Just a few quick notes today. I'm at an internet shop that charges an arm and a leg, although still cheaper than the gouge me rates most of the hotels in this country charge for internet access. Anyway...notes from the last 36 hours.
1. We caught the train from Brisbane down to Sydney. Because the train ride was more than 14 hours, we figured we would splurge on first class. Here's a tip - don't bother. I'm still trying to figure out the difference. As best I can figure it's this; in economy you get 1000 mm of leg room. In first class you get 1100 mm of leg room. That's it. No extra meal (which were awful for the most part) and the chair were remarkably uncomfortable. We spent most of the time trying to get comfortable.
I'd always dreamed of taking the train from Sydney to Perth. If that's the quality of trains the Australian rail network has, I think I have to reconsider that.
2. Having said that, it was a lovely view. Lots of rolling hills and trees capped by a beautiful sunset. Nice to look at, but once the sun went down at 5:30, there was little to do for the next four hours.
3. Arrived safely at hotel in Sydney. It's the Menzies, which has the feel of a hotel that once used to be grand, but got swallowed up by downtown Sydney's expansion in recent decades. It could use a serious revamp, I think. Still, it's nice enough, we're getting it cheap and it's in the middle of everything, which is nice.
4. Concierge desks are still kind of freaky to me. I'm not use to staying in hotels that have them. They're very useful, but I'm not sure if I'm suppose to tip the guy for helping us out. Still, the guy this morning helped get us tickets for a show at the Sydney Opera House Friday night. So we're very much looking forward to that.
5. Spent most of the day with Chris, Lisa and Kitty and the zoo, and had a marvelous time. For a 2.5 year old, Kitty was quite the trooper, despite being disgusted that Chris and Lisa wouldn't let her go and join the meerkat colony. Still, lots of things to see and most of the areas for the animals were large and well looked after. It's a good zoo and we spent a lovely day there.
6. Off to the aquarium tomorrow and then the start of our last minute Australian shopping. Not sure what we're going to buy, but I'm sure it will be interesting.