Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Return to Oz

I woke up just after 0700 and allowed myself the indulgence of dozing lightly until about 0745. The customary glance through the curtains confirmed that it was looking like another very nice day. After a refreshing shower, I had a continental breakfast in the hotel's Willows on the Avon restaurant - a rather extensive continental breakfast, if truth be told   Then I got packed and ready to go, delighted that, by some means or other, I had managed to get more into my suitcase than ever before. (This would later be confirmed at check-in, when my case weighed-in at a hefty 23kg and merited a 'caution' label!)

I drove the relatively short distance to the city's airport, making sure that I refuelled the car on the way. Formalities on handing over the car were absolutely minimal as an Avis agent was parking a car in the adjacent bay as I was unloading my luggage, so it wasn't even necessary to visit the office. I checked in with no problems and paid the New Zealand departure fee, which was not included in the taxes already pre-paid on my ticket. I had a look around and visited the shops while I waited for the Qantas Club to open at 1230 but, yet again, I was not inspired to buy anything. Maybe it's just as well, for my luggage is heavy enough as it is!

When the Qantas Club opened, I was delighted to find another example of a spacious, comfortable and well looked after lounge.  I really think that Qantas deserve full marks for consistency in this respect   I used the computers for most of the time, while enjoying some cheese and biscuits and a yoghurt.

(Link to flight log in side panel)

On arrival at Sydney, the entry formalities proved to be very easy, partly because I strolled right up to the waiting agents, who got a phone call as they were dealing with me to inform them that a new batch of passengers were on the way! I took a taxi to the hotel and was there well before 6pm. Encouraged by the quick transfer, I decided to go out for a stroll and take advantage of the remaining daylight. Although I had recognised a great deal from the taxi after emerging from the harbour tunnel, I had forgotten what a compact area The Rocks is. Just two minutes out of the hotel and I was standing at the end of the quayside, looking up at the Harbour Bridge and directly across from the Opera House, with a constant procession of little ferry boats busily making their way to and from the ferry wharves at Circular Quay. The sinking sun was catching the Opera House tiles full on, highlighting the building beautifully against the grey skies behind, where the shower clouds had lingered the longest. It was a superb vantage point : with the Opera House in front of me, I had the Harbour Bridge on my left, the downtown skyline on my right and the historic buildings of The Rocks behind me. Wonderful!

On my way back to the hotel, I stumbled across a little German place, which had a live oompah band playing! (I remembered the place from last time ... nice that it has survived intact over 11 years.) I thought I might go back to it later once I felt a bit more peckish. In the event, as I was starting to get tired (one hour time difference!) I had a light supper of Chicken Caesar in my room.