Wyndham Sydney Suites is in the heart of Sydney. This was something I was very excited about because while I have friends in the area, I have never been to Australia. Given that it is about as far from my home as humanly possible, my journey would begin with several top series of flights. Also, while I am traveling, I would be stopping in several areas and making the best of it.
Video by Must Do Travels
Day One Travel & Arrival
OK, this was going to be the longest series of flights for one trip in my life. The flight time itself is nearly 24 hours in the air. So, this is one flight you want to be able to sleep on if you can. It may also be one that you want to use any long flight tricks you can to lessen the impact of air travel on your system.
For myself, I chose to use some sound-canceling headphones and my phone as a portable entertainment system of sorts. I also made certain that I was booked for seats in the emergency exit area for the added legroom. At 6’4” it was a matter of legroom survival. At 50, if I tried to fold myself into a coach seat with normal legroom for almost 24 hours, I would likely not be able to walk again once we reached our final destination.
For this vacation and trip, I scheduled more time at this first resort because I figured it would take at least an extra day of rest to adjust to life after that kind of travel time.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center/Desk
- Convenience Store
- Business Center/Fax
- Laundry Facilities
- Concierge Services
Air travel for me is never fun. I am not scared as much as I am inconvenienced because of my size and the lack of comfort for someone large on flights. I am not only tall these days, but I am also wide. When I travel, if I was on an airline that charges more for large people, I would be buying two seats. It is just where I am at these days.
For the average person, long flights may be better, and even exciting. This was the longest flight by several hours that I have ever been on in more than a decade. I have been on a long flight to Thailand and that was over a day. I think today’s flight time was 28 hours. This flight was just 4 hours less. When we finally arrived, it felt like we had traveled to another planet.
Sydney itself is huge by any measure. The inner-city area is over 10 square miles and the greater Sydney area is almost 4,800 square miles. This puts Sydney at about 30% larger in area than Yellow Stone Park, or about the same size as the State of Connecticut.
As you first navigate around the city, it is hard to compare it to other major cities I have been to. In the major heart of the city, the density of large buildings seems very high. Almost, like large Asian cities. I knew better than driving in the city not because it is a major city but because I was tired from my flight, have never been before, and because the driving was on the left-hand side of the road. So instead of a rental car, I would be using car services, or public transportation at least until I got the lay of the land here.
From the airport to the resort, it was less than a 20-minute ride. Being wiped out and tired, was a blessing. I figured I would check in, then get something light to eat (since I was starving) then head for a bed. It turns out I arrived after my check-in time based on my booking. This meant I was able to book right in. Had I been like ½ a day early or something, my inner child would have wanted to cry. I was that tired. I slept maybe 1-2 hours on the flight but it was not a good sleep. It was that nod-off mess you do when you are really tired, then a bump or a noise would wake me up.
Almost across the street from the resort was Chin Chin and Asian fusion kind of place, so I stumbled over there and grabbed something to eat. The food was good and if it was not, I would not have noticed because I think a cracker and water would have tasted like a gourmet meal at this point. I forget which comedian it was. Maybe Eddie Murphy, who talked about a cracker tasting really good when you are hungry, this was that level of hungry for me.
I slept hard for at least 4 hours or so, yet when I woke up it was light out. I had been so tired I had not really been able to process what time it was. I think my brain was in some kind of auto-pilot mode. I looked at the time as it updated once I connected to the local internet with my phone. It was about 3 PM their time. I must have checked in on the morning after my official check-in time or date. Funny, that likely meant that I was the first customer of the day earlier at Chin Chin or that I looked so crazy being there around 10-11 AM that they just provided my order to get me out of there. LOL attack of the giant American Zombie.
I was feeling better after my nap, but still out of it. I kind of felt like you tend to when you sleep too much and have that groggy feeling. It was just for me that I was playing catch up on sleep and fighting bad jet lag.
I was hungry again, so I was out walking around near the resort looking for something that sounded or looked good. My nose told me I was near Italian food. Just up Alberta Street, I found a nice Italian restaurant called Alberto’s Lounge. This place was magical. They made their own fresh pasta, gelato, and ricotta every day here. When you have not had freshly made pasta with fresh ingredients for the sauce, you have not had Italian food. It just seems like an entirely different food group when fresh.
I had a simple pasta dish, but it was great. Then I made a point of washing it down with some nice local drinks. After all, if I stayed sober enough to find my way back to my room, I was good. I felt like a few drinks would help me go back to sleep and assist with the sleep I needed before tomorrow.
Day Two Seeing Sydney
I woke refreshed and either a little hung over or still impacted by jet lag. I wrote the feeling off on jet lag and kept it moving. It was early morning, like 5 AM, but at least I was starting on the right day now.
I took a nice long shower. If they had any kind of water restriction, I broke the guidelines for sure. But I just needed the warm water to relax me and refresh me for the day. Afterward, I shaved and took care of personal grooming.
For this trip, I was trying a new cologne that was in a hard wax-like form or balm. So, I applied that and then dressed for the day. It was now after 5:30 AM, so I thought society would be waking up. My goal was to find some breakfast, then head quickly down to the water and watch the Sunrise on this side of the world. Today the sunrise was at 6:30 AM, so I needed to get moving.
I went to Joe Black Café and I was waiting when they opened the door at 6 AM. Luckily for my sunrise mission the resort is just blocks from the waterfront or harbor area and the Sydney botanical garden. I could have walked, but I likely would not have made it in time for the very start of the sunrise, which was my goal. I jumped in a cab, paid them a little extra to get me as close to the water as they could and they hooked me up.
Turns out that my driver took me to the Sydney Opera House you know, the one everyone has seen a picture of. I was able to walk out on the water right there and watch the sunrise.
Now the sunrise here was unique in that this is up in a harbor not direct oceanside like at a beach resort. It was, however, still special and worth the effort. The view here was more like a painting than almost any location I have ever been to. So much so that I later had to paint it.
Attached is the painting image. I felt a photo would not do it justice, so I painted this one.
After the amazing sunrise, it was time to head on to see some of the sights in the city.
Sydney Harbor Bridge
I started with the Sydney Harbor Bridge since I was right next to it. I managed to move onto it while the sun was still rising in the morning sky. I started by walking on the bridge. Later in the day I might do a ferry ride on the water and go below the bridge.
I chose against doing a bridge climb for a few reasons. Cost, guts, energy, and time were just a few. But I read many people’s feedback and reviews and for active young people, that may be a great thing to do.
For tonight I have already booked a table at the Skyfeast at Sydney Tower. This is the ultimate buffet with the best view imaginable. This is also the highest-revolving restaurant in the southern hemisphere. I believe it is the tallest I have ever been to anywhere.
For now, I was getting a little hungry again after my very fast light breakfast, and after all the walking this morning so far. This entire section of Sydney has a ton of restaurants and parks. Every few blocks, it seems like there are more restaurants and another park. That is awesome since the views here at the harbor are wonderful. I chose a place called Lavana simply because of its name and location. I have a niece named Lana, so I thought the name was neat.
It turns out that at lunchtime they offer just a handful of plates that are all seafood but fresh. In this part of the world, they call shrimp prawns. So, I ordered some shrimp (prawns). They called them king prawns, which meant to me two things. They were large and they left the heads on. I never understood the draw some feel to leave the heads on fish, pigs, and now prawns when serving them at upscale restaurants. Perhaps it is to make them seem fresher? I do not know, but it just bothers me a simple country boy at heart. When I eat out, I prefer things to be cooked and that they look simple that way.
I promise I did not really react much. Perhaps my eyes opened a tad more than normal at the delivery of the item. They tasted great, but this was also a significant markup item. Here you were paying for the great location of the seating on the waterfront, and the pomp and presentation of the heads on the finish to things. It was fine but I would rather have a more done-for-me approach to my meal. I know that is supposed to make me sound like a food barbarian, but hey, I am what I am.
After my light head-on lunch, I walked a few more blocks to the Barangaroo Reserve. It sounds amazing and was nice, but is really just a waterfront park for everyone to enjoy. With a series of lawns and open space right on the water it was a nice spot for sure.
Enjoying a sit on one of the laws watching the world go by, I got up and grabbed a cab back to the resort. Yes, if I was up for a mile walk or so, I could have just walked back, but I was still tired from the time change and the flight. I also did not want to burn through my energy since there would likely be a ton of walking to visit many new sights.
I went back and showered and changed, refreshing myself a little. Sydney does a great job as a city of providing free spaces for its citizens and visitors. Almost every park is well planned out and free. There are also no fees for the many beaches and Museums. That is something we could duplicate in the USA for sure. Especially with all the tax income that our travel destination cities and towns take in each year.
Now, to be clear, some museums do have fees and tickets, just like we do. It just seems like Sydney has more free options than any other city I have been to, especially the parks here.
Here there are a collection of museums called the Sydney Living Museums. These are museums and historic houses that are all part of a collection of special living places. I started with the Hyde Park Barracks, which offers a look into the living record of early colonial Australia. Originally built to house convicts, the Barracks have also served as an immigration depot, asylum, law courts, and later government offices.
As you walk through the living museum, you see glimpses from the past and views of how this building was used throughout the nation’s early history. I grew up in Yorktown Virginia where Cornwallis surrendered the sword during the Revolutionary war in the United States. So, for me, this was amazing to see (growing up with founding history).
One neat place I chose to go to next was a historic farm that is in Sydney. Modern life goes on all around it, but the Elizabeth Farm seems protected and set in time. A glimpse of early farm life in the region for all to enjoy and learn from. The home was built in 1793 for a military family and appears much as it did at that time.
Time for the buffet of a lifetime at Skyfeast at Sydney Tower the view is so great here that they set a time limit on your time at the buffet and in the restaurant. That limit is a generous 1.5 hours, but it still does exist, so just keep that in mind if you first thought you are going to set some buffet record here. They include your first drink with your meal, which is a nice start to the experience here. The menu on the buffet tables is extensive and includes hot and cold items of all kinds. With a large portion being seafood. Do not worry, meat eaters. There is also world-class roast beef and many other amazing wonders from the kitchen.
Day Three in Sydney
I am amazed that I can still move. I think having a finite time in mind for my access to the buffet made me overdo it. I almost had to lie down in the driver’s car on the way back to the resort last night. It also made me sleepy, so an early bedtime worked out for me.
This just meant I was up again right around sunrise. I walked back towards the water to see watch the sunrise here again. Dinner last night in the tower I was able to see an impressive sunset. Which was great because I had to reservations booked as soon as I learned about this bucket list trip to Australia. Truly, this was a trip I was not sure would happen. The cost of the flights alone would break the bank for many. I think round trip the airfare was about $3,000. Now that was business class, but still, that hurt a little.
One of my friends likes to say you should spend your money on experiences, not things. I agree with that to a point, but part of my brain was saying, hey $3K, that is a nice 85-inch TV. Now that I am in Sydney and seeing Australia, I must agree with my friend. This is truly once in a lifetime, as experiences go.
I often find myself wondering what life would be like as a lottery winner of a grand prize. Right now, as I write this, the lottery in the USA (one of them) is now over 600 million. So, it is fun to daydream about how you would spend that. I think a part of that might be traveling and seeing as much of the world as I could.
I would certainly love to see all the resorts you could book through TZort. In the last few years as I have written these blogs, I have been able to see and experience so much, that I never would have thought would have been possible in my life. It has been as close as I might get to a cruise around the world. Which I think in my mind is the ultimate lottery win experience. But seeing Australia is amazing.
In Australia, it seems everything is poisonous and deadly. They have more poisonous snakes and insects here than anywhere else in the world. Which made this a very rugged place to send prisoners back at the start when all things began.
The Blue Mountains
Today I was going on a full-day trip to see the Blue Mountains. The entire day (almost 11 hours) is planned and organized to help you see and experience as much as you can. There is a river cruise, railway ride, Scenic Skyway, and Cable Car. They also include a nice lunch with your purchase. I think of all my years of travel tours this one has to offer the most value and variety of experiences on a single tour. The price was about $110 which I thought was a real bargain.
Some of the rides and experiences along the way may have cost that much at another location alone. It was spectacular.
Want this kind of vacation for yourself book with TZort.