Choo Choo Charlie Melbourne to Sydney

Our train trip was booked from Melbourne to Sydney; however, we received an e-mail stating that due to track work, we were being bussed to Albury. From there we were to be switched to a train for the rest of the trip. The bus was space challenged; they had to run three buses to accommodate all of the people. The ride was three hours; shockingly, it went by rather quickly. We were met by train personnel who pointed us to the correct car. The train, albeit comfortable was not like the last train we used, but each are run by two different companies. The seating on this one was 2-2 seats, which were not that wide to begin with. This also lacked car service, we had to go fetch food from the dining car and bring it back to our seat. We had not shopped for and packed munchies, so we did the mad dash to the dining car as soon as it opened to avoid the rush. The highlight was when they announced there would be Devonshire tea service with raisin scones, clotted cream, jam, and tea and then came around to take orders. We did not pull into Sydney until 8:30 pm,. There was a long line for a taxi as they were only coming one at a time. After we acquired one, the driver was on the phone the whole time, took us about four blocks after circling the city and charged us $10.00. We are at the Macquarie Boutique Hotel, situated above a bar in the central business district. Reception was closed by the time we arrived, so we had to check in at the bottle shop or liquor store associated with the bar. I had trepidation turning over $1,143.00 AUS to the cashier of the store. He did not have anything to give me as a receipt either. That was unnerving. Our bed is extremely comfortable, but the room has no windows and is on the small side. The bathroom, the first private one we have had this trip, is cramped. Because the hotel took out the dining area, our continental breakfast is a breakfast in the box already on the desk waiting for us. We have a hot water heater to make coffee or tea, and in the box is a single servicing cereal, a box of milk, one of juice, a plastic bowl and spoon, and the bonus is a bite size granola bite. After a walk about, we stopped at a Spanish Tapas restaurant, but each tapa started at $14.50 and went up from there. Deciding against a $100.00 dinner, we just had beer and then grabbed a slice of pizza on the way back to the hotel. From what we have seen in our short walk is that there are lots skyscrapers. Lots of skyscrapers. It almost causes a claustrophobic feeling, blotting out the sky at nighttime.