Last 2 hours in the shed today, and we are glad to see the back of it. Si rinsed it off yesterday afternoon to save taking it to the car wash, because quite frankly we refuse to spend the money on getting it cleaned. The weather was a bit grim, as rained most of the night, and was still really foggy as we drove down through the Mountains. We contemplated stopping off for breakfast but changed our minds on that and decided to head straight to the city. We are out of practice with city driving, it's really not fun, bloody traffic lights and nose to tail vehicles. Getting in took us about an hour 45, and we were met at the depot by 'Tristan" to give him credit, he was a little shocked that they had given us that particular vehicle, and when we showed him the mildew, he said I can't believe Melbourne did this to you, we would normally give it to surfer kids so it doesn't matter if they wreck it. He apologised, which was very nice, as it wasn't his fault. He was trying to convince us to book with them again on the New Zealand part of the trip. No bloody way Hose! Once you get the benefit of the doubt, twice youre taking the piss! So long, Ta-ra. After unloading everything we called an Uber to take us to the hotel. We couldn't check in until 1400hours, but they were happy to take the luggage and store it for us.
The Hotel is reallly quirky. Based just off Darling Harbour. It's called the Goldsbrough Apartments and is named after Richard Goldsborough who arrived in Australia in 1847. He developed a massively successful wool business and is credited with improving the collection and sale of wool. The Goldsborough was designed as a wool store and built in 1883. The exterior echoed the Victorian designs of the day, but the interior was extremely modern by comparison. It was one of about 20 wool stores in the area taking bales of wool from all over NSW to be showcased and then sold. The were able to take advantage of the Darling Harbour, Railway extension in the 1890's and constructed a siding with conveyors to deliver the wool into the building. The building could hold 50,000 bales of wool, but in 1924 three further floors were added. In a case of extreme bad luck the building caught fire in 1935 and burned for two weeks solid. When the flames were finally doused the building was reconstructed by the origional builders.
In 1995 the building was converted into apartments, with the addition of four more floors. the outside remains the same, the centre is an Atrium with incredible views of the city from all floors. The origional lanolin aged floors, huge wooden beams and 12 foot ceilings add to its quirkiness and character. I do think in some respects it resembles an old prison, i think it is the metal railings and the open plan design of it that does it. Either way, it's fab and our suite, has lounge that looks out of the city and the Harbour, great air con, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher. I havent even got a dishwasher at home, well aside from Simon that is!
We are in a great location, and the Hotel/apartment is more than satisfactory so I think my role as tour operator will remain for now. After the van incidents I was on dodgy ground for a while there. Being we had a few hours to kill we went off for a little exploration with the intention of finding food at our earliest opportunity. Close by was a great little place that served up a mean avocado on toast for me, and deep fried beans chorizo and other stuff for Si. A few brews later we paid and carried on our merry way, back in the general direction of the hotel. We were able to check in, and dumped the bags before heading back out to Darling Harbour. One thing I really love about Sydney is the Public Transport System. Its fantastic. The Hotel has a flyover bridge fro mthe second floor that takes you to a car park lift and down onto the Harbour. Just outside of the lifts is a tram stop that runs very frequently to all areas of the city. As we were only going to the Harbour we didn't bother with it today. The Harbour was mental busy, full of stag do's hen do's and innebriated persons having a whale of a time. It's all perfectly accessible, and very clean. The Harbour has the usual Show Boats, and sunset cruises, all of which were jammed to the rafters. Good Luck to them I say! It's a pretty little spot, lots of eateries and bars of all description, along with an aquarium and Maritime Museum, so plenty to do on a sunny day.
We were out for a few hours which was really nice, the weather was showing a severe weather warning for extreme heat, it wasn't wrong, we were a toasty 35 degrees in the shade which is not to be sniffed at. Having had a large breakfast, we weren't particularily hungry so we skipped supper and had an early night to try and recover from the road trip. Lightweights I know!
Around 2100hours, there was a massive rally of bangs and cracks. It sounded like it was in the building itself, but it was in fact on the Harbour. Every saturday night at 21 hours through January and February there is an impresive firework display. We had a fabulous view of it and it was much better than what we witnessed in Kuala Lumpur on New Years Eve. it went on for a good quarter of an hour. and it was free!!