Since I’m on vacation, as well as having roommates, I made a conscious decision not to wake to the sound of my alarm clock. So on my second day, I woke up at 9am, which is still the same time I wake up in Manila considering Australia is 3 hours ahead of the Philippines, which means I woke up at 6am.
After freshening up, I headed over to Central Station ($4) to attend a Hillsong Service. When I got there though, I missed the 9:45am service based on my waiting time for the bus. Haha! While killing time, I decided to walk around the vicinity and eat breakfast as well. Since part of this trip was really just spending time at cafes and alleyways, I welcomed this time of just quiet contemplation with a cup of joe. My choice of café was this place called Bread and Brew, simply because there were a lot of people in it (it had to be good!) and because I was able to nab a corner seat, perfect for one of my favorite past times – people watching!
So I ordered their Cappucino and Sourdough Bread with butter ($10). Take note: When the cafes say ‘coffee,’ this isn’t the regular brewed coffee we have in Manila. It comes in 3 options: White flat, cappuccino and black. I repeatedly forgot this and once, a server got annoyed (hey not my fault, you witch! Kidding). So there I spent some time sipping my coffee, nibbling on my bread (like really enjoying my breakfast) and just watching the world go by.
By 11:15am, I walked back to the bus stop to wait for the Hillsong bus. Thank goodness Hillsong offers a Courtesy Bus Service from Central Station. Just go to the Devonshire Street bus stop located on Chalmers Street (25 metres south of the southern Central Station exit). You won’t miss it because lots of people wait for the big red bus with Hillsong’s label and famous heart and cross icon. A volunteer would welcome you on the bus so you instantly feel at home.
Take note though that the bus stops at the two Hillsong services – one at Waterloo City Campus and the other at Alexandria – the one I went to without knowing, haha!, which was great because (1) I’ve always wanted the name Alexandra and (2) they have the nicest Hillsong “logo” at the parking lot. I suggest you wait at the bus stop 30 minutes before the scheduled service of choice because for me, I waited 15minutes before and still arrived during the praise and worship part! It’s about 10minutes drive from Central.
At Hillsong, I met a lovely couple and we spent the morning worshipping our amazing God! I actually cried during worship because I was again reminded of and overwhelmed by how awesome and loving He is and how He blesses me so much without even me deserving anything – all throughout my 30 years!
Enough drama (haha!). After worship, I took the Hillsong shuttle again, which stopped by the Waterloo City Campus for other passengers, then went down Central Station.
I was hoping to catch the free shuttle bus I researched on which later on I found was discontinued! Spent about an hour walking and asking strangers around only because I wanted to try to really find it until finally I gave up and asked the transport information counter, who confirmed that the free shuttle no longer exists. Haha!
Since I was in Central Station, I decided to just walk and pass by Hyde Park, the Anzac War Memorial, St Mary’s Cathedral, (passed by Sydney Hospital with its Hog statue), State Library New South Wales until I arrive at the Circular Quay.
You think, Circular Quay again? Well, it’s for the sole purpose of taking photos of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House (because my phone died, remember).
Was so tired from my walk, that I had to buy a very expensive 500ml water of bottle ($3.5) or suffer dehydration and a headache again. Always remember, the closer a store is to a tourist spot, the more expensive the products are. Once I got to the Opera House, I bought a Ruby Grapefruit and Rosemary popsicle ($4). Sat near the Opera House, licked the popsicle and again, people watched after taking photos.
After a tasty treat, I needed something sweet again. Hello Mint Gelato Donut ($5)! Haha! Was hoping the donut would taste like Krispy Kreme. Somehow it did minus the sugar. Basta, for me, anything I eat when on vacay is almost always good.
Unfortunately, it was a sad afternoon for the tourists because it started to rain real hard, forcing us to stay indoors.
So I decided to go to Pitt St Mall, after seeing all the H&M Shopping bags. Took a train to Town Hall ($4) then once out, the mall is just a few steps away. Again, I forgot that in Australia, everything closes at 6pm! Haha! So yeah, the stores in the malls when I arrived were already closing up. Such a difference with Manila where everywhere, stores are open until late night. Anyway, still had fun walking around and was so happy I chanced upon Discount Chemist – this awesome small store which sells everything from medicines, toiletries, perfume and make-up. This is where I bought my rainy-day ballet shoes! This time, my awesome find was this 40-piece box of body wax strips by Veet ($10.7). It was so cheap! As comparison to other stores in Oz, that’s the same price for the 20 piece box. Comparing it in Manila prices, a 12-piece box here costs around $9. Sulit!
I also chanced upon Woolworths (I love supermarkets!) and scoped the goods. For dinner, I bought a bottle of chocolate milk and small sized chicken chips ($5.49) from their rotisserie station. My goodness, their small meals can serve 2-3 people! I think I was only able to eat 7 pieces when I already felt full so I just gave the rest to this homeless person with a dog. I still feel weird seeing ‘Westerners’ as beggars, as if I feel that only developing countries have those. I must remind myself that poverty is everywhere, regardless of country. Anyway, went back home via train ($4) and readied for another day of adventure.