I decided to stay in Sydney for four days. All the Australian cities that I visited had their own charm, but Sydney was by far my favourite. It was as laid back as Melbourne, but there was just something about Sydney that struck me.
My greyhound arrived in Sydney around 6pm so the first thing I did after dropping my bags at my friend’s house, was whiz to Circular Quay to admire the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge at sundown eating ice cream. Theyt were as spectacular that I had hoped them to be. Although, the Opera House was suprisingly yellowish, but I guess that’s due to age and the weather conditions. After that the plan was to catch up with my friend over a home cooked meal. Adults can eat dessert before a meal, right?
The next day as my friend had to go to work, I headed to the Royal Botanical Garden. Big parks and greenery always make me feel relaxed and smile. I always head straight to the Rose Garden. I have a fantasy of owing a big garden filled with blooming roses (and someone to look after them!) The Sydney Royal Botanical Garden has a beautiful artificial lake that is just begging for you to sit down on the bench and admire it for minutes.
There are also these Greek style statues portraying the four seasons. I dont’ know why only winter is a male.
I bought some flower seeds for my mom that are supposed to sustain cold weather (I thought it might mean the hottest Finnish summer imaginable). We shall see if we have any flowers blooming next summer.
My friend recommended going to Manly Beach so I headed there the next day. I was there after noon so the beach was already packed as it was the weekend. Manly Beach is a short ferry ride away from Circular Quay. It is a bit of a tourist hub, but worth a visit. The shops are neatly lined up along the main street, there a couple of beaches you can go to, a hike you can do and other cool activities. You can happily spend a whole day there, but I only stayed there for a couple of hours. There was a jumble sale on at the church yard that I browsed, but didn’t find anything too small to buy.
You know the feeling when you do something and hear afterwards you almost did it the right way. That’s how I feel about eating at Manly. I walked the main street all the way to the beach and kept a look out for places to grab lunch. Right at the end of the main street I saw a cute fish and chips shop. I thought about popping in there, but decided to walk back a bit and ended up having a hot dog. The hot was great, but as I browsed the map on my way back at the ferry, I learned that the fish and chips shop that I had walked by is an award-winningand supposedly serves the best fish and chips in Sydney. Next time.
Just the ferry ride to Manly was amazing as you get a great view of the Sydney harbour area.
After enjoying the buzzing city centre for a couple of days, I checked into YHA Beachouse so I could enjoy the beach. Bondi Beach was a beautiful beach, but not as great as I thought it would be. I think it depends on what you want to do. It’s a great beach for running and I suspect surfing from the number of surfers, but not for swimming. You can let your yourself go green with envy admiring the beach houses and pick your own beach house. I saw a couple of properties to let and for a fraction of a second I imagined what it would be like to live that close to the beach. They might not have been at my price range.
There are a number of guided and self-guided coastal walks you can do. I walked just a small part of the walk, but the scenery is spectacular and there is nothing better than to listen to the sound of the ocean rather than music with your headphones.
What else do I have to say about Sydney?
The QVB is stunning and worth a visit. I heard bad things about Sydney transportation system, but I managed to get to places just fine. Getting to the the YHA Beach House was the most hazzle. If you are going there by bus 380 and the monitors are not working, hop off when you see the Point Breakers Hostel on your right. One day getting back to the hostel got to near epic proportion. It was pouring down so I decided to skip doing some shopping and go back to the hostel to see if any of the laundry that I had left to dry outdoors had survived the rainstorm (they hadn’t). I hopped into 381, managed to go about 5 stops before the driver said everyone had to get off because the wipers weren’t working. We waited for another bus, got into that, when one of the passengers got mad because the driver had apparently missed his stop, they started arguing and had a fist fight, other people tried to break them up, they managed to get the passenger off the bus but he kicked the side-door mirror so hard it broke and the driver said te bus has to wait for a mechanic. So I ended up walking to the hostel in pouring rain after all.
I had afternoon tea at two different places, but more about that in separate posts.
Bear in mind, the Greyhound stop is in a dodgy/shady place. I would wait indoors at the bus station as long as you can (it closes at 18.00 and my bus left at 20.00).
I spend the longest time in Sydney on my trip and it was an ace choice. I would definitely stay in Sydney a minimum of four days. That gives you enough time to enjoy the city. I still had loads of places where I wanted to go and things to do on my Sydney list. Next time.
Here is the video of Sydney. Don’t just enjoy it when you are filming and someone’s hand pops into your frame!? Enjoy!