I’m super overdue in blogging about all my other trips, but figured I shouldn’t wait too long to talk about New Year’s Eve in Sydney.
It really was spectacular! Here is a video of the finale – it’s pretty short, so make sure to watch it until the end, because the fireworks get really really good then (if you want to watch it on HD, just click on the video to go to vimeo’s site).
We debated a lot whether we were going to face the crowds to see the fireworks or not. After all, I was 30 weeks pregnant, and we knew that if we decided to go, it would be at least a 7 hour wait until the fireworks started. Plus, most places in Sydney CBD were expected to reach capacity at 1pm! 1pm!!!
We had considered going to one of the restaurants with a view, but the prices for their New Year’s Eve parties were $400+ PER PERSON. Since we’re not rolling in dough, I don’t need to mention how we didn’t consider that even for a second.
It was literally the night before when again while exploring our options and decided to give a go at North Sydney, at the very least, we would get in the train before the crowds from Sydney CBD. One of my biggest fears was the crowded train on the way back. From experience from July 4th in DC and past NYE in Singapore or Rio de Janeiro, I know that the stations are overcrowded, to the point you can’t even get into the station until a good hour after the fireworks are over. We usually just walk to a station further away, and though that takes a good hour or so anyway, at least we’re walking away from crowds, versus being pushed and shoved into a crowded train. But again, that was not an option at 30 weeks pregnant.
Anyway, we decided to give a go at Blue Point in North Sydney. If it was too crowded or at capacity, we could turn around, go back to the hotel, say we tried and we’d be ok with that.
We got there and yes, near the water it was super crowded, but at 5pm there were still plenty of spots we could sit at and still have a view of the bridge.
Look at the crowds!
But our view wasn’t too bad, and we were against a fence, so no chance of being trampled from behind either! I put my sarong down so we had a place to sit, brought snacks, bought some water and our kindles and we were good for the wait. We even started chatting with a couple who sat in front of us who were American diplomats posted in Bangkok (what are the odds?), the Filipina next to us, and later with this group of very cool and chatty Australians who sat to our other side. Time flew by and I didn’t even look at my kindle!
We were going to stay for the 9pm fireworks, and play it by ear from there depending on how I was feeling, but once we saw the 9pm show, we decided that if they were that good, the midnight one for SURE was worth sticking around for, so we got to see the whole thing. (The porta-potty situation was a pain, I’m not going to lie, the lines were ridiculously long, people kept cutting the line – if I’m 30 weeks pregnant and can wait in line, what are their excuse? And calling them out made no difference, they were rude as hell and refused to move, and even wanted to fight! WTF! – but once you finally made it to the porta-potty, they were surprisingly clean, had a flush, lights and plenty of toilet paper, so despite my pregnant bladder, it really wasn’t the end of the world having to pee 3 times during the night.)
And as you saw in the video, the fireworks were amazing!
(Stupid girl photobombing the finale.)
And remember the crowded trains being my biggest fear? We got into the station right away, they weren’t even charging for the fare (damn, we should have saved our money instead of pre-paying!), but that meant no line to get in, the first train that came went straight by us to Sydney CBD (nice to know they were sending empty trains to take care of the millions there), and the next train was mostly empty, we got a seat, and were comfortable for the ride back. Of course, the train did get super crowded later, but being in North Sydney did help us out in that respect.
I know I’m late, but happy 2013! I promise I’ll blog more about our trip to Sydney (and all my trips to the Marshall Islands, Pohnpei in Micronesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Shanghai, climbing Mt Pinatubo here in the Philippines…) soon!