Tito Bru dropped us off to the nearest train station, which was Mount Druitt at around 7:30 AM. We purchased one-way tickets and proceeded to wait for our train. According to my aunt, there were fast trains and slow trains. Fast trains are those that did not have a lot of stops, thus bringing you to your destination at an earlier time, while slow trains are of course, its opposite. I think we got to ride on a slow train but it worked perfectly for me because I was able to get some snooze time. Our train was one of the older ones as there was no air condition yet. But since it was still early, the weather wasn't very hot to be considered as uncomfortable. What fascinated me with our train was that the seats could be manually arranged by the rider to face on one side to another, depending on his preference. So for those passengers who would want to be seated face to face, they would only need to turn this lever/contraption on their seats. Similarly, if you're alone and wouldn't want to be facing any strangers, the same contraption could be used. It was almost 9 AM when we arrived at the Town Hall Station, which was just a walking distance from my aunt's workplace. But before going to work, my aunt went with me to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) to treat me for some breakfast.
The QVB is of "romanesque architecture" and was first opened in 1898. Over time, it has undergone plenty of renovations to restore to its original beauty. It now houses plenty of shopping stores, restaurants, and cafes making it a must-stop for Sydney tourists. They offer free-wifi and normally operates from 9 AM to 6 PM except for Thursdays, in which they extend till 9 PM. Shops found in the QVB range from middle to high-end.
|QVB from the outside|
|Another sinful breakfast|
|Such a huge Christmas tree at the QVB|
|Feeling the Christmas Spirit|
|Surprised to see Cha Time in the QVB|
Thanks to the trusty GPS of my phone, I was able to locate the Apple Store with no problems at all. It was my first time to enter into an actual Apple Store because in the Philippines, all we have are Apple re-sellers. So I was quite amazed of finding not just one level but around three to four levels of pure apple products and accessories on a glass-windowed building. There were plenty of Apple personnel scattered around the different levels, who were more than happy to offer a helping hand to the customers. Since I still didn't have a case for my iPhone 5, I looked at their offered cases, but discovered that it averaged around AUD40-65. Given that this was over my budget, I left the store with no purchases, but still with a great experience.
My next stop on my city tour was a bookstore called Dymocks, located along George Street. I guess its similar to Powerbooks in the Philippines. It boasts to be the "leading bookseller in the Asia Pacific region", with plenty of stores found in Australia and Hong Kong. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the book that I was looking for, which was written by Paullina Simons, the author of the Bronze Horseman Trilogy [one of my most favorite books!]. Afterwards, I also dropped by Myer, which is "Australia's largest department store group".
|Sighted: LV Building|
|Darling Harbour on a Sunny Day|
|Such big anchors!|
|Which way next?|
|Sydney Convention Centre|
|Sydney Monorail...last operation on June 30, 2013|
|A beautiful view of Darling Harbour and the CBD of Sydney|
|Big enough for two!|
|At our Sydney Office|
After meeting up with my aunt, we roamed around for another 30-45 minutes around the city. We visited a few more shops and tried looking for some nice clothes and shoes. But given that Australia is a developed country, most of the stuff I could find were way over my budget. Since I still had a lot of days to go, I decided that there was no need to rush my shopping agenda. Afterwards, we headed home by riding another train, and was picked up by Tito Bru.
When we arrived home, I was able to pick some fresh strawberries from their garden. I wish that the Philippines also had weather that will enable me to grow strawberries at my own backyard. Given that the Philippines is a tropical country, strawberries could only be grown in Baguio, where the weather is nice and cool all-year-round. As mentioned in my previous post, strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. I just love eating them! At times, I would even add on some condensed milk and leave it in the freezer for some time [something I learned from my Dad]. Once its been frozen enough, I would then eat it to my heart's content.
Anyway, after my strawberry picking session, we then had some chicken curry for dinner and then took our rest in preparation for our Christmas celebration the next day.
|Wishing I can grow my own strawberries back at home|
More soon.... Day 4 - Christmas Celebration in Sydney