Monday, 20 October 2014

Sydney Free Walking Tour

Day one started out well enough with me finding the cheap way to the city without taking the airport express followed by a check in and immediate walkabout joining the free walking tour. Of course the free walking tour is never free anyway unless your guilty conscious would allow you not to tip them after a splendid 3 hours walk around Sydney with plenty of information stuff and recommendation.

Sydney Town Hall

How I knew there was a free walking tour … well hostel map are always the best after all, even better than all the free maps dish out at the hotel or even at the airport or tourist information centre. I found lunch at a Pizza and Kebab shop. AUD 4.50 for a slice of pizza. Definitely sufficient to stuff an Asian stomach. The tour started at town hall smack in the centre of Sydney at 2.30pm and the little lady brought us for a 3 hours ride. 
Few of the highlights I remembered for I think after the lil lady found out I was from Malaysia she did her best to include Malaysian influence on Sydney into the tour talk.  The very very old building next to town hall called Queen Victoria Building (I think 100+ years) had a history where at one point in time they almost demolish it. It was supposed to be a market but ended up a wasted building/slump. Salvage by a Malaysian company (I have no idea why … and I think she might have made that bit up) it was revamp into the now modern high class shopping centre …
In the building there are two significant huge square cuckoo clock hanging down. As you can guess every hour a display of mechanism featuring the key symbolic times in regards with Australia. One of them is a beheading of a British King I think …. Couldn’t really tell ..
Standard highlight such as the Sydney tower was shown … apparently you need to pay to go up, not surprising but apparently if you say you want to go to the rotating restaurant you can go up for free as long as you have a purchase of at least AUD 20 a head. The guide said beer was AUD 8 for a glass up there …. I’ve been up enough towers now to forgo this particular one.
Guide Explaning the Pig at Rum Hospital
Rum Hospital where the hospital was built by the funding of rum trading. Australian History … The guide did give the impression that Auzzie was a laid back country with lots of sense of humour regarding their so called convict ancestry. Still I did sense a bit of backlash towards the U.K. Still I always belie if you can’t even about sensitive stuff …. You have a long way to go …. 
The guide also showed us some pubs and bars which are hidden in Sydney. Apparently it has the feeling that if you can find it then you have the right to enter and enjoy it. I mentally took note of one and headed back for a drink after the tour ended.
Palmer & Co
Palmer & Co was the name of the pub with its entrance an antique wooded door with a classic 1800 yellow street lamp over it. It was situated along a back alley too. Entering the door brings you to a narrow stairwell down to the basement where the lighting are yellowish dim, and entering another large door you will see bars left and rights in the style of a James Bond Gentlemen. All the waitress and bartenders are dress in that manner too and better yet … behave like they were from that time.
My my … how marvellous indeed …. If only I was not in T-Shirts and Jeans - My thoughts at that time
The guide was very proud of the Australian money printing building as emphasized that Australia is the first and one of very few places to make plastic money. Australia, Malaysia (She emphasised this one for my sake), Singapore currency and one more I could not recall is all made in Australia. She was proud of the plastic money stating that you could throw it into the washing machine and it would come out fine. I later told her that if you threw the Malaysia plastic money into the washing machine you may never see it again. 50/50 chance that is since I have known some people to actually see their plastic paper decolorized after washing it.

I tipped her a bit at the end plus a Plastic 1 Ringgit note for her to run her own test J

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