Day 3: May 2
The day of my graduation! In the morning, we took an Uber to USyd and I got robed up. I’ve only attended UniMelb graduations before, so I don’t have a lot of “experience”, but my impression was the USyd graduation organisation and logistics was chaotic and poorly executed (and it shouldn’t matter if there are multiple in one day!). Robe rental was pre-booked and you get a time slot to turn up for your robes. This didn’t appear to be in effect, as the line was long and I got in a lot later than my time slot. So everyone was basically finished later than their scheduled time. Graduands and guests entered the ceremony hall after the scheduled start time. We weren’t given instructions on what to do, and we weren’t told that we’d be returning to a different seat so I had no idea what to do with my phone as I had no pockets (I handed it to a staff, who had her arms full with people’s phones). We started and finished really late and it was just a long and confusing ordeal. Despite a specified time by which robes were meant to be returned, the ceremony finished AFTER this time. Seeing as no one else rushed off to return their robe, I also didn’t care too much so I finally took some photos. There was otherwise zero time before or after the ceremony to properly take photos. This wass incredibly disappointing! I think the ceremonies need to start and end on time so people can organise their day and have the time to take proper or professional photos! I took photos for less than ten minutes after the ceremony before running off to return the robe, and it was a stressful ten minutes. My friend (who I met with the previous night) is studying and working at USyd so she came to see me too. Of course, she had to wait around a long time since the ceremony ended late. Sigh. Overall, I remember the graduation as more of a confusing and stressful headache.
After we were all done, we took an Uber back to Bowery Lane, where we visited two days ago, to have a late lunch. I was ravenous!
After the late lunch, we basically just wandered around the city and ducked into a few shops. I had planned for the afternoon to be quite flexible since I wasn’t sure when the whole graduation thing and then lunch would finish. We went to Queen Victoria Building, which I do like to check out every time because it is so beautiful! I am disappointed my favourite overly-fancy female bathrooms appear to be just fairly normal bathrooms now. Around this point, my Dad left to fetch his bag from the hotel and catch his flight back to Melbourne.
We walked around quite aimlessly for a few hours. We checked out a few of those designer outlets that seem to be common in Sydney, and lusted over Max Mara coats (drool).
Running out of places to walk, we started making our way back towards Circular Quay to see the harbour at night before heading to my dinner reservation, which was very close to our hotel.
Mejico – This Mexican restaurant was definitely busier than I had anticipated for a Tuesday night. The service and food were great! It’s elevated, modern Mexican food and sooo yummy.
Once back at the hotel, of course I had to take photos of my graduation gifts since I couldn’t keep the flowers my friend kindly gave me beyond the next morning. T got me an adorable graduation bear (okay, I had wanted it!). It was so cute that they were able to change his robe colours to reflect my degree’s robe colours! That was a really nice touch.
Day 4: May 3
For our final half day in Sydney, we had to firstly pack up and check-out. The hotel held out luggage for us until we came back to collect them later.
In the morning, we walked around the Royal Botanical Gardens, which has a beautiful harbour backdrop. I’ve only been once before.
The absolute highlight, and something I’d never known about before, was the indoor green wall at The Calyx. The theme seems to change, and I forget the name of the theme when we were there. It was so beautiful!!!
We then trekked to The Sydney Observatory, which was supposed to be a great lookout spot. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t take any pictures but perhaps I was too hot from all the walking…! Lunch was at Bar Tapavino, which was strategically chosen to be in near the observatory and our hotel.
Tapa Vino – It may sounds weird to have Spanish tapas for lunch, but I much prefer sharing small dishes and trying more things. The restaurant was quiet for lunch and the food was delicious! The food was quite homely and comfortable.
Finally, we grabbed our bags from the hotel and headed off for our flight back home! Now I’m just dreaming of when I can justify going to Sydney for Chaco Bar…
Flights: $140 per person (carry-on only with Jetstar)
Hotel: ~$600 per room (3 nights)