>(posted on Day 28–wifi in room is not working, so am behind on posts–will try to catch up tomorrow)
I started the day by putting in my calls to American Airlines (AA) regarding my rerouting of my trip away from Tokyo. My ticket is a “round the world” (RTW) ticket, which is something that is offered by the two airline alliances. This type of ticket allows a certain number of segments (16 I believe), and has certain rules, such as once you’ve visited a continent, and then left, you can’t return to that continent. And it is priced based on how many continents you visit. My ticket is with the One World Alliance, which includes AA in the US. They have a dedicated website where you can plan your itinerary. Anyway, a couple of people had asked me about my ticket, so that’s the scoop.
I am also glad that before I left, I discovered there is a dedicated RTW desk (they of course don’t tell you that when you book your ticket, and were reluctant to give me their direct line, but I got it). So after trying the free overseas AA call line, who referred me to Japan Airlines, who referred me back to AA, I bit the bullet and used the RTW number, although I’ll have to pay for that call. It took me 25 minutes with them (which isn’t bad) to make the change. I am now flying from Vietnam to Hong Kong, then will fly to Moscow through London (no other Asian airline other than Japan Airlines (JAL) had a direct flight to Moscow). BTW, JAL would not waive the change fee — they would only waive it if I changed my arrival date to Japan. Which may work if you have a simple round trip ticket from the US to Tokyo which you can postpone for a month, but it’s a bit hard with a RTW ticket to postpone my arrival, when I still need to get to the next destination. Duh! AA was surprised that JAL would not waive the fee for me. I guess they are probably a bit desperate at this point for revenues any way they can get them.
I had also thought I might try to book a separate round trip ticket somewhere else from Hong Kong (since I’ve been there before), but Bali was too expensive and is pretty hot this time of year, and I need a Chinese visa to get to Guilin, plus only had really four full days, so tough to fit anything else in. So I have now booked a place in Hong Kong with a pool and a gym for those days when I would have been in Tokyo. I’ll just hang out and do some walking around town to see what has changed since I was there 20 years ago.
So……anyway……..after getting my airline ticket reworked, I headed on up to Circular Quay to catch the ferry to Manly. As we headed out, there were some wonderful views of the Sydney harbor…
…before arriving at Manly Wharf.
Susie, first thing I saw…
…the bald man from nyc!!!
Anyway, i walked up the Corso…
…which was a short walk to the wonderful beach area…
So just 30 short minutes from downtown sydney! Cool!! (I think there is even a faster 15 minute ferry to get there). I stopped at an outdoor cafe on the Corso, and had a lunch of fresh grilled fish and salad. Then it was off to walk along the scenic walkway along the shoreline with some great shoreline views…
This walkway goes on for 10km to The Spit. But I only had about an hour before I had to head back on the ferry. There are lots of walks, plus bike routes, plus sea kayaking, surfing, etc., so a really great place so close to the city.
So back on the ferry to get back to get ready for the opera!
How awesome seeing “Carmen” at the Sydney Opera House! I was in the fourth row, looking right into the orchestra pit. The production was good….the person playing Carmen was a great fit for the part (the men in the audience were obviously in awe of her sexuality). The opera theater was much smaller and so more intimate than the Met in NYC. Absolutely cool experience!
And when I came out…..This beautiful nighttime view of the bridge…
Time for a good nights sleep….trip to the Hunter Valley wine district tomorrow!
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>Beautiful harbor. Wish I was there. Pictures are really nice
>Love to trade places with you. Great photos. What an unbelievable experience.