Sydney Pictorial – Part 3 of 3

This holiday season, I lucked up bigtime and won a door prize at a holiday party – one free ticket anywhere Qatar Airways flies. Qatar airways flies to over 150 places as of the time of this post (with more being added almost monthly). I could have chosen pretty much anywhere, but settled on checking out the home of a bunch of my new friends – Sydney, Australia.

Things didn’t mesh up with DH’s schedule (or desire for a 14-hour flight), and I found myself on one hell of a visa bounce – an 11-day Grand Adventure to a hemisphere and country I’d never been to.

This trip was fantastic. I absolutely loved Sydney, and had a splendid time getting in 20 – 30,000 steps a day, eating as little or as much as I wanted, sleeping in a schedule that made little sense, and speaking to no humans unless I really wanted to.

Sydney itself feels like a cross between New York City, Seattle and the California beaches – lots of big buildings, lots of beautiful coastline, a bustling maritime life – and of course, beaches (and that laid back beach life) aplenty.

Since I saw a bunch and took a ton of shots, I’ll be splitting the pictorial into 3 parts. This is the last installment – part 3.

Part 1

Part 2

Thursday, February 1

Today was my big beach walk. I hopped a bus to Bondi Beach, then set out for Coogee Beach via the Coastal Walk.

Famous surfer paradise Bondi Beach

The Instagram famous Iceberg Club pool 

Love me a rocky beach

I had almost forgotten that this particular shade of sea blue used to be one of my very favorite colors as a kid. It’s a weird shade, so not one I’d generally say when people asked, but it was. That and the Crayola crayon color Cadet Blue 

How pale girls do the beach

Another ocean pool 

I could watch this all day

Salt air and booming waves does my heart good 

Watching the waves crash never gets old 

What a seaside eternal resting place! 

I much prefer rocky beaches to sandy beaches 

This looks so cool 

The underwater trail is down there 

I think this was my favorite part of the trip – I may hate going to the beach and may refuse to swim in the ocean, but I loooooove the coast. The salt, the noise, the immensity of the ocean – love it all.

On my way to Target and I was so HYYYYYYYYYYYPE

I almost cried. Legit brought tears to my eyes. All my dreams of leggings, Uggs (which were for sale on every freaking corner and even in some pharmacies) & PSLs (pumpkin spice latte) were dashed. DASHED, I tell you. 

After my beach walk, I was super stoked to check out Target – Target is on the short list of things I really and truly miss from the US – and I almost cried when I discovered that Australia Target is not the magical basic bitch playground as the ones at home. This one felt more like (old school) Big Lots than Target – the lighting was sad like at some Burlington Coat Factories, the shelves were too short for the space, the goods looked kinda off, and the whole place looked kinda dingy. I was so sad.

Friday, February 2

Escape the city! I took the 2-hour train ride to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, and did a super light amount of “hiking” – electing to only see Echo Point and the Three Sisters and head home.

Echo Point – Heeeey … looks kinda like NC’s Blue Ridge Mountains

1 of 3 Sisters

2 of the Three Sisters

The Katoomba rail station

Walked to Finger Wharf and stumbled on some more Navy

Finger Wharf 

Surprise Navy

Wandering back because apparently I was allergic to the Metro on this trip – that, and everything was a 20 – 40 minute walk away and I had all the time in the world. 

And had dinner next to the Opera House – right in time to catch the sunset light show.

Sunset light show telling some sort of Aboriginal history of Australia story 

Saturday, February 3

My last full day in Sydney.

I wanted to make the most of it and hit as many neighborhoods and markets as possible.

I did the Farmers Market in Carriageworks

Yep, this was every bit as hipster and as cool as a friend of mine had said. She was right: looooved it! 

Hit Oxford Street for the Paddington Market, and unfortunately completely forgot to document it.

#photographyfail

Wandered Newton

Another hipster area of town – loved this one too 

This railing style was absolutely everywhere

Sometimes I feel like … I don’t have a partner … Sometimes I feel like … My only friend. …It’s the city I live in …. The city of Angels … 

Hit the Fish Market for lunch

Not pictured: Octopus on a stick and a huge scallop mornay 

Finally got to take the Light Rail somewhere! It’s the replacement for an old trolley car system. 

Did the craziness that is Paddy’s Markets in Haymarket

After first wandering through Chinatown 

Paddy’s Market is like a flea market met random shipping containers from China. Lots of jumbled stuff – everything from elephant trunk looking banana sling style wang holders to Australia paraphernalia, to leather goods, to Thai pants and other summery wear, to heaps and heaps of bags  

And took a looooooong walk through Darling Harbour, Barrangaroo, and up to Circular Quay in the evening.

Walked from my hotel in Haymarket to Darling Harbour – 19 minutes, then around the edge of the Harbour 

To Barrangaroo (a new yuppie shopping, luxury apartment and business district that reminded me of lower Downtown Manhattan)

Stumbled upon a free concert in the park 

Set my sights on Circular Quay and the ferry – another 20 minutes or so away 

Another cool wharf with theater and dining options aplenty 

A convict that came through Hyde Park Barracks made this – this arrow is the symbol they stamped in everything 

Back to the Quay and to the lie of a metro ride home. This station was closed for maintenance, so it was up the hill (grumble) for a free connector bus back “home”. 

Sunday, February 4

Only half a day! I hit The Rocks to catch that craft market one last time

❤ this part of town

Under the Bridge and Up. Another. Hill. 

Ok, fine, the climb was worth it. 

The Observatory

Go, Science! 

The telescope

Back down to a less touristy part of The Rocks

Finally made it to the Observatory and learned more about *why* and how Australia was discovered

And took a little time to wander as much as I could on the way back to Central train station to grab the bag I’d stashed that morning.

Last lunch in Sydney – grabbed a porchetta/kale salad/extra fatty garlic dressing salad from a fast-casual make your own bowl joint and headed to the Botanic Garden for a nice view of the water (with shade!). Didn’t even mind the couple tiny ant bites I earned. 

Government House – I strolled the grounds, but the only way to see the building was by tour and I couldn’t be bothered 

Walked past the Custom House and was curious – turns out, it’s a super cool library/coworking space/public hangout spot 

With an awesome scale model replica of the city in the floor 

Walked by General Assembly’s Sydney branch in hope of fast Wifi and to check out the digs — it was closed. Whomp, whomp

One last trip over the Darling Harbour bridge

The last legit street art I’ll see in awhile 

So cool! 

THen it was off to the airport and on a 14-hour flight home.

Kinda sad I missed Chinese New Year in Sydney 

I got to sit on the upper level. Recommend highly – felt like I was in a much smaller plane.

Home again. 

February 14, 2018

This is not fog – it’s sand.

A sandstorm rolled into town this morning, and it is No. Joke. I spent most of the day in a mall, and I’m a bit short of breath, my eyes itch, and my sinuses are supremely unhappy. Would not like to see what would happen if I had to be outside all day in this junk.

Sydney Pictorial – Part 2 of 3

This holiday season, I lucked up bigtime and won a door prize at a holiday party – one free ticket anywhere Qatar Airways flies. Qatar airways flies to over 150 places as of the time of this post (with more being added almost monthly). I could have chosen pretty much anywhere, but settled on checking out the home of a bunch of my new friends – Sydney, Australia.

Things didn’t mesh up with DH’s schedule (or desire for a 14-hour flight), and I found myself on one hell of a visa bounce – an 11-day Grand Adventure to a hemisphere and country I’d never been to.

This trip was fantastic. I absolutely loved Sydney, and had a splendid time getting in 20 – 30,000 steps a day, eating as little or as much as I wanted, sleeping in a schedule that made little sense, and speaking to no humans unless I really wanted to.

Sydney itself feels like a cross between New York City, Seattle and the California beaches – lots of big buildings, lots of beautiful coastline, a bustling maritime life – and of course, beaches (and that laid back beach life) aplenty.

Since I saw a bunch and took a ton of shots, I’ll be splitting the pictorial into 3 parts. This is Part 2. Stay tuned for the rest!

Part 1

Monday, January 29

Today, I went on the hunt for new hiking shoes in the CBD (Central Business District) and the open and closed-air malls populating the area – finally settling on a pair of minimalist barefoot runners from Merrell. Highly recommend these shoes if you hate bulk, love flexibility, but also need at least a touch of padding. I wore these exclusively for the rest of the trip – did 20 – 30,000 steps on pavement every day, and was comfortable.

Down a random alleyway that caught my eye

Windows in the Queen Victoria Building (an upmarket mall)

QVB skylight

World Center open/not-so-open shopping center. I spent a lot of time here – my favorite grocery (Coles) was in the basement, it was 2 blocks from the hotel, and my favorite burger place (Grill’d) was just out of shot to the right. 

Tuesday, January 30

Back down to Circular Quay and on a ferry to Taronga Zoo.

It’s on all the Sydney imagery for a reason

Someone had a sense of humor – this was in the reptile house

Look at that view! The giraffes are actually losing their view soon – they’re relocating within the park 

This is Mr. Alpha Male who saw a lone female on his way to picking up some groceries one of the keepers had just tossed out telling me what’s what — right before he walked to the next window and gave it high spin kick to drive his point home. I get it. You’re a badass. Not interested in joining your harem. 

Watch out for those famous Australian Drop Bears 

Tons of birds – wild and non – in this park 

You can’t really get away from stunning views at the Zoo 

Reminds me of Key West 

Even big kitties need a nap 

I know … more view. 

A friend of mine had said that if I happen to have any unscheduled time, hop a ferry and go where it takes you. I took her advice and headed to Cockatoo Island – I was not disappointed. This is kind of like Governors Island in NYC, but with onsite camping and a much richer history (convicts, a girls school, shipping center, military – the whole lot).

From the ferry 

Ferry views 

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From the shipyards on Cockatoo Island

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You can camp on the island as well – everything from these little tent sites to a B&B type situation 

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You know me and some good old fashioned industrial decay – ❤

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More tent camping

Then it was back to Circular Quay and to the Opera House for some golden hour exploration.

Wednesday, January 31

Walked down to the Botanic Garden and Mrs. Macquaries Seat, with a stop first at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. If you ever have the chance to visit Sydney, I highly recommend this museum detailing the city’s convict and refugee past. Lots of artifacts really lovingly displayed and some really great stories to go along with them. A must see!

Layers of history told in color stories

So. Freaking. Cool. 

Fascinating to see what these women had with them to start a new life on an uncertain continent 

If you are ever in Sydney, GO TO THIS MUSEUM. You will not be disappointed. 

Prisoners’ hammocks 

Botanic Garden 

Busy bees in the wildflower garden

This type of pockmarked rock formation was all over Sydney – both in town and in the Blue Mountains

The Macquaries were a huge deal to early Sydney 

I couldn’t resist 

I also took the ferry out to Watson’s Bay to see The Gap (the entrance to Sydney Harbour) and the Lighthouse.

Waiting patiently

Part 3

Sydney Pictorial – Part 1 of 3

This holiday season, I lucked up bigtime and won a door prize at a holiday party – one free ticket anywhere Qatar Airways flies. Qatar airways flies to over 150 places as of the time of this post (with more being added almost monthly). I could have chosen pretty much anywhere, but settled on checking out the home of a bunch of my new friends – Sydney, Australia.

Things didn’t mesh up with DH’s schedule (or desire for a 14-hour flight), and I found myself on one hell of a visa bounce – an 11-day Grand Adventure to a hemisphere and country I’d never been to.

This trip was fantastic. I absolutely loved Sydney, and had a splendid time getting in 20 – 30,000 steps a day, eating as little or as much as I wanted, sleeping in a schedule that made little sense, and speaking to no humans unless I really wanted to.

Sydney itself feels like a cross between New York City, Seattle and the California beaches – lots of big buildings, lots of beautiful coastline, a bustling maritime life – and of course, beaches (and that laid back beach life) aplenty.

Since I saw a bunch and took a ton of shots, I’ll be splitting the pictorial into 3 parts. This is Part 1. Stay tuned for the rest!

Thursday, January 25

This was mostly a travel day. Bye, Doha!

This was my home for the duration of my trip – Space Q hotel (hostel) in Haymarket (the Thai/Chinese area of town).

This place was really cool. The location couldn’t be beat – I was 20 – 30 minutes from pretty much anything I wanted to do, and blocks from Central Station and it’s trains, buses and light rail.

Friday, January 26 

Australia Day! I woke up and headed to Circular Quay to see the festivities, wandered The Rocks a bit, and headed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to catch the Australia Day Harbour Parade.

sydney_australia_day-1

Ship racing from the Sydney Harbour Bridge

sydney_australia_day-2

The conclusion of the Tall Ship Race 

Australia Day was cool. The whole city was decked out in Australia and Aboriginal flags, music was everywhere, street food was flowing freely, and the general atmosphere was one of a big party. Since I’ll miss my own country’s celebration day, it was great to take part in somewhere else’s.

Saturday, January 27

I woke up super late, wandered around downtown a bit trying to figure out what I wanted to do, decided to point my feet toward Darling Harbour and checked that out, went to the Sea Life Aquarium, wandered over to the Queen Victoria Building juuuuust as everything was closing (as I was discovering, much to my American chagrin/mild outrage, almost every damn thing barring restaurants and bars closes by 7pm), and decided to drown my lack of shopping options sorrows at this really cool viking bar I’d heard about on Facebook – Mjolner.

Hyde Park 

Super cool doorway on Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street

sydney_-1

Darling Harbour

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These guys were a big constant everywhere I went in Sydney

Cool sea stars

Fairy Penguin

Queen Victoria Building – Syndey, whyyyyy with the early closing?!?! Super frustrating for Americans! (I’ve since been told that Australia values work/life balance highly – which is actually something we should all aspire to. Just super frustrating when you’re used to everything being open late!)

Mjolner was amazing. The cup holds a fat-washed something alcoholic with gold sherbert paint on the outside. I had a short rib trencher and couldn’t finish half. 

The ferris wheel in Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour was a little tourist trappy for my taste, but was jam-packed with restaurants, shopping, the aquarium and other touristy things to do, a cool maritime museum I didn’t get to see, the convention center, and really high caliber street performers. I spent a fair amount of time here. 

Floaties in Darling Harbour

Sunday, January 28

I hopped down to Circular Quay and onto a ferry to Manly Beach. Walked that beach a bit, hopped the ferry back, decided I wasn’t done and hopped another ferry to Milson’s Point to check out Luna Park – which was cool, looks a crazy amount like the Luna Park in Coney Island (for good reason – it’s modeled after it), headed back to The Rocks to check that museum out and learn more about Sydney’s early history, walked the craft market going on there, grabbed Korean bbq on the way back to the hotel, and called it a night.

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge from the ferry

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Pulling into Manly Bay

Manly Beach – super crowded the day I went (I think there was some sort of kids surfing or other water sport thing going on), but full of cute little beach shops and restaurants. 

Manly

The beach

From the ferry. The ferry system in Sydney is robust, convenient, and provides a great way to see the city. 

The Opera House looking all cinematic

Yes – this is a *lot* like the one in Coney

In fact, it was modeled after it. 

Part 2

Part 3