Flying into Sydney for a one-night work trip is a bit strange.
You get to fly in to a world-renowned city and see very little of it; you spend all day in the office and are so tired at the end that you just want to crawl into your bed. Generally, I am on the 6 am flight out from Adelaide, which means getting up before 4 am. By the time 3pm rolls around, I’m in need of my third strong coffee, having sat through training or meetings all day.
That said, I’ve gotten to know the city a bit better than if I never had the opportunity to travel there. And that’s pretty cool. For example, if you are staying in the CBD anywhere near a train station, it’s faster to take the train from the airport to the city. The traffic in Sydney can be pretty slow, particularly around rush hour. It’s about $35 round trip from the airport to Museum Station. If you are going to travel on the metro system a bit, it’s worth getting an Opal card so that you can easily tap on and off the system. This is much quicker if you have money loaded on the card then having to buy a new ticket every trip. I’ve seen really long line-ups for the ticket stations. Just plan on carrying your luggage up and down stairs if you do take this route. If you have a lot of luggage or several people with you it might be better to take a taxi – spilt over a few people, it will cost less and you won’t have to lug your luggage around.
The Sydney CBD has lots of rolling hills and is an interesting mix of older colonial buildings and new high rises.
On this trip, we met a few colleagues after work for drinks and dinner at World Square. It’s a partially open shopping and dining precinct that, with a few hotels around it. Everything in Sydney seems busy after living in Adelaide, but that can be a bit exciting too. The dining and shopping were certainly open later than it would be in Adelaide, which was a welcome change. I don’t think we sat down to dinner until 8pm; most things are starting to shut up at that time on a Wednesday night in Adelaide. We got a beer and starters at The Bavarian in the middle of World Square on Level 1. The beer was alright, and the starters went perfectly, and were also quite tasty.
For dinner we went around the corner to a Thai place. The music was a bit loud for chatting – or maybe I’m just getting old. Also, the dishes were HUGE – definitely plan on sharing. Apparently, the restaurant is also a chain.
We walked through Hyde Park to get back to the hotel. The nice thing about Hyde Park is it seems to be at the top of a hill, so when you get there you have a good view and idea where you are in the area, but also the rest of the walk between the hotel and work was downhill.
The only time I really had to myself to do something non-work related was in the morning – so I went for a run.
In the morning, I went for a run from my hotel around the domain, past Mrs Macquarie’s chair and along the bay to the Opera House. This was probably the best part of my short trip. The Domain was a good place to run, there was a mix of rolling hills with slight inclines and flat running spaces. The path along the bay was wide and there were several runners out, so I felt safe. Also, running around the Sydney Opera House with views of Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is pretty special. The whole area between the Domain and the Opera House is parklands with several pathways – so there’s lots of choice for running and walking. I found the area well signed with several maps as well, so it is easy to orientate yourself if you are not familiar with the area. I did seem to find several stairs as well, so if you are not comfortable running up and down a few sets, be prepared to find a longer way around. From what I read and could see on the map, you could keep going around Circular Quay, past the Harbour Bridge and into Barangaroo Reserve. This makes for a decent pre-work run. As it was from my hotel, through the Domain to the Opera House and back was about 7km. Given that the clocks just changed for daylight savings it was dark earlier again and I didn’t have a lot of time to run before getting ready for a day at the Sydney office.
All in all, it was a decent trip. It’s always nice to get away and do something different from the normal day-to-day – and I get to do a bit of travelling (or feel like I am).