Friday, May 16, 2014

Looking Up from Down Under

What does the world look like when you're severely jet-lagged?

At least that's what it looked like when my head fell onto the husband's shoulder as we sat and rested a bit. We arrived in Sydney at 6:00 a.m. local time (Sydney is 14 hours ahead of the Eastern U.S.). We didn't expect our hotel room to be available, and it wasn't, so we left the luggage with the concierge and headed--where else--to the local zoo. The view above is from the zoo looking across the water to the downtown area.

I should backtrack a bit and say that we were lucky as heck to make it here. When our Delta flight landed in Los Angeles, we checked the board for our flight to Sydney. The only flights listed were Delta ones, but one of the Sydney ones was dual-listed as Virgin Australia and had the same departure time as the Virgin Australia flight we were on. The flight number was different, though, so we decided to find a Delta person who might be able to tell us if that was, indeed, our flight. We did find such a person--fortunately--and learned that the flight in question was not our flight and that we needed to trek to Terminal 3 (we were in Terminal 5) for Virgin Australia. We did trek there and, upon acquiring new boarding passes, trekked to yet another terminal from which our flight would depart. Our actual departure was delayed because the flight had been selected for special TSA screening. Then, once we were all on board, the pilot announced that we would be sitting on the tarmac a wee bit longer. The conditions were such that if we left on time we would arrive in Sydney before 6:00 a.m., the earliest the flights are allowed to land.

Fifteen-hour flights are not for the faint of heart. Perhaps because of all the trekking to make the flight, I was able to sleep much more than I usually can on a plane. According to the husband, I totally missed the announcement of the breakfast options, though I was awake when breakfast was served. We made it through immigration and customs with no difficulties and were pleased to discover that our hotel was, indeed, at the airport as in right across the street from the terminal. After checking the luggage as noted above, we decided to spend the day fighting jet lag and that the zoo would be just the place to do that. First, though, we needed caffeine in the form of a flat white.

Fortunately, Charlie Koala was willing to share with us. He was a bit hurt, though, that the immigration officer wouldn't stamp his passport.

Caffeine consumed, we headed to the zoo, a process involving a train from the airport to Circular Quay and, from there, a ferry and bus to get to the zoo. The ferry ride offered some great views of the opera house and the harbour bridge, two places we wanted to see but not necessarily visit.

The zoo itself was well worth the visit. We saw more than a few "local" animals as well as some old favorites such as orangutans, gorillas, and chimpanzees.

In terms of the locals, we'd not seen tree kangaroos or Tasmanian devils before.

Coming back, we added cable car to the list of transportation means we'd used today.

This offered some more great views of the opera house and harbour bridge.

And now that the husband has had a bit of a nap, I expect I should awaken him. Our plan was to force ourselves to stay awake until an early bedtime, but that didn't quite work out as well as it might have.

Tomorrow, we're off to Perth and, from there, to Northam for some time with friends before the gathering of quilters (the reason for the trip) begins mid-week. I don't know when I'll post again, but I expect that that post will be a bit more coherent than this one. 


Caroline M said...

I know that you're supposed to stay awake until normal bedtime but that's not a runner when you land at 6am. It must be a horrible time to land, already tired and a full day ahead of you.

Jayne said...

And the marvelous adventures begin! Thank you for this post .. enjoy your time!

katieinnebraska said...

A great first day in Sydney! Isn't it the most beautiful city!
You'll feel loads better tomorrow.

Debi said...

Sounds like a wonderful first day! And you actually sounded plenty coherent to me. :)

Va said...

Belatedly catching up with you- but then one is always catching up with you, the inveterate "everywoman"! Your sharing is what makes you even more special! VA