The flight to Sydney was great. Very few people on the flight and I got around 9 hours of actually really good sleep! The food was okay, with a beef stew and bread for dinner and a cheese omelet for breakfast!
When I landed, I of course had to go through customs first and that took a while. They did this thing where you put your passport in a kiosk and then you had to look into a camera and match the picture on your passport. Mine didn’t match up. (I’m assuming because I was cheesin so much in my passport picture.) So I had to go through the physical immigration officer. Which I was okay with because he was super nice and stamped my passport adding yet another stamp to my growing passport!
Once I got my bag, I was a little nervous on how to figure out how to get to my hostel. I went up to the information desk and the lady told me one thing: Do not take a taxi. They are WAY too expensive. It would have cost me around 50 dollars to get to my hostel. She instead suggested the light rail which is where you get a “opal” card and swipe on and swipe off and it reduces your fare that you had pre paid every time you get off of the light rail which takes you all around Sydney!
It was actually a pretty simple process really, and in no time I was getting off at my stop at Central Station and headed towards my hostel! I was staying at the YHA railway hostel but there is another YHA central hostel. Long story short I ended up walking to the wrong hostel at first, but I luckily didn’t have to walk too far to get to my actual hostel. But, it was HOT! Like really really hot. Like 95 degrees!
I found out that I couldnt check in until 1pm and at this point it was only like 9am so I got a locker to put my luggage in until check in and headed on my way to explore! I kinda just walked until I saw a sign for something that I knew I wanted to visit. I ended up at Darling Harbor which was gorgeous! It’s a huge harbor that has 2 sides with shops and bars and restaurants all around and in the middle they had the Aquarium, a wildlife center and a wax museum! So guess where I went😉
I went into the Sydney aquarium with the ticket that I bought that included all 3 attractions. Yes, I have been to MANY aquariums before but I loved this one because it obviously featured animals and aquatic life from Australia! Some which I have never seen before in real life!
After I finished at the aquarium, I walked back to my hostel as it was about 1:30pm so I could check in! Walking back, I got a little lost, which I actually kinda like, until I start getting hungry, thirsty and anxious to get back to meet my roommates! I finally got back to the hostel, checked in and headed up to my room!
When I walked in, only one of my roomates was there. Kristina had gone out the night before and was still nursing her hangover, but she was super nice and we got to know each other a bit!
I then took a little nap as I was a little jetlagged and woke up and met my other roommate Alex! Both of them have been living here for a while working and traveling. Kristina is from Michigan and Alex is from Canada!
I then found out that tonight in Sydney is Mardi Gras which is a HUGE deal here. Everyone gets really dressed up and goes down to Oxford Street for a parade and parties. Alex had to work so she couldn’t go with us, but Kristina and decided to get a little dressed up and head out on the town.
Let me tell you it was NUTS. There were SO many people there. It was crowded and insanely hard to move around but the atmosphere was so joyful and happy that you didnt really care! But, we couldn’t see the parade because there were so many people so we decided to take the light rail to Darling Harbor and meet up with a couple of Kristina’s friends for dinner! After dinner, Alex was done with work and Kristina and her friends ended up staying out a little bit longer and I was exhausted so I decided to make my way back to the hostel by myself. Which I’ll admit was actually pretty scary. I ended up getting a little lost finding my way back to the light rail and at one point I was actually starting to freak out. But once I finally made it back to the light rail it was smooth sailing from there and I made it back to my hostel in no time! Let me tell you, when I hit my bed, I was out like a light so fast!
Still hard to believe I’m in a completely different country!