Woke up at an obscene hour of the morning yesterday to get to the airport for our flight into Sydney. Arrived around 8ish and took a taxi to Newtown to meet up with one of Nate's friends who is a tattoo artist. He just opened up his own business in Newtown and is, himself, completely covered in ink. He was telling us about a fantastic vietnamese restaurant near his work that does the most amazing fresh spring rolls. He took his folks there recently and - completely out of the blue - the restautant owner turns to the tattooist's father and says "your son looks like a junkie but he is a nice boy".
Afterwards, Nate and I headed to Newtown station to get into the city. Here, as we were trying to figure out the train timetable and ticketting system of Sydney's Cityrail network, I suddenly realised that Melbourne public transport may not be the worst in Australia after all (but don't tell Connex). A fellow commuter was quick to point out (when she realised we were tourists) that the Sydney locals call it "Shittyrail".
Arrived in the city and headed up to Surry Hills for a wander before returning back into the city to meet another friend at the Chifley Plaza for lunch. On the way, we were stopped in our tracks by the most amazing floral displays at the shopfront of the city's David Jones store along Elizabeth Street. After a few photos, we made our way to the Plaza for lunch. Ended up having freshly prepared sushi in a food court...Sydney sushi leave Melbourne's for dead).
The buddha exhibit at the Art Gallery of NSW was fantastic. The gallery itself, however, was undergoing some major refurbishment and looked like a giant construction site. Strangely, the facade of the sandstone building was graffitied in chalk. I think it was an artistic statement (since the graffiti was repeated in marker pen on the windows inside the gallery). I wouldn't class it as street art (which I can appreciate)...these seemed more like badly executed random doodles.
The next stop was the tropical house at the Botanic gardens which had a very nice display of orchids and carnivorous plants. Although we both sweltered inside the glass house, we soon realised (after we had left) that it was much better than the rain outside. Nate and I made our way to Circular Quay to join the other tourists at the Opera House (I felt like such a dag) before acatching a train to Town Hall. From there I convinced Nate that he should have scones and began telling him about the most amazing scones I had ever eaten at a cafe at the QVB. Unfortunately, I took him to the wrong cafe (alarm bells should have been ringing when I noticed that the menu offered japanese fusion food which did not sit with my memory of the last time I had visited the actual cafe). Still, there were scones on offer and I was satiated.
Dinner was at Kingsleys on King Street with my cousins but had to stop in at the Apple store on the way to the restaurant. What can I say? The shop was amazing. After a short stint playing with the gadgets, dinner beckoned and we left. Ordered a wagyu steak at the restaurant to see what all the fuss was about. Quickly realised that the fuss was probably because wagyu is deliciously tender and very, very tasty.
Got to the airport for the last flight back to Melbourne. Never seen Sydney airport so desserted before. Got home at 12.30 and was out of it the moment my head touched the pillow.