Tag Archives: opera house

One Night in Sydney

After a fantastic two weeks navigating windy roads and waving to sheep, it was time to leave the beauty of New Zealand behind. Our super-cheap flight back to the States left from Sydney, so we planned one last night there. The only downside: our flight from Christchurch to Sydney left at 7:45am…which meant we had to wake up at 5:15am to make sure we had enough time to drive to the airport, drop the car off, and check in for an international flight. All went smoothly, but we were super tired when we landed after a three-hour flight.

So where did we lay our heads, you ask? Nowhere big…just the Four Seasons overlooking Circular Quay in Sydney. We kept debating where to stay in Sydney for just one night, and Mike realized he had enough credit card points to book a fancy hotel:

We Make Ourselves at Home Quite Quickly.

We Make Ourselves at Home Quite Quickly. Classy.

View from the Room. Kinda Cool Watching Traffic on Sydney Harbour Bridge.

View from the Room. Kinda Cool Watching Traffic on Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Slightly different than trying to drown out the sounds of a snorer in a hostel dorm room, yeah? Truth be told, however, we expected fancy extravagance from the hotel, and it was…just okay. The lobby and room were both fine but nothing special.

Our plan for that day was to sit by the pool and then nap. (We woke up super early. Don’t judge.) The sky was quite overcast, so we only sat by the pool for a bit. The nap came earlier (and lasted longer) than expected. We wandered around for a bit, grabbed burgers and fried pickles, and wandered around some more:

Bridge. Cruise Ship. Both Massive.

Bridge. Cruise Ship. Both Massive.

Amazing Sky.

Amazing Sky.

Because of the late lunch, we split chicken schnitzel parmigiana for dinner from the same pub where we watched some of the Super Bowl. Dessert was a huge lemon meringue pie slice. Long story short: food was the priority that day in Sydney.

After a great night’s sleep in an overly big king-size bed, the next day’s plan was to sit by the pool before leaving for the airport that afternoon. The weather, however, did not cooperate. Not much sun was spotted, and it drizzled for a bit. Not exactly the last day in Sydney we expected… We wandered, shopped for groceries, and grabbed some Japanese noodles for lunch. We also worked in some time for a photo shoot by the Opera House:

Mike Contemplating Life at the Opera House.

Mike Contemplating Life at the Opera House.



Hanna Lovin' Life.

Hanna Lovin’ Life.

Before we knew it, our time in Australia had to come to a close. We left for the airport around 3pm and tried to mentally prepare for our nine-and-a-half hour flight to Honolulu.

Sydney from the Airport. Last Photo Taken in Oz.

Sydney from the Airport. Last Photo Taken in Oz.


Welcome to Sydney

Well, now that we have been in Australia for over a week, you finally get to hear about it. Don’t you feel lucky? The eight-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney really wasn’t bad at all. We passed the time by reading, napping, and fighting with the flight attendants. Mike had pre-ordered a dinner that seemed to go missing, and they had no other explanation for it other than “Uh, I think it’s in the front of the plane….and, uh, it would take a while to search for it. We will get you something else.” About twenty minutes later, Mike was given a container of soggy seafood rice. Better than expected, but still. He wanted his chicken masala. Thank God this happened to Mike and not Hanna. No one screws with her food. Hell. To. Pay.

We arrived in Sydney around 9pm and quickly glided through Customs. Citizens of certain nations (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand) don’t have to wait in any line or speak to anyone at Immigration as they have machines where you just scan your passport. This shocked us but was a welcome relief. We dashed through while complaining that we didn’t receive a passport stamp.

On our last trip, Sydney was one of our favorite cities, and we are proud to say that it did not disappoint the second time around. We had a week to spend, so we decided to buy unlimited transit passes (bus, train, tram, ferry, etc.). This worked out swimmingly because we were staying fifteen minutes outside of the city. We decided to take advantage of the passes and see as much of the city as we could. Novel idea, huh?

Our favorite part of said passes was the ability to take commuter ferries to various parts of the city. We didn’t really have a plan for each day but would begin with a round-trip ferry ride. Watsons Bay? Sure. Taronga Zoo? Yup. North Sydney? Of course. Each round-trip ride would last between thirty minutes and an hour, and we enjoyed every second. No seasickness was felt, and these ferries were prime suntanning locales.

First Picture Taken of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

First Picture Taken of Sydney Harbour Bridge. There Are a Million Others.

Circular Quay (Our Starting Point for Most Ferries.)

Circular Quay (Our Starting Point for Most Ferries.)

Nothing Big: Opera House. Bridge.

Nothing Big: Opera House. Bridge.

Mike's Massive Head Dwarfing Hanna and the Opera House. (He Tells Himself It's the Angle.)

Mike’s Massive Head Dwarfing Hanna and the Opera House. (He Tells Himself It’s Just the Angle.)

City from Afar.

City from Afar.

Close City.

Close City.

Prepare yourself for lots more pictures taken from boats because that’s where we spent a ton of time. We have millions of pictures of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from all angles. You see them both and can’t NOT take pictures for some reason. You’ve been warned.

House of Opera

Aside from the big-ass bats, one of the best things about Sydney is the Opera House. At first we were a bit disappointed by its size, color, and overall grandeur. What shocked us the most upon first sight is the color (not as stark white as we thought) and the texture (we expected none). As we spend more time with her (yes, we think she is probably a her…way too stylish and sleek to be a man), we love her more and more.

The last few days have been spent relaxing in the park and observing  the way the Opera House’s looks differ with the changing light. Every few hours the shadows shift, altering the overall look of the building.

Though the outside is pretty fabulous, the inside is rather drab. Think concrete and nothing special. The only saving grace is the bathroom. We would love to take pictures of the bathroom but don’t want to startle any ladies fixing their lipstick or men takin’ a leak.

Here are some of our favorite pictures of the old gal:

Opera House and Bridge.


Shot from the Other Side.

Peekin' Out to Say Hello.


Night Shot.

Texture Close-Up.

Our Most Expensive Day Yet

Our first full day in Sydney brought an unexpected adventure.

We had planned on acclimating ourselves to the city by wandering around the harbor areas, and the first half of the day was spent doing just that:

Public Pool in Woollmooloomoo. Russell "Asshole" Crowe Owns an Apartment on the Wharf in the Background. No, We Did Not See Him.

Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

As we wandered about, we started talking about doing the BridgeClimb. When Ali started planning her trip to Australia, we researched the climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and all three of us immediately discounted it due to its outrageous price. (Don’t look it up…you don’t want to know.) After seeing the bridge and the climbers, we warmed up a bit to the idea. Ali and Hanna convinced Mike not to be such a cheapskate. We’re here. Why not do it?

We knew we had made a wise decision upon looking at pictures of various celebrities who had done the climb…including our BFF:

Miss Winfrey Did It. We Just Follow Her.

There are two main routes: one that goes on the top of the bridge and one that goes through the inner workings of the bridge and ultimately ends on top. We kinda wondered why anyone would do the inner one, but the climb employee told us that one was actually more adventurous. We did what he said. Kinda funny that we initially scoffed at doing the inner one…and that was the one we ultimately picked. We parted with more money than we have so far this trip, and off we went.

Because we were going to be Official Climbers, we had to wear Official Climbing Suits:

Please Ignore Mike's Creepy Half-Closed Eyes and Unshoed Feet. This Is the Only Picture We Have.

Warning: this is where the pictures end. We were climbing up a 440-foot bridge. Cameras could kill.

Luckily there was only another couple in our group, so we were able to climb at a better pace than the groups of fifteen. We all wore headsets and listened to our guide tell us about the engineering of the bridge and the sights of the city as we climbed higher. We weaved in and out of the steel structure while cars zoomed past on the bridge below. One of the advantages of the lower route was being part of the bridge: car traffic zooms by below you, part of the walkways are metal grates so you can see the water below, and you constantly have to weave around steel columns and walk around narrow walkways. (The upper route is just a wide platform with stairs going up the arch.)

The walk was easier than we expected, and we were on top of the world an hour later. Because of our small group, we got to spend more time at the top than usual. The wind picked up, and the climb became that much more entertaining. Our guide told us that climbs were still deemed safe in 90 km/h winds…it was only about 40 km/h when we were up there, and it seemed pretty damn strong. The views from the top were breathtaking; nothing was in our way. We could see the entire city and the Blue Mountains way in the distance.

The climb down was quick and easy, and we timed it so that we could see the sunset. Wish we had a camera…but the climb employees didn’t want us killing anyone. Based on how our hats kept flying off in the wind (don’t worry…they were clipped on to our unitards), we completely understood why no cameras were allowed.

These pictures were not taken on the bridge, so no one died:

Notice the People on Both Levels. The Flags Mark the Summit.

The Whole Bridge.

Even Mike admitted that it was worth the money. We had a great time, and it’s reassuring that none of us are scared of heights. Hanna, however, is a bit worried about possibly bungee jumping in New Zealand. It’s not the height…it’s taking that step off.

If you’re ever in Sydney, we recommend treating yourself to an unforgettable experience. Even the second-rate cast members of Twilight and Glee have done it.

We’ll be eating lots of stale bread and crackers to make up for this one.

We Do Like You, Sydney

We flew from Melbourne to Sydney last Thursday night. It’s now Tuesday morning, and we have written absolutely nothing about this city. It’s not because we don’t like it…it’s because we like it a lot. We have been way too busy exploring this city, and when we arrive back to the hostel late at night, the last thing we want to do is to write a blog post.

This is what you get for now:

Not a Famous Building in the Background or Anything...

We will try our best to write posts about everything we have done here..no guarantees that they’ll get done in a timely manner.