A late night flight from Melbourne, brought us to Sydney.
Sydney is a city of my dreams. Waterfront setting, secluded beaches, great seafood, ferries to transport you from different area, vibrant night life and awesome people. Our this part of the trip was so amazing that we just want to settle here once we retire. But be warned, the city is expensive – probably even more so than NYC.
The next morning we woke up late and after breakfast, took the 11:00 am ferry to Manly. There is simply no other way to take in the lovely views of the bridge, opera house and the harbor. What an introduction to this beautiful city!
At Manly, we walked over to Shelly beach and had a really nice lunch at Le Kiosk. There is a walk along the cliffs very close to Le Kiosk with stunning views of Northern beaches and the sea. We went part way but then decided to watch the school kids playing on Shelly beach. Oh, and the rockpools along the way are tempting – safe way to swim in sea water 🙂
The city views on the way back are equally stunning, though we were smitten by the Bridge and the Opera House.
We came back to the hotel around 4:00 pm, changed and walked to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb check-in location.The climb was highlight of Sydney. after changing into their gear and going over safety rules, we went out to the catwalk and ladders. It was a bit cloudy when we started climb, but luckily it didn’t rain. . There are four ladders that are fairly steep, but since we were “attached” to the bridge it wasnt scary. The actual bridge climb is very gradual. Our guide was funny and we took lots of pictures en-route. At the top it was surreal to see the city , opera house and the ferries making their way across the bay. On the way down city lights had begun to twinkle and it really looked spectacular.
That night we went to Seoul Ria – a Korean restaurant in Haymarket- highly recommended for authentic Korean food. The massive spread was a must after the Bridge Climb!
Following morning we went to a bakery in the Rocks for breakfast. We wandered around various stores in the rocks and then our plan was to tour the Opera house. But due to some rehearsals, the main theatre was closed. So we decided to go later in the day.
We spend some time walking in the Royal Botanical Gardens and then took the bus to Bondi beach, to people watch. We went to Bondi icebergs with intention to swim in the rockpool, but as the weather was cloudy and water was cool, we just came back after taking in the views.
We had a nice lunch at a noodle shop at the promenade and we came back to the city by bus. It was almost time for the Opera house tour. The main theatre of Opera house is very ornate. We even saw a troop rehearse while we were on the tour.
We spent the evening at Red Oak – a boutique Brewery near Darling harbor. Again highly recommended even if you are not a beer fan (like me). Good food and great ambience – frequented by locals.
Our last day in Sydney we took the train to Blue mountains. It was easy to catch the train and find the explorer in Katoomba. We left early, so we could hike for a couple of hours. It was a nice sunny day with beautiful views of the mountains and the valley. Personally I thought the three sisters are over-rated, but nevertheless it was a nice day out of the city.
We came back to the city around six. As the train entered Sydney, we saw newspapers screaming with Mumbai Attack headlines. I panicked and dashed out of the train as it came to a halt to the newspaper stand to read more about the news. Alas, I couldnt find a paper so we ran all the way back to the hotel to call home and check on my parents.It was a relief to check in on friends and family and find that everyone was safe and sound at home.
Later that night to change our mood, we went pub hopping. Lord Nelson ( good brews, slightly older audience), Australian ( younger crowd, tried Emu wings – nice!, crocodile pizza OK ) and lastly went to the seamier Kings Cross. Our plan was to go to Candy’s apartment, but it was closed so just grabbed a drink at one of the many bars and got an amazing foot massage.
The next morning we woke up early to catch a flight to Uluru-the great Australian outback!
Although we were there for 3 days and they were party cloudy shoulder season days, we totally loved Sydney. Its a city I would love to live in someday. Till then, the memories will have to suffice 🙂