Sorry. But how could I not?
I arrived in Sydney this afternoon and made my way to what seems like a slightly boho, charmingly shabby corner of the city where my digs are, and it’s really rather lovely.
I booked my accommodation from the UK on a kind of ‘B&B’s ‘r’ us’ website, and really had no idea what I was coming to. So to rock up at a lovely terraced house, on a well established, tree-lined street, fifteen minutes walk from the buzz of the centre feels like a bit of a miracle. The set up is thus – guests (there are four) have, as well as their rooms, the run of a frankly stunning living room and kitchen with balcony and views of the Sydney skyline. The owners live in the basement. If I was the owner, I know which part of the house I’d be making the stinky Scottish interloper stick to.
My impressions so far are based on the short train journey I made from the airport, and the forty minutes I spent dragging my case and my sorry rump in circles around hoaching downtown Sydney before finally working out which way to go (I did the map thing again. I never, ever learn). And they are very favourable. The city is strikingly set around a series of bays and inlets and is thrilling with the kind of busy-ness you only really get in properly massive cities.
The train from the airport was convenient and quick. At one point, sitting with my back to the window, I turned to see where I was, and there, looming for the three seconds I happened to be looking, were the opera house and the harbour bridge behind me. I almost yelped in pleasure and had to cover my mouth with my hand to hide the big goofball grin I was wearing. The opera house was really quite impressively pointy, more like great blades coming out of the ground, rather than the boat-hull impression I’ve had of it. The bridge was, well, very like a bridge should be, if a bit smaller than I thought. I know that the many thousands of commuters who pass this sight every day, probably not even seeing it any more, would probably roll their jaded eyes and say big wow to this, but for someone who has basically never evolved beyond being a bit of a Greenock scallywag, it is something of a big wow.