Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sydney by Night

We landed late, thanks to the couple that apparently stayed in Vegas, though their luggage made it quite handily without them and onto our Sydney plane. It took over an hour for the crew to locate the independent-traveling bags and have it removed. Security, you know.

So it was close to 11 p.m. when I arrived at The Russell, my small 1887 hotel in The Rocks. Make that small, historic and dark; the lobby and entrance were completely unlit. A call on my cell, and I was in.

I'd chosen it for location...near the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and just a half-block from The Four Seasons, my lodging of choice when the budget is plump. This one is not.

The hotel itself is warm, cheery and inviting. It also features a few things that American hotels do not: Single rooms, and rooms with shared baths. (It does also have larger rooms with en-suite bath, but they're $50 more, and for that I can walk across the wall to use the loo.) My room is snug (say 8 x 10 feet) but clean, and features a bathrobe, iron, coffee, non-working fireplace and working phone. The price: just under $100 U.S.

The Four Seasons is pretty well dead at 11 p.m. on a Sunday, and I'm not sure how my hiking boots would go with their marble entrance. I head up the street and stumble quickly on a historic pub, The Orient Hotel, the kind of place where they serve lambs brains and rock oysters for lunch, and plenty of beer later. A live band is blasting out Wild Thing, and a crowd ranging from pert young things with bared decollete to a balding-middle aged geek with a passion for unconventional dancing are ripping up the floor.

I find myself chatting with a young woman from Dallas, on her last night in Australia after a month of software development in the Outback town of Alice Springs. Name's Vonda Robinson. It's her second work trip to Australia. "The people are really friendly,'' she says. "I like it alot.''

Sounds good to me.


Jess said...

I understand you on the whole, when you are sharing your emotions about the trip!!! Travelling is really very exciting either on foot or by any kind of transport!!! I’ve opened for me the positive features of “serious” travelling (I mean on big distances), when my husband and I visited Cyprus, its culture and sightseeing!!! I cannot explain my emotions and feeling by words!!! Besides the unforgettable beauty, which surrounds you, the soft see and the luxury, bewitching you, we were lucky with the hotel (you should understand how important the hotel during your journey is!)!!! Limassol Four Seasons is extremely luxurious with wonderful rooms, service, food and drinks and includes all the life delights!!! When you’re looking through the windows of the hotel and see this unbelievable game of the colors of the see and this unforgettable beauty, you understand what you are living for!!! I hope that the hotels under the same names produced the same pleasant impressions on both of us!!! Thank you for casting fairy memories on me!!!

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