[gallery link="file" columns="2"] We went to Sydney for the weekend, to visit my cousin. It was a different weekend, full of contrasts, beauty and ugly. First off, the train from the airport out to Parramatta. The rails felt greasy and sticky, I didn't want to touch them. But I did enjoy the people watching, all the different cultures boarding and disembarking. I saw mums and grans trying to keep babies happy, a mum trying to keep a toddlers face clean, teenagers bopping to headset music, businessmen sitting awkwardly, and most heart warming of all - two strangers helping a lady with a pusher off the train. It was so nice to see that people still care and respect others - not only just in little country towns, but in Sydney.
I wouldn't normally base myself in Parramatta for a weekender, but it was an interesting area to explore. I'd only heard negative through the media, so when I came across Church Street and all of it's cafes and restaurants with delicious food, it was a yummy surprise. We ate very well at two fabulous restaurants, eating Turkish for lunch (at a cheaper price than what we could get in Adelaide, go the lunch deals!) and an ultra amazing Lebanese meal later in the evening. Much later, like 10.30pm - very unusual and new for me, eating at that time.
The ferry ride into the Rocks gives a great glimpse of Sydney, and the changes in social structure and wealth as you head closer into the city. The houses hugging onto every inch of down to the waters edge, where residents can keep watch of their yacht bopping up and down, makes me feel both envious and also invaded. Each looks into the neighbours backyard and windows. Well, a lot of them do.
Another surpise was the Kirribilli toilet block. We walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to check out the markets, and found this little toilet block in the train station. I haven't seen plumbing that old for a while! And back over the bridge, a world apart it seems, is The Argyle's amenities - very modern with individual toilet stations, automatic drop down basins in the centre and illuminated mens urinals at centre back stage. Wow.
Sydney put on awesome weather for us, arriving in 27 degree heat and departing just before the showers come on Sunday. Good work and thanks goes to the rain gods for keeping it dry. Thanks also to Qantas customer service who got us on an earlier flight, no questions asked. Another act of kindness I don't normally expect involving aeroplanes, airports, and asking to change things.