I arrived in Sydney around 6 at night. I collected all my large bags and caught a shuttle to the hostel that was recommended to me by a friend in NZ. The hostel is located in Kings Cross, an area just to the east of the CBD. To get to the heart of the city it is only a 20 min walk.
Kings Cross is considered the red light district is Sydney, however it seems that each street changes, and only the main street through the area has a seedy side, while the side streets are packed with cafes and tree lined city residential housing.
Once I got to the hostel I grabbed a bite to eat then, crashed out.
The next day I tried to contact friends of friends and tried to find a storage unit. About mid day I walked to the Botanical Gardens that are famous in Sydney. Its is an amazing urban park, and the crown jewel at the end of the walk is the Sydney Opera House.
Walking through the park is incredible. There are cockatoos just hanging out and will walk right up to you. Thousands of large cat sized bats hang from the trees. They look like winged squirrels. There where hand sized spiders and a variety of other birds. The vegetation is also unique to Australia, and the whole park seemed foreign to me.
From the opera house, Sydney Harbor and the bridge are viable and across to Manly.
I continued to walk all day around the city, exploring the CBD area, and some of the nice urban parks surrounding the city. I also worked my way down to china town and the paddy markets, which are excellent for fresh veggie shopping but are also filled with endless stalls filled with cheap mass produce china crap.
I walked through Hyde Park which is a beautiful urban park that runs along a long axis.
After a long day of walking I went back to the hostel and relaxed for a while. I planned to meet up with my friend Jesse whom I met when I first arrived in New Zealand, and she has since moved to live in Sydney. It was great to meet up with a friend in a foreign city. She introduced me to some of her friends and we had a night out.
At the moment Sydney is on par with NYC prices. The strong Aussie dollar and the weak USD make for a frighteningly expensive time for Americans in Australia. After a week, I easily spent more than I will in a month in Thailand. I keep thinking that it just isn’t worth being in a western country, your money just doesn’t go far enough, especially when compared to visiting the 3rd world.
A week was long enough in Sydney and I was ready to get out of the city. Next stop Thailand! I cannot wait to eat and eat and eat!