I’ve been pretty busy for the last few days so this may turn in to a mega post—apologies in advance.
So the short version of what was done: Wednesday when I arrived I went to Coogee beach which I wrote all about. Thursday I went down to CBD or ‘downtown’ to see the famous Sydney monuments. Friday I met with my 3rd cousins and my mom’s 2nd cousin for the day starting at Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi Beach and continuing to their traditional Friday night supper. The last two days we were in Bathurst, a few hours away from Sydney and into the ‘aussie bush’. On the way there we saw the Three Sisters in the Blue mountain region. **Photos will be uploaded in the snapshot tab asap!**
For the more detailed versions, read along (I’ll get as far as I can…I only got a few hours sleep last night so a nap may be in order)…
So Thursday I walked from UNSW campus to downtown Sydney which was quite the adventure on its own. I seem to keep forgetting that NO apps work on my blackberry in Australia…including GPS. Anyway I did find it, and only took a couple wrong turns. Walking down I felt like I was in Europe…mostly because everyone had cute cars driving on what I consider to be the wrong side of the road…but also because of the odd narrow street, historic buildings, the congested traffic circles, and in general the style of architecture and dress. I realized very quickly while walking downtown Sydney that if I stay here and get a job I need to buy new clothes as I packed the perfect yoga/running/beach bumming attire…not the sophisticated, youth chic thing they have going on here. Additionally I LOVE the fashion (it is NOT behind as I assumed) and would love the excuse to stock up. Overall, the people of Sydney are impeccably dressed most of the time…and a much higher percentage of them are attractive, and very few are obese.
I grabbed nuts and fruit at a pop up stand in the street, just like they have in Paris. Walked around Hyde park…found a map of CBD and took a picture (My new GPS). There was lots of live music and tours. That being said, following English tours inconspicuously is a great way to learn about things!
I walked down to the gorgeous harbour, took some prime photos then headed up to the Harbour Bridge. It seems everyone in Sydney is an avid runner. I’m not talking running for fitness, I’m talking sponsorship singlets, barefoot through downtown, 40 minute 10km pace. So even though I’d walked for 2ish hours to get to the CBD I still felt guilty and walked the bridge and back across the Cahill expressway to the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens. The Cahill Express way has an AMAZING view of the harbour! You can actually take an elevator up from Circular Quay [imagine a U shaped harbour, the standing at the bottom your left has the harbour bridge, your right the opera house, and you are at the ferry and bus stations referred to as circular quay], and get sick photos of the harbour with both the bridge AND opera house! On the left side there’s also a quaint area called the Rocks, which is like ‘old Sydney’. Definitely glad I went. It made it way more interesting to walk up through the CBD and see how old turns to new.
I then walked into a business center around 4pm and found they were selling off all their food for $4 which was a great find! Went to Starbucks, the only place I know how to order coffee apparently [everywhere else uses bizzare terms like half white for a no foam latte]. Also, go to the info booth in circular quay or elsewhere if you are reading this and going to Sydney. I got a sweet guide to the city that was actually super helpful and coupons…for free!
I bussed home and passed out pretty quickly after 8 hours of walking. All buses are pre pay from 7-7 to speed up the process…quite interesting actually. Other tidbits, GST is included in prices here, the no tipping thing is only really half true, and apparently Canada’s best assets are Justin Bieber and Ryan Gossling…
Friday I hit up Sculptures by the Sea, an event along Bondi Beach where all sorts of sculptures are incorporated into the rocks and paths. VERY cool event, I’d definitely recommend going, there’s sculptures made from plastic cutlery to steel of domes, alligators, and everything in between. My mom’s 2nd cousin picked me up to take me on the walk which ended up being over 7km. After we did grocery shopping and went to her house to start making their family’s traditional Friday night feast. It was lovely to have a family dinner even though I’m completely on the other side of the world!