Day 1 – Sydney Opera House | Sydney Harbour Bridge

Thank goodness I’m smart enough not to squeeze in any hectic sightseeing on the arrival day. Everyone was so lethargic, unsure whether it’s jetlag or insufficient of sleep.

We aimed to reach the house around noon but got delayed. It was not because of purchasing the prepaid SIM card or the grocery shopping, it was to figure out whether everyone should or should not follow hubby and I to pick up the car that we rented. We didn’t rent the car from top car rental company like Avis or Hertz so the car rental company was  located outside the airport compound. We needed to call them to inform of our arrival and they will send someone to pick us up. On top of that, the airport pick-up point is about 10 minutes walk away. My MIL had knee problem and I didn’t want to inconvenient her to walk that far, especially under the scorching heat. Hubby and I looked around for a nearer place to pick them up but unfortunately only bus bays were available. Well, looks like we didn’t have any choice. After hubby and I collected the car, we returned to the airport to fetch them. By the way, I was the designated driver for the entire week and hubby was the designated navigator.

In the itinerary, we were supposed to drop by Paddy’s Market for fresh veges and fruits, then head to Asian Minimart for basic ingredients and Iga supermarket. Why Iga? Because their house brand, Black & Gold, is super cheap. We bought their ice creams, fish fingers and even paracetamols when we were in Gold Coast. Anyway, we only went to Iga to buy some kitchen necessities and then we ordered takeouts from a Portuguese eatery called Ogalo. It’s quite similar to Turkish food but in burger forms. They also served wraps and fish burgers. Good news for my FIL since he likes fish. Everything’s settled and off we go…

Our accommodation
Our accommodation

133 Pretoria Parade, Hornsby. Hooray!!! At last! At long last! Home Sweet Home… The owners were not around but we managed to get in. No, we didn’t BREAK in! Shanil and Khrista notified us on how to get in. They left notes on the front door, in the kitchen, on the side table, next to the wi-fi router, basically everywhere. They even gave us a bottle of sparkling wine. That’s a very sweet gesture! Of course we didn’t open it… Hahaha…

Ok first things first, we unpacked all the foodies and anything associated with them. That includes crockery, utensils, cutlery and what nots. Then, off we went to our respective rooms to rest. Hubby fell asleep within minutes he laid on the bed. Me, I didn’t have that pleasure. I had to unpack the clothes and toiletries so that I could shower and brush my teeth first. Night flight… The only reason I loathed is because of how I looked and how my breath stank after waking up in the airplane.

I felt so refreshed after the cold shower. In fact, I didn’t even want to leave the bathroom. The kids were downstairs playing so this was my chance to rest. I joined hubby and just when I thought I could have a good shut eye, my sleep was disturbed in less than an hour. Argh! My MIL woke me up because Khrista and Shanil came over. Ok, point’s valid.

Khrista and Shanil were very good hosts. They were friendly and were able to answer all queries. They even went the extra mile by lending us their inflatable playground and tent. We only used the latter because I wasn’t interested to inflate and deflate a playground even if the machine was readily available. Since I was already awake, I might as well look around the compound. Tested the washer/dryer, cooking hobs, electric kettle, internet connection and TV.

We planned to reach Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge at around 5pm but it was postponed about a couple of hours later. Once everyone was ready, we drove out. We’d decided to park our van in Sydney Opera House car park itself because we’ll be there for a short while only. Furthermore, it was not packed.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

Seeing the iconic Sydney Opera House in person was a truly amazing experience. Though it’s dark, I somehow felt as if it glowed, allowing me to witness its unique shape. We snapped pictures and selfies although the backgroud was rather dark. We were able to view the Sydney Harbour Bridge from here. It would make a very nice backdrop during the day. The locals were having fun on a breezy Saturday night, laughing and chit chatting while downing beers and sipping wines at the arrays of bars along the Sydney Opera House. It wasn’t the way we talk or dress that stood us out as tourists. Giggling and gleeing when taking pictures were dead giveaways. Hey, it’s not everyday we get to be in Australia. 🙂

Yawnzzz… Time to go home. Our legs need plenty of rest because tomorrow it’s time to goooooo… S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G!!! (White Chicks style). I took the parking ticket from hubbixx to validate it and got the shock of my life! Upon seeing me gawking, hubbixx and Busu approached me and saw the amount displayed on the machine. AUD37!!! The car park charge was AUD37!!! We parked less than 2 hours and the car park charge was AUD37!!!

Parking fee at Sydney Opera House
Parking fee at Sydney Opera House

No wonder the car park was empty! What the heck! That was the most expensive car park charge for the shortest time duration I’ve ever parked! Pardon the exclamation marks although I think other people would have comprehended with more than 3 or even vulgarities. What choice did we have other than paying? Destroying the car park barrier would have cost more. I did research the parking charges for Sydney Opera House, perhaps I did not check thoroughly. For those who want to visit, heed my advice and go public instead. What a way to end Day 1…

Do share your views and post any questions you have in the comments box and I will have them answered in an instant! 🙂


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