The second flight second seems so quick. Yes, eight hours is a long
time to be confined, but it's four hours shorter than the first leg!
Crossing the equator was
uneventful. (A bug in the simulator for the F-16 fighter aircraft
caused it to flip over whenever it crossed the equator.)
We only skip 3 hours on this flight, landing at Sydney on time at 07:10.
There's a horrendous queue to get through quarantine. (Australia is
not keen on any chance of contaminated food entering and killing their kangas.)
So we end up with several hundred passengers queuing for one
quarantine gate. I stand in line, while Martin searches out another
arrivals hall with an idle quarantine gate. We do the obvious thing.
My sleep deprived brain analyses the taxi rank system. It's blatantly
wrong. There's a stream of taxis entering the rank. There's also a
stream of passengers. So where's the bottleneck?
I guess a bit of passenger frustration doesn't appear on anyone's
I'll have to do a parallel serialisation simulation...
Whinge over. I'm on holiday! (And we finally get a taxi!)
The rooms are booked and will be ready by noon. We leave the luggage,
and start exploring.
Our hotel is a 15 minute walk to Darling
We revive ourselves at a burger joint across the road. It's full of Chinese students - all keen and student like.
We head off towards Paddy's Market - it's only a short walk away - and, wrongly, we head south. (Remember that the sun in the southern
hemisphere appears to the north: do not head south if you want to go
north: you will not reach your destination if you do that.)
We turn around and we're soon at Paddy's Market. It's fascinating to poke around.
Some aboriginal silk screened canvas prints took my eye. (And a smiling
Oriental took my dollars.)
We walk through Chinatown. It's very familiar. We could be in
Manchester or London.
Darling Harbour is new, very pleasant and touristy.
Late autumn has gone - it's now late spring. We enjoy café latte,
sitting outside, soaking up the strong sunshine. Factor 30 sun cream is
Being nerds, we want to nose around gadget shops. The tourist
information centre at Darling Harbour are very helpful. Techy shops
don't exist in Darling Harbour. No, that's where you eat out and be
seen. Armed with a map and a list of shops we head to old Sydney and the
Queen Victoria Building.
Martin is after a stack of video tapes, and he buys enough for the
holiday at a good price.
I show interest in a fixed lens for my Canon (F1.4 30mm). The price drops rapidly as we talk.
The price starts at $800 dropping to $500. Maybe I should have struck
The exchange rate is around $2.5 = £1. It's not too hard to
convert: I mentally multiply by 4 then divide by 10.
Simpsons cartoon episode comes to mind. "The monorail was the only
folly the people of Springfield ever embarked upon.")
The monorail is
actually a good way to get to know Sydney. The route covers
Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the central
shopping and business districts.
Back at the hotel, our rooms are ready. They come complete with a CAT5 cable, DHCP and the Internet $5
per 1/2 hour.
Restored after a shower, we venture out to Chinatown and an evening
was so sleep deprived - he thought the ground was quaking. I escort him
back to the hotel to sleep.
I explore. Nearby
is the Sydney Entertainment Centre where
Minogue is performing her first come back.
There's lots of photographers
lurking with interesting long lenses.
(Sydney Entertainment Centre - sounds like some
dreadful 1970's hi-fi system.)
Now we should have been a bit more organised and got tickets to see
Kylie, and Priscilla,
the stage musical.
Saturday night - everybody is eating out. There's a lot of buzz.