beds.  A hostel is not a hotel, so if you're accustomed to hotel treatment, then a hostel is not for you!  If you are on a budget and want some place to sleep and shower that is clean, free of vermin, and centrally located, this is the place to go.  I was visiting Sydney for 10 days.  Any other location would have cost me over $2000.  I paid less than 1/4 of that for the entire stay.

(dining area and kitchen)

The hostel sits on an active archeological dig.  Since The Rocks is a historical area, the city wanted to preserve the site.  The hostel won out all other bids because they agreed to maintain the integrity of the site and create an archaeological education center, now named The Big Dig.



The hostel is actually built on stilts to preserve the site.  Rooms wrap around the perimeter of the site so the interior of the building is hollow and open.  To date, over 1,000,000 artifacts have been recovered - many of which are on display at the hostel.

That's all I have for now.  This seems to be a pretty LONG post!  I'll try to be more brief in future posts about the trip.  I'll leave you with this statement I saw on one of the dining room tables:


Yes, it does.

L

13 comments:

  1. Welcome back! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! My sleep is waaaay off right now. I hope to have another post by the end of the week.

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  2. Amazing L! Can't wait to hear the rest of the fun!

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  3. I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. the travel bug is starting to nibble at me.

    Rose in SV



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  4. I did comment but it seemed to have evaporated into thin air. Glad you have made it back safely. I enjoyed your post - learnt more about Sydney than I have in the 52 years living here. Looking forward to seeing more posts.

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  5. What a great post L - love the story about the sewerage passage :). This must have taken some writing up - thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to hear the rest of your holiday adventures :)

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  6. I am glad you got back in one piece in that flying shiny tube. I'm looking forward to reading more aobut your impressions of Sydney etc.

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  7. Wish I'd known about this trip before you were here in Sunny Melbourne! Would've loved to go fabric hunting with you!

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    1. Ah yes! Perhaps we will have the chance to meet in the future.

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  9. Great post and another Sydneysider that has learnt a bit more about her home town. It was so great meeting you and I look forward to reading your impressions of our lovely country.

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  10. Yay! Yet another adventure.. You go, girl! Can't wait to read more of your Aussieland trip.

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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