Ah, Sydney, the consummate city, to which I was introduced not via its famed beaches and tacky surfing stereotypes but via the bad traffic and even bad-der drivers.
“I don’t have to give you any way, you’re in my lane,” the old lady driving the van vented defiantly at another van as she wove her steady way through Sydney’s frustrating crawl. The ready expression of frustration was a welcome reprieve after screaming children monsters (indicative of stupid parenting as well) on the way-too-long 3 hr flight into Sydney from Christchurch.
I laughed and thereafter, she launched into a rapidfire list of sights to cover, ending with a certain place that she thought had great pizzas, which to my surprise, was just next to Sydney YHA The Rocks hostel.
YHA @ The Rocks is an amazing place, built on the site of Australia’s oldest European settlement in 1788, itself creatively constructed as a series of interconnected buildings raised on pillars above the archaeological ruins with the Big Dig Archaeology centre just in front of my room. It is at the same time, built for sustainable development, with a spacious rooftop that overlooks the harbour.
A short walk downhill is Circular Quay which yields the most urban-picturesque scenes imaginable. and where most tourists with large cameras set up camp.
Bereft of the car, my feet were my salvation, taking me through to Sydney Central, past Hyde Park, backtracking into the Art Gallery of NSW and into their Biennale exhibition. A jaunt into the shopping district, a walk across Harbour Bridge (the least I could do after realising that the coveted Harbour Bridge climb costs a whopping $218+) and I was quite done with the day.