Just waking up from New Year’s Eve here .... feeling a bit fuzzy as everyone should but have this weird feeling that it’s almost 11 am here and the rest of the world is just starting to celebrate 🎉. My friends in Europe are just messaging me now with their New Years and my friends in Toronto will be celebrating when it’s 4 pm here ! It’s crazy how far we are from home and how big this planet is , we all know this but you don’t realize it until you experience it . We are experiencing it now 😊!
So.... yesterday we started our day hoping to meet my buddy Jenny but she had to meet some friends she didn’t get to meet the day before so we altered our plans pretty quickly and went on a free walking tour . We walked over to Sydney Town Hall to meet the group and find the people wearing green shirts . We were one of the early birds and met one of the guides whose name was also Adrian , always nice to meet another Adrian as we are a rare breed . We chilled for a minute then got split into groups as there was pretty much a mob of tourists by the time we were to head off , no joke there was easily 200 people for 5 guides to wrangle . When we were getting split we just went to Adrian , obviously 🙄 and began our tour by introducing ourselves . There were a few North Americans and one in particular was wearing a Leafs cap which is always nice to see even though he spoke in broken English and was from Thornhill but I have no qualms with that . First stop was the QVB ( Queen Victoria Building ) and we soon found out that everything here with 3 words or more would have short forms . We then walked over to Hyde Park and saw the Archibald Fountain and then checked out the Rum Hospital which is a very interesting story if you have time to look it up . We saw the Sydney Tower and got some good tips on how to visit it on the cheap ! Apparently it’s $29 if you walk up and like $26 if you book in advance online but if you go up to the bar you only have to spend $20 so that is the cheapest option . Our guide was really good about showing us some good spots to visit while having a drink and getting a good view .... he told us there is a roof top bar at Sydney Square which is actually a round building and in fact not square then told us about all these hidden little specialty bars that are kinda like speak easy‘ sand we asked for the gin bar and he said to look up the Barber Shop which is a barber shop until 8 pm , I think we are definitely gonna do that !
Adrian (our guide) also showed us the artsy side of the city and this one particular one seen above is an alley with bird cages and on the floor there are names of all the birds that no longer inhabit this region and there are speakers playing the bird calls of each one .... pretty cool stuff eh ! We also encountered a Salvador Dali statue we saw in Andorra about 3 years ago which was pretty cool to see again . I guess there is a travelling exhibit that hopefully we can find the time to go visit . Our tour winded through the streets until we reached the harbour where the one thing I really really wanted to see is .... the Sydney Opera House ! It’s fantastic to see in person , as a traveller it’s one of those things I’ve dreamt of seeing most of my life and as the travelling goalie it’s one of those monuments I hope to get a picture in front of with my gear on .... fingers crossed 🤞 our tour ended and we headed back down George St. to hit the spots we wanted to grab things , we passed a Woolworths that we know have these Fantastic Noodles we were told to try so we stopped in and it was chaos but they had everything . We grabbed a bottle of tonic for our evening drink and I picked up some beef biltong and kangaroo jerky which I didn’t really like ☹️ had to try it though ! I did like the Fantastic Noodles though .
When we got back to our room it started raining ...really hard ! We took a nap and then showered up and got ready for the evening festivities which we paid a bundle for private spots . We booked spots at the Royal Botanical Garden and they have multiple events , some are geared towards families and some are more formal with actual reserved seating and the one we chose was less formal with picnic tables and no table reservation so we could sit with any random people . Doors are open between 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm and we decided to get there for 6:30 pm . When we left it was not raining and we took an Uber over to maximize chill out time here in our room 😏 our driver put in a good effort to get us as close as he could to the gate and when we walked in we were given our picnic meal to start the night which had a couple salads and healthy snacks and we started to look for a spot , we then realized that everyone probably got here for 5:30 and some people were hogging tables and we did a full lap of the event before seeing 4 gals at a table which Kathleen approached to see if we could join and they were friendly enough so we jumped in . Now did I mention that I paid $400 per person for this event ? Yeah not cheap but it was supposed to include buskers as entertainment (didn’t see any) there was supposed to be a palm reader (we looked and we didn’t find them ) and about a week ago on their Facebook event they asked us to post a song to hear during the evening which would be announced as our request , well I never heard Daddy Cool by Boney M ☹️ we also were sure that we were supposed to get complimentary champagne before midnight and when we asked for it nobody knew what we were talking about so we bought some . It was nice being there but when you pay this amount for anything you should get what you pay for ! And let me tell ya .... a beer which was like half a can was $9 so I battled to catch a buzz all night with Heineken half cans at least we got free ponchos to keep dry during to rain which just didn’t let up all night . Don’t get me wrong as I don’t want to bitch too much , we had a great view which we didn’t have to claim the morning of and the food we got was really good but all in all it was an expensive day out which I would finalize by saying was worth the view and experience ! The gals we sat with were all friendly nice people and we really got to see a spectacular fireworks display with no obstruction at all so if you ever plan to come to experience this then look into booking a spot early for this ! This one particular event sold out within a couple days and months in advance .
As soon as the fireworks ended everyone charged the gate to get out of there and we started to make our way back to our hostel and on our way back we tried to get some ice for one last drink before bed with no luck .... we opted to get a cold bottle of tonic instead so we can have a gin and tonic and then called it a night . We survived New Years in Sydney and let me tell ya .... what an experience it was ! Happy New Year 🥳 I know as I’m writing this my friends in the UK are now celebrating and I’m sure later on I will receive messages from home . Until then I’m gonna hide in my room until I figure out what to do today .