I have now been here nearly 3 weeks. I had penciled this long in but feel bad for settling somewhere for so long. Everyone raves about Sydney and although i have enjoyed my time here it is not somewhere that i don't want to leave. I think this may be because it is too similar to London. After living out of a backpack for so long, the culture of having to dress to impress and the suits crowd out after work on a friday night is all foreign to me.
Sydney is full of beautiful 'showy' people and i am unsure where i fit into this crowd. This is a city where if you appear even slightly inebriated you are thrown out and you can't get into many bars unless your toes are covered...apparently it is a health and safety issue of girls cuttting their feet on broken glass...when really it is that they are trying to ban thongs (sorry, flipflops!).
Ok, that was all a little negative. On the positive, Sydney is a beautiful city and by night, the views of the city are spectacular. I have seen it many times over; from darling harbour, on a ferry from the olympic village, on a ferry from Manly and from the harbour and Anzac bridges. The view of the sydney harbour bridge and the opera house all lit up is postcard perfection! It is also pretty special during the day when the sun is shining and the backdrop of blue skies. Be warned though, on a cloudy day, like when i first saw it, it was a little disappointing.
Sydney has been full of catching up with people i have met during my travels in Thailand. On my first day Kasey came and met me and we strolled in the rocks and had a drink in Cargo bar in Darling Harbour. It was amazing to be sitting in an uber trendy bar, sipping on wine looking out from the terrace seats we had onto one of the most famous harbours in the world. It is times like these that make you take a step back and apprecaite what an amzing thing you are getting to do.
I have also caught up with Luke. Due to a house move and uni law degree exams it has been a stressful time for him which has made meeting difficult. He was kind enough to drive me around some of the great beaches in north sydney around his old home in Bellview hills and new one in Veuclouse. I got to see Watsons Bay, Camp Cove and a few others i can't remeber the name of.
My last traveller to catch up with is Tim who gave me an insightful tour from a landscape architecture point of view of the city, circular quay and the botanic gardens on a beautiful sunny day.
I have also caught up with Lucy, Kelly and Emily, the girls i travelled SE Asia with which has been cool. Several other people i met in Adelaide and Melbourne have also passed through Sydney including Tom, Meriam, Oxford and Alex. The most unusual meeting was with my friend from home...Mr Tom Doyle. I was walking down the street on the phone right by my hostel and this familiar voice said 'Tina'. Was great to catch up but unfortunately both of us had plans that evening and he was flying to NZ the next day.
OK, so back to what i did in Sydney. I checked out the nightlife in the cities red light district of Kings cross on more than one occassion and i also stayed in the area. It is an extremely vibrant part of town that i thoroughly enjoyed staying in. The nightlife was cool and many locals have nights here. In the city i also checekd out a couple of bars which all were reminders of London life.
There is so much i could blab on about Sydney...it is safe to say that i did all of the touristy things, the botanic gardens, harbour bridge, opera house, maritime museum, observatory,Art Gallery of NSW, checked out the beautiful rocks area and went to the blue mountains (unfortunately it was more like the grey mountains when i went and to add to the misery the tour guide dropped my camera and cracked the screen!).
I ensured i kept my tan topped up by visiting Manley, Bondi and Coogee beaches. I did the famous Bondi-Coogee walk on several occassions and saw the guy who lives in a cave. Bondi is quite pretentious with everyone checking each other out and for that very reason i much prefered Coogee even though the waves took me out!
Right at the end of my time in Sydney, Luke and I got to catch up with Dan & Phil, two English guys who were travelling with Luke who i also got to know. Was extremely strange to be reunited in Oz. WE had a hardcore night out of a smoothie in a cafe in Bondi!
So overall, i'd give Sydney a 7 out of 10. I will return one day..with some money to burn, eating in all the amazing restaurants and to sip on decent wine in the many trendy bars.