Sunday, 14 June 2009

Up the junction

It's a rainy, overcast day so we abandoned our original plans to go to Manly beach, and headed to Bondi Junction instead. This is a huge shopping mall - built by Westfield (who've just done the one in White City, London). We arrived about 9.30 - it only took 20 minutes from Balmain, and parked in the first parking area we found. This happened to be by a Woolworths - Australia's biggest grocery chain and my new employers. The store looked much bigger than the one in Balmain, which is quite small and overtrades, so we popped in to pick up a few things. It was very impressive - great fresh food area.

Then off for a wander around the rest of the mall, including a refreshment stop at Gloria Jeans. Now, if this store name makes you think of designer denim, then you are as old as me, and can recall those very annoying Gloria Vanderbilt designer jeans ads from quite a few years ago. It is actually the Aussie equivalent of Starbucks - indeed the store we went to was inside a Borders. Gus is busy trying all the coffee chains to find his favourite - and this one was quite good.

The mall was excellent - it made us feel quite warm and fuzzy to be shopping in a great mall on a rainy day - just like home. Gus bought some Asics trainers - the mad trainer washathon has resulted in the only trainers he actually packed in his case being too tight. Then we had lunch in the Harbour Room - actually a posh food court. Great views of the bridge, and a fab choice of eateries; mainly Asian. We mixed some Japanese tempura and some Korean sushi rolls. There is another food court at the other end of the mall with McDonalds, KFC and other less trendy outlets.

The drive home proved a challenge. I am relying on the satnav to get us round Sydney - and the instructions are sometimes quite vague. The phrase "Keep left then keep right" resulted in me taking the wrong turn, and before we knew what was happening, we were in the Eastern Distributor tunnel. At which point, the sat nav goes quiet and I have no clue where I am going. So I head for City north, hoping for the best. This turned out to be correct - though that short tunnel ride cost $5 in toll....bloody hell. There are tunnels and bridges all over Sydney - some have tolls, some don't, some of the tolls are e-tags where you have to pay in advance - it is confusing - almost as if the government wanted to trick you into giving them money........surely not!


  1. Actually Gloria Jeans is the American equivalent of Starbucks-- haha. It's so not Australian.
    I was at Bondi Junction today also, I thought I saw you-- just kidding. Well I really was there.

  2. You get used to the tolls after a while. We kept calling that number within 24 hours to pay them, then finally got an electronic tag - definitely the way to go. Sounds like you're enjoying your first week in Sydney.