a Trip to Sydney Australia. Good to be Back!

sydney

AKhirnya! Setelah menunggu selama 13 tahun, gue balik juga ke Sydney. Tahun 2000 di awal bulan Oktober juga kebetulan waktu itu, gue berangkat ke Sydney bareng temen-temen dalam rangka Olimpiade Sydney. Sejak itu hati kepengen terus untuk bisa balik ke Sydney lagi. Tahun-tahun berlalu, kenyataannya gue selalu mengutamakan untuk pergi ke tempat lain yang belum pernah gue kunjungin ketimbang beli tiket ke Sydney. Tapi kali ini, tiket ke Sydney bisa terbeli, dan gue ngerasa sangat beruntung bisa balik lagi. Ingatan gue masih jelas tentang kota yang satu ini, walau gue tau di Oktober 2013 ini semuanya pasti sudah sangat jauh berbeda.

I went to Sydney with friends on October 2000 during the Sydney Olympics. It was a fun and lovely trip that i will never forget. Thirteen years have passed and this week, on October 2013 I finally get the chance to re-visit Sydney with someone special. Hurrayy!!!

Dulu waktu ke Sydney gue inget rasanya paling norak pas ngeliat Opera House, sebuah gedung pertunjukan dengan bentuk cangkang siput putih yang sejak tahun 1950-an sudah jadi ikon kota Sydney. Mangkanya begitu mendarat, otak udah langsung cabut duluan ke Opera House. HA! Badan masih di airport tapi. Gimana caranya nih ke tengah kota?

I remember the Opera House was my favorite place in Sydney. I found the building very unique and I spent hours just to be around it. So when I landed in Sydney this time, it was of course the first thing on my mind. My memory went there first and my body was left at the airport wondering how to get there. Which one is faster? Bus, train, cab?

sydney

Seperti kota besar manapun, ada berbagai cara transportasi yang bisa dipakai. Bus, taksi, travel anter jemput, dll. Yang paling cepet ialah kereta api. Dalam waktu 11 menit, kita udah bisa sampe ke kota. MASALAHNYA, ada yang aneh disini. Tiket kereta kalau naiknya dari airport internasional ke kota, harganya hampir AUD17 alias Rp. 185 ribu-an sekali jalan / orang (kurs bulan Oktober 2013). Mahal banget ya? Sementara, kalo naiknya dari satu stasiun sebelum airport, (tetep ngelewatin airport juga nanti keretanya, naiknya aja dari stasiun lain) harganya hanya AUD 4.40 aja per orang atau sekitar Rp.50 ribu. Kejomplangan harga yang aneh ini disebabkan adanya pihak swasta pengelola jalur melewati airport itu yang mau ambil untungnya gede dari penumpang yang pengen langsung naik kereta dari terminal airport.

I learn that the fastest way to get to the city is by train. I planned to take it straight away until I realized that the 11 minutes ride form the airport to the city will cost me around US$ 16.5. What? Why so expensive? Apparently the airport track is owned by some individuals instead of the government, and they want lots of cash. The funny thing is if I want to walk around 30 minutes from the international airport to one station before the ‘Airport Station’ and take the train from there, it will only cost me US$ 4. It’s the same train, which will also pass the airport. Isn’t ridiculous? Anyway, since I sat for 6 hours on the plane already, I decided to take the short walk.

Guepun memilih jalan kaki ke satu stasiun kereta yang sebelum airport, dan naik kereta dari sana. Lumayan…ngirit! Di sepanjang jalan gue nanya berkali-kali kalo ketemu orang biar nggak nyasar… “Willow Creek Station dimana ya?” Yang ditanya pasti bingung dulu baru jawab. Belakangan gue baru ngeh kalo nama stasiunnya tuh Wolli Creek bukan Willow Creek. Pantesan pada ngga nyambung tuh bule-bulenya. Jalan kaki ke Wolli Creek kurang lebih 20-30 menit kearah kanan airport, nyebrang melewati sungai dan taman yang cantik. Nggak terlalu berasa jalannya, apalagi kalo koper ringan.

It was quite a scenic route from the airport to the “Wolli Creek Station” that i was heading to. A nice river, a huge park, and a view of planes taking off and landing. A half an hour later, I found the station. City, here I come!

sydney

Naik kereta sampai di kota, gue buru-buru naro barang di tempat penginapan dan mulai keliling kota. Di Sydney bisa beli kartu transport sehari (24 jam terhitung mulai jam 4 pagi sampe besokannya) seharga AUD 22 atau Rp. 240.000 dan itu bisa dipakai untuk naik bus, kereta dan ferry ke jalur-jalur standar, sepuasnya. Yang dimaksud dengan jalur standar contohnya ya ke airport tidak termasuk. Rasanya kayak mahal banget ya… dan MEMANG MAHAL. Secara keseluruhan gue ngerasa kalo barang-barang, transport, makan, penginapan, semua harganya mahal banget di Australia dengan kurs sekarang. Asli deh. Balik ke soal transport, kalau mau jalan kaki kesana sini kayak gue, (kebetulan tinggalnya di daerah Hyde Park jadi ke tempat-tempat penting di Sydney bisa didatengin dengan jalan kaki) ya nggak perlu beli kartu transport sehari itu. Tapi kalo tinggal di lokasi jauh dan perlu naik turun kendaraan umum, wajib beli. Masalahnya naik bus/kereta jalur deket aja bisa Rp.30 ribu-an sekali naik. Mau naik taksi, ya ampun mahalnya. Baru masuk pintu udah Rp.40 ribu. Tiap satu kilometer nambah Rp.30 ribu. Silahkan hitung sendiri….

My train stopped at St. James Station which is located at the Hyde Park. My hotel was a walking distance from there, and so was the Opera House! It’s a huge benefit to stay at the city center so I can walk to most of the main city attractions. For tourists, another way to go around the city is by purchasing the ‘one day pass’ transport card. It is pricey tho, around US$ 21 (airport track is not included). To be honest, everything else here in Australia is considered pricey from my Indonesian Rupiah perspective!! A bottle of water is less than 50 cents in Jakarta. In Sydney? US$ 3. Normal breakfast in Jakarta is around US$ 2. In Sydney? US$ 10. Go figure!

sydney

Circular Quay dan Opera House selalu rame banget, terutama di sore hari. Orang-orang pada mejeng di resto pinggir dermaga sambil menikmati suasana yang enak. Belum lagi pas gue kesana pas ada acara maritim gitu.Jadi banyak berkeliaran perwira-perwira Angkatan Laut dari beberapa negara lengkap dengan baju seragam mereka.

The Circular Quay and Opera House which is next to each other were as crowded as I remembered. Not just by tourists but also by the locals. The view in this area is superb. Sitting in a cafe looking at people come and go, boats passing by, day turned into night, the CBD lights lit up the sky, the sea birds fly here and there and on that particular moment when i was there, LOTS of sailors in uniforms were partying.

sydney

sydney

Selanjutnya gue naik ferry dari Circular Quay ke dermaga lain yang ngetop di Sydney bernama Darling Harbour. Pemandangannya dari perjalanan ferry sekitar 15 menit-an ini cukup epik. Sampe di Darling Harbour, segala aktifitas bisa dipilih. Dari Museum Maritim, IMAX, Sydney Aquarium, Madamme Tussaud, Ripley’s Believe it or not, cafés, mall, dll. Silahkan pilih. Bengong gratis disitu doang juga nggak apa-apa. Yang gue inget, dulu Darling Harbour belom segini kerennya. Sekarang udah canggih banget pilihan aktifitasnya. Dari Darling, gue mampir ke China Town yang lokasinya sebelahan. Ada Paddy’s Market disana tempat belanja oleh-oleh. Omong-omong gue masih nggak ngerti kenapa ada budaya untuk beliin oleh-oleh. Satu, musti ngasih waktu khusus belanja dan milih barang yang tepat. Dua, musti alokasiin duit khusus. Tiga, musti kasih ruangan khusus untuk dibawa. Dalam kata lain, RIBET sebenernya. Tapi ya pikir positifnya aja deh. Gue beruntung bisa jalan-jalan, jadi minimal bisa bagi-bagi kebahagiaan lewat oleh-oleh.

The next day I took a MUST DO ferry ride from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour, Sydney’s other famous waterfront tourist destination. The area is designed for walking. I found IMAX, Sydney Aquarium, Madamme Tussaud, Ripley’s Believe it or not, cafés, malls, museums, etc, all in the Harbour. I remember me and friends used to hang out here a lot at night. The surroundings were really different back then.

From Darling Harbour, I took a fast bust ride to China Town to buy some souvenirs at Paddy’s Market. I still don’t understand why it is a must for Indonesians to buy souvenirs every time we travel. Every single time. Never not. If I don’t buy them, my friends would be sad and I would also feel guilty. HA! At the end I just think of it like this. I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel, and souvenirs are the way to share the joy. I also think that if my friends travel, they usually buy me stuff too and most of the time, they make my day.

sydney

sydney

sydney

Tujuan selanjutnya pantai!! Gue inget banget dulu sering main air di Bondi Beach. Gue nunggu bus nomor 333 (selain 333 ada juga 380) yang ngelewatin jalan utama, Elizabeth Street, dan pergi ke Bondi. Sekitar 30-40 menitan, sampe deh di pantai. Langit biru, pasir putih, ombak gede, laut jernih, peselancar dimana-mana, bule berjemur, vila-vila keren, dan bersih. Mari nyantai di pantai. Gue nggak mau lama-lama sih, soalnya gue tau radiasi matahari di atas Australia tuh yang paling parah di dunia, jadi musti ati-ati.

The next destination was the beach. I took the bus number 333 from Elizabeth Street to the famous Bondi Beach. Beautiful bright sky, clear blue water with big waves, white sand, nice looking villas, and surfers everywhere. Woohooo. I got my camera on my right hand and my ice cream on my left. What a perfect day. But I knew I should not be under the sun for too long because Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world, and  sun damage is a souvenir I would not want to bring home.

sydney

sydney

sydney

sydney

me and friends in Sydney, October 2000, 13 years ago

Selanjutnya, ya keliling keliling kota dan mimpi untuk balik lagi. Soalnya beberapa hari disana gue rasa kurang cukup untuk bisa bener-bener ngelakuin semua aktifitas pentingnya. Gue belom sempet ke Blue Mountain dan nggak nyiapin budget untuk bisa mendaki ke atas Sydney Harbour Bridge. Intinya, musti kembali lagi, dan moga-moga kedepannya nggak usah nunggu 13 tahun lagi untuk bisa balik ke Sydney.

I spent a couple of days in Sydney and I still missed some important things to do like hiking to the Blue Mountains and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Hopefully the next visit won’t take me 13 years to wait.

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