Christmas and New Year in Sydney
22.12.2007 - 03.01.2008 30 °C
We had booked two serviced apartments in a block that was situated in a suburb of Sydney called Petersham. There were 9 of us in total, 5 in the 3 bedroom penthouse apartment and 4 in an adjacent 2 bedroom apartment. Petersham is not the most central location but the price of the apartments reflected their location and we had struggled to find anything else that was suitable for 9 people.
Everyone meeting up in Sydney for Christmas and New Year and been decided on before Gavin and I had left the UK and it was something that we were massively looking forward to having not seen our friends for 8 months.
I got the initial feeling that something was up when I received a text from one the group. A few calls later it transpired that there was a pretty big balls up with our booking and once we all arrived at the apartments the extent of the balls up became clear. Basically the company had messed up somehow but were trying to blame anyone and everyone rather than take responsibility themselves and were less than apologetic for their mistake. The four that were in the two bedroom apartments were fine but the five of us that were in the penthouse were not. We simply could not have the apartment that we booked and the company had no other three bed apartments available to offer us. Based on the fact that it was 22nd December the likelihood of us finding anything else, through any other means, was pretty damned slim.
The solution the company offered was to put us up in a 2 bed apartment with one person on a sofa bed for a few nights. Following this we would have to move to the other side of Sydney and into 3 studio (read: bedsit) apartments. Gav and I would have one 'studio', Sue and Jane another and Sylvia another, with the other 4 people remaining in an apartment in Petersham. Clear as mud? Note quite the group Christmas and New Year we had planned eh?
I was not happy.
To cut a very long story short after a (ahem) conversation between myself and one of the managers, the five of us did move into the two bed apartment with a sofa bed, we stayed there for the duration and did not have to move to the other side of Sydney into the bedsits .....oh yeah, and we didn't pay a single penny. They gave us the whole apartment for 12 nights totally free of charge. A saving of £350 each. Nice.
Of course it didn't end there, the big boss turned up a couple of times and tried to throw his weight around. Unfortunately for him I have weight on my side too.....
Anyway enough on that, here's some piccies that hopefully show what a wicked, wicked time we had with everyone over Christmas and New Year. A huge thank you to everyone for making it such a brilliant 12 nights xxx
Sylvie takes a nap after dinner from which we woke her sometime (and many glasses of wine) later by singing Christmas Carols to her. As you can imagine, it was as though a group of angels had landed in the room and sang to her....
Thursday 27th - Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. I know it looks like our heads have been superimposed but that is really us stood on top of the bridge at it's highest point
Friday 28th - Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk with lunch at the Cogee Bay Hotel where Gav and I met up with Sara and Victoria whom we had met on our tour of WA. Later we headed out for drinks at the Loft Bar, Kings Street Wharf
Saturday 29th - After shopping along Oxford Street and at the Paddington Market, we met up with Roger and Tracey for drinks at the Paddington Inn
NEW YEARS EVE! - Sydney fireworks watched from Mrs Macquairies Chair
Sue, Jane and I arrived at Mrs Macquaries chair at around 9am on the morning of New Years to secure a spot for everyone. Lucky we did as hundreds of other people had the same idea. Lots of queuing followed by a frantic dash with coolboxes and chairs followed. A little bit of stress was well worth though it as it was a wonderful day and night.
(Fireworks pictures to follow. We've used our upload limit for the month!)
Field Day was absolutely brilliant but apart from the excellent DJs that kept us rocking through the day and night, and of course the fabulous friends we were with, another reason that everyone enjoyed it so much was that they found away of earning money whilst they partied. Every beer or soft drink can that was brought back to the recycling desk earned you one whole shiny dollar. Now you can imagine how many cans are thrown all over the floor at an event like this. Our gang made hundreds of dollars, no exaggeration. Gav made $330, the others made more! There were a fair amount of others that cottoned onto the get rich quick scheme though and our collected cans had to be guarded to prevent them being nicked. It was hilarious seeing all these people running around the field, bin liners in hands, frantically grabbing cans as soon as the last sip had been consumed by an unsuspecting party goer.
All too quickly our time together in Sydney came to an end. Sally, Teresa, Andrew and Kat all on left on 2nd Jan whilst the rest of us left for our flights to Auckland, New Zealand on 3rd Jan.
Gavin and I had had 5 excellent months in Australia and were very sad to be leaving, although of course we were looking forward to the next chapter of our adventures.