So after all the counting down, a lot of hype and just a few tears…we were off! First stop Sydney. We’d decided to spend the night in Sydney, just to ‘ease’ into the trip. No point in rushing now that we were unemployed..and so we arrived in Sydney.
First mission: Getting to the hotel – There were a number of options available to us, Taxi (pretty much the only way we got to hotels in Sydney in the past) Airport shuttle and of course the train! We’d seen billboards all around the airport advertising the “Airport Link” so we thought we’d try it out. Big mistake! Tickets were $15 per person..a bit steep, but we got the tickets anyway.
The train ride was easy and comfortable enough. However, the 2 flights of steps from the train station onto the main road with our suit cases was a challenge to say the least. We did push through, thinking of the awesome biceps we’d get! When we got to the hotel, we saw that they had an airport shuttle service available for $14 per person, minus the pain of lugging our massive suitcases around – seemed like the best option for getting to and from the hotel from the airport. We chose to get a transfer back to the airport the next day.
Second Mission: Getting to Manly Beach – Having both been to Sydney, but only seen the main sites like the Opera house and Harbour Bridge – we wanted to check out the famous Manly beach. We took a ferry to Manly – the ride was approximately 30 minutes long from Circular Key and the Ferry’s come around every 20 minutes or so. The ride to Manly was amazing, you can see the Opera house and Bridge as you leave and even though the day was overcast and a little windy – it was still worth it. The tickets came to $13 per person for a return ticket.
Third Mission: Flight to Vancouver – We timed our flights a bit tight. Which meant that checking in for our Air Canada Flight was done while we were in the waiting lounge for our Virgin Blue Sydney -> Melbourne flight. Checking in to most flights on our trip can only be done 24 hours before hand and we had some help from some sites that helped us decide on where to sit on the plane. Seat Guru shows you the outline of your specific aircraft and gives you a detailed description on where to sit. Factors that make “Good seats” are extra leg room, far from noisy toilets and how far your seat reclines.
Checking in early not only guarantees you a better seat, but also helps when dropping off your bags. The “Web Check-in line” only had one other person in the line, as opposed to the “normal” Check in line which had approximately 50 people waiting. A great time saver when and if you plan to spend a lot of time travelling.