Last week I got the opportunity to visit a new country thanks to some work obligations. I had to travel to Sydney, Australia to support a sales training class, but since it was my first time in the country I wanted to see more than just the office! So, I tacked a couple of extra days on to the end of the week in order to play tourist.

Flights to Sydney leave at 11:30 pm from San Francisco and arrive at 9 am TWO days later. That international date line sure is tricky! Since I had to work on Monday, I hopped on a Friday night flight and landed in Sydney 14 hours later at 9 am on Sunday morning. I found the flight easier than my flights to Europe. The extra four hours is enough time to get in a full 8 hours of sleep, so I landed feeling surprisingly refreshed.

Border control and luggage pickup was quick, and I easily found the train station. From the airport I was able to hop on a train that took me right to the Town Hall Station in the Central Business District of Sydney. From the station, it was a short walk to my hotel on Darling Harbour. I was at my hotel less than 90 minutes after landing.

My Hotel - The Four Points Sheraton - On Darling Harbour
My Hotel – The Four Points Sheraton – On Darling Harbour

Of course it was too early to check in, so I dropped my luggage with the concierge and stepped out to Darling Harbour to see what there was to do.

My walk took me towards the Australian National Maritime Museum where I realized that the Australians are way better at naming ships than we are. The celebrations for the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras festival were ramping up as well, so all kinds of fun joyful costumed people were around. I was still in my lame travel clothes and feeling a bit under dressed.

The big boat on the left is the Destroyer Vampire
The big boat on the left is the Destroyer Vampire

There are so many food options around Darling Harbour, but I stopped at a beer bar (go figure) for lunch of a good local pale ale and a pizza. Everywhere has a lot of outdoor seating and views of the boats and ships along the wharf.

After lunch I was able to check in to my hotel and clean up. I connected with a colleague and we went out walking some more. This time we headed up through Barangaroo Nature Reserve and over towards Circular Quay. This walk took us under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, then across to the Sydney Opera House.

Walking under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Walking under the Sydney Harbour Bridge

During that first day I probably walked 10+ miles. It was a great way to fight off any residual jet lag, plus I got to see the most iconic sights of the city. Since I spent the rest of the week in our office, I was glad to have some of that stuff ‘out of my system’ so that I wasn’t distracted! At least there was a good view from the office.

View from the office - spot the Opera House!
View from the office – spot the Opera House!

In my next posts, I’ll talk about how I spent the weekend in Manly and the Taronga Zoo!

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House

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