Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sydney 2009 - Day 6

It's about time I got around to writing about our last day in Sydney...

We Checked out of the apartment quite early, about 8.30am, after giving a place a bit of a tidy, doing the dishes, and throwing out all the uneaten food.

We walked the length of Kent Street to The Rocks and up some stairs to the Sydney Observatory, it didn't open until 10 and it was only 9 at this stage. After going around to the park at the front of the observatory and looking at the harbour and bridge for the millionth time I suggested to Daniel it might be an idea to go for a ride across the bridge on a train. So we walked down to Wynyard station and got the next train to the north shore.

After crossing the bridge I suggested we stay on the train for a while and after a brief stop at Millsons Point we stopped a North Sydney for a good 5 minutes. I then suggested that we should stay on until Chatswood. Chatswood is one end of the new Epping - Chatswood rail link. This line is in a tunnel that runs bellow the Lane Cove River and gives Macquarie University access to the rail network.

And so after waiting a few minutes at Chatswood our train approached from a siding down the track a bit. The trains used on this line at the moment are the new interurban H sets, as apparently the older trains are unable to climb the steep grades in the tunnel. The journey itself was pretty boring, but at least I can now say I've been somewhere new. Arriving at Epping and up onto the cold hard light of day of the northern line platforms we boarded a citybound train after waiting not even a minute. From here it was a long way back to Sydney, first heading south through Ryde the over the Paramatta River, past the 2000 Olympic site and to Strathfield turning east to Burwood, from where the train then ran express to Redfern and the city stations.

We got off at Town Hall and then had a bite to eat in one of the underground shopping arcades. Then came the second part of my covert mission that day, to find my all time favourite store, Hobbyco. You name it, Hobbyco has it be it planes, cars, trains, boats, rockets etc etc etc. They used to be in Pitt Street near Myer, but I had heard they had moved to The Queen Victoria Building, and that is where I found them.

I usually spend ages just browsing around Hobbyco, but today we were pressed for time as we had a flight to catch. So I made it quick(er) visit. I actually bought 3 things too. Normally I walk out empty handed. The first thing was a model plane for my nephew's birthday. He's been nagging me about helping him build one. I don't think he has the patience for the full glue and paint experience, and I found they had the Revell Easy Kits that don't need glue and come pre painted. I have been looking everywhere for these in Melbourne, but they seem hard to come by in the shops I frequent. So I was happy about that. The other things I bought were an indoor remote control helicopter and an AVRO RJ-85 model kit, both for myself.

Leaving with a rather large bag of goodies we walked back to the appartment, got our bags out the storage and went back to Town Hall to get the train to the airport. In all we arrived at the airport over an hour before our 2:30 flight. The departures hall was deserted (no bikies bashing the living suitcase out eachother either) and we checked in and passed through security rather to quick. That is except for me trying to juggle the three bags I had as carry on (laptop, backpack, and hobbyco) onto the conveyor and off again. We had time to sit down for some lunch before walking straight up to the gate just as boarding was announced, so we were among the first people on the flight.

Good thing we got seats right down the back, 53 A and B as I had to work out where I was going to stow everything, so I didn't block people trying to find their seats. In the end two of the boxes went into my backpack and into the overhead with my laptop, while the remaining box in the Hobbyco bag went under the seat in front.

While we were having lunch inside the terminal earlier they were calling passengers for the preceding flight to Melbourne, which was scheduled to depart at 2pm, half an hour before our flight. That plane was parked right next to ours and it only left about 10 minutes before we did. I saw it push back and taxi from my window before another flight arrived a few minutes later.

As usual when leaving Sydney our flight seemed to taxi half way to Melbourne before turning around onto 34 R (that's the third runway that sticks way out into Botany Bay) and departing to the north. Shortly after take off we made a right hand turn and headed over the eastern suburbs and out into the Tasman Sea. I was begining to think we were being routed via Wellington when we turned to the south, and we eventually made landfall south of the 'Gong. Out the window I could make out Jervis Bay and the township of Nowra.

That was when we entered the cloud and it was actually quite bumpy for about 10 minutes before we reached a smooth cruising altitude. We popped out of the cloud again right over Sugarloaf Reservoir, right there I knew I would be able to see my house soon. Not quite, but I could make out the sporting fields at the end of my street as well as the Greensborough Plaza shopping centre and general roads and train stations etc. It was one of the best approaches I've ever had into Melbourne as I could recognise a lot of stuff that I usually can't see.

We touched down on Runway 27 at exactly 4:07pm. Waiting in the terminal was Daniel's mum, who had agreed to give us both a lift home.

That's it really. It was a good trip and we packed a hell of lot in to our time there. Mostly stuff I've done before though, but it was still good. Even though I'm a bit over Sdyney at the moment, I definitely look forward to going back. Don't know why but the city has a strange attraction. I have heaps of photos from this trip I might get around to posting a few at some stage soon.

No comments: