Most people who travel a lot have a habit of skipping what’s close to home. I am guilty of neglecting my island home a bit, but now that I am back in the land down under I have decided to dedicating some time to exploring this country settled by criminals and run by
idiots people I didn’t vote for…
My wonderful friend Celia from France is currently experiencing Aussie life for herself, studying in Sydney for a year. The perfect chance for me to explore the most touristy city in our country and discover what our country is like from a Parisian perspective.
After a 2-hour delay, I finally landed in Sydney. I bought my $17 train ticket and was in the city within 10 minutes. A day in Sydney could very well continue cost you $1.70 a minute when bottled water can exceed $5…
We headed straight out to a cool underground bar where we caught up on each others past year over fresh pineapple cocktails.
Celia has made plans for my visit. She even had a list. First up on Saturday morning was the Paddington Markets.
The markets were absolutely lovely. We wandered through stalls selling gorgeous (and expensive) clothing and jewellery. Local artists had stalls filled with illustrated cards and the food stalls were minimal but exquisite. We ate our fresh food while listening to the live music of Man and Minx, an Australian-Canadian folky duo who serenaded us with breathtaking vocals.
After the markets we made our way back into the city to catch the ferry over to Manly Beach. With a quick drink at the Opera Bar before we departed.
The ferry views were completely magnificent. Without a doubt the best way to admire Sydney Harbour and North Head. For the half hour trip I was captivated by the coastal view and the passing boats and yachts.
We arrived in manly and hydrated with gelato and smoothies. Did I mention it was hot? Not even Celia’s 50+ SPF could hinder the I-need-a-catnap feeling from the Australian sun. Excuse the pun.
But there was nothing nicer that I could think of then passing out on the beach for a couple of hours.
I will be completely honest with you. I am not a beachy person. I am not the Australian who you will find heading coastal as soon as the sun appears. I will never wake up before 9 to ‘catch a wave’ and I will not enter water unless there are hundred of children around me creating a shark-bait-barrier. (Just kidding!)
I have always been in awe of my more beachy friends. Who will spend entire days getting covered in sand and salty water and not complain about bloodshot eyes or sand in every crevice.
I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, beaches are beautiful, especially when surf life saving groups are training in front of you. But the Australian tradition of roasting your skin until you look like a walking melanoma kind of bugs me.
Celia and I covered ourselves in the 50+, and eventually admitted to each other our real thoughts of beach culture. She doesn’t understand it either. Finally, someone who can understand my beach criticism.
Setting aside our mixed-beach-emotions, we enjoyed laying on the beach after a morning of walking under the Sydney sun. Eventually we headed home. I resisting the urge to fall asleep on the bus. Celia didn’t.
We resisted the temptation climb into bed and call it a day. We had dinner plans.
Yullis is a beautiful vegetarian restaurant in Surrey Hills. We were seated outside in the little courtyard where they had hung cute rows of fairy lights above. The waitresses were helpful and friendly and the food was great. In a typical Saturday-night fashion, groups of friends were starting the night with wine and tapas.
After a delicious meal we headed down the road to The Winery, one of the most beautiful bars I have ever been to. With a beautiful courtyard outside and a magnificent interior, (and an extensive drinks menu), it was the perfect way to end the night. They even adorned my lychee cocktail glass with a fresh flower from the courtyard.
After a long day, I hardly remember my head touching the pillow.
After a mini sleep-in we were ready for our second day exploring Sydney.
Celia had decided that it was essential for me to walk over the bridge, with a detour through Luna Park on the way. With quick bursts of rain the weather seemed a little seasonally confused, but it was refreshing after such consistent heat. The bridge walk looked long but was surprisingly quick, and even through the metal bars across the bridge the views are great.
Locals in Lorna Jane walked in pairs and it reminded me of the Adelaide Sunday morning climb of Mt Lofty tradition. I bet Sydneysiders also go for brunch after. Australians seem to love social exercising when they can reward themselves with food. Myself included.
We then made our way to Newtown to meet up with Adam and Leah, some very cool Australians that I had met travelling in Europe. We caught up over juice and tea and soon realised that time had really flown. Must of been having fun, right?
It was home time. I paid my $1.70 a minute to get to the airport and was soon Adelaide bound, feeling grateful for time spent with great friends in a lovely city, even though there were still traces of sand in places that I am not going to mention…