Gorgeous Sydney

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
1
33
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Trip End Dec 09, 2011


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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, November 13, 2011


November
11th
– Sydney is bone of the most amazing cities of all time... we've
been to a lot of great places on our trip, but Sydney is takes first
place in the city category! It has everything you could possibly
dream of... ocean, beaches, harbor, lots of boats, national landmark,
historic buildings, beautiful bridge, great restaurants and bars,
super nice people, and so much more! This was the first of our 5
days here, and already we don't feel like that's enough.. there's
just so much to do. We fell in love with Sydney from the moment we
set our eyes on the Opera House... it is so incredibly stunning and
beautiful!


We flew into
Sydney this morning at around 9:30am, and we took an airport shuttle
that dropped us right at the doorstep of our hostel. We are staying
at the YHA Sydney Harbor – The Rocks and it is amazing... less than
2 years old and the best hostel we've stayed at so far. It's in the
very best location, right in the heart of The Rocks neighborhood, and
the top floor has an incredible view of the Opera House (we are on
the top floor, by the way... sweet deal)! After checking in, we left
to go explore the neighborhood... we ended walking right in the
middle of a Farmers Market. Perfect timing too because we ended up
trying some of the local specialties for lunch... super yummy!!!
After we had our fill, we continued down to the wharfs along the
water where we watched the ferries come and go through the bay. From
there, we stared in awe at the Opera House, soaking in all of its
glory... it's truly beautiful, especially with its surroundings. The
Opera House is right in the middle with the bay and the city-scape
and the botanical gardens on one side an the bridge and North Sydney
on the other. We got amazing views from wherever we stood. There
were so many people out and about, so we joined the crowds and walked
around absorbing everything. When we arrived to the Opera House, we
went inside to the box office... we thought it would be so much more
enjoyable to actually see a show there instead of just taking a tour.
We ended up getting tickets to see the Beethoven symphony for Sunday
afternoon... we are so excited!


At the Opera
House, you have an awesome view of the Harbor Bridge... it's really
grand and beautiful. It's only 1.2 km long, so we decided to walk to
the end to get even better views of the Opera House. The weather was
so perfect, sunny and warm with a little wind... we really enjoyed
our stroll across to the bridge. Every 5 minutes, we kept saying how
happy and excited we are to be in Sydney... the day kept getting
better and better. By the time we got to the end, our feet were
starting to feel a little sore... considering this is our third day
in a row of non-stop walking, we figured it was pretty normal. As a
reward for making it back to The Rocks, we agreed to treat ourselves
to a little happy hour drink at this roof-top bar a block away from
our hostel... it was the best decision we made for the day! The view
from the roof-top was such a gorgeous setting while enjoying our wine
(for me) and beer (for Jens). We started chatting to these local
ladies who were sharing our table, and they immediately started
writing all over our map and planned our itinerary for the rest of
trip. It was really funny, but great at the same time because they
gave us so many recommendations and places to go. They suggested
that we go on this nice walk along Farm Cove through the botanical
gardens, and then end up at this pub called Frisco Hotel in this
neighborhood called Woolloomooloo (no joke, that is the name!). We
were pretty tired at this point, but since it was a Friday night, we
had to go out! Along our walk, which was really beautiful (more
great views of the bay, Opera House and Harbor Bridge), we saw at
least 10 different weddings going on here and there... it's no
wonder, as it was 11/11/11! It was really cute, and it made us
reminisce about our special day. :-) It took us a while to find
this Frisco Hotel... we arrived at another bar, so we saw a group of
people having a drink outside, and, thinking they were locals, we
stopped to ask them for directions. They were actually from
Melbourne, so they had no idea, but they invited us to stay and share
their wine with them... it was super nice, and we chatted with them
for almost an hour. We moved on and finally found the Frisco Hotel
pub... we stayed for one drink and immediately left. Not because it
was boring or anything... it was actually pretty cool and there a lot
of people there, but we were just so exhausted that we barely had the
energy to even talk to each other. The walk back seemed to take
forever, since we so badly wanted to go to bed, but for some reason
we perked up again as soon as we got to the main strip called George
Street. It was really lively and exciting... we didn't go into
anymore bars, but it was fun to people-watch as we walked down the
street. The Farmers Market was still going on by the time we made it
back to The Rocks... ice cream sounded so good again, so we shared a
scoop on our walk back to our hostel. We went straight to the
outside deck to enjoy the view at in the night light, and we ended up
chatting with one of our roommates for a little while. As we we were
laying in bed recapping the days events, we just couldn't believe how
lucky we are to be here!


November
12th
– It felt so good being able to sleep in this morning! We haven't
had very many mornings where we get to wake up without an alarm
clock, but instead to our hungover roommates snoring... that wasn't
too fun, but it was about 8am at that point, so we decided to get our
day going. We were originally going to go to the beach today, but
the weather forecast claimed there would be “late showers”. We
nixed the beach idea and decided to do more site-seeing instead. We
bought a combo attraction pass from the local visitor center, which
gave us admission to the Sydney Wildlife Center, the Sydney Aquarium
and the Sydney Tower Observation Deck for only $50... super good
deal! We started walking down George Street into downtown and it was
a shoppers paradise... great clothing shops every where you looked.
The Sydney Tower is actually above the Westfield mall, so we... or
rather, I... did some window shopping before zooming up to the
observation deck. The 360 degree views from the top were incredible.
I feel like we have seen so many amazing 360 city views, but they
never get old! It's a great way to get your barrings too... we were
heading next to Darling Harbor , so we were able to see every place
we wanted to go along the way.


Darling
Harbor is really nice... we took the pedestrian-only bridge across
the bay and continued straight to the Sydney Fish Market, one of the
largest in Australia. This fish market was amazing and kind of gross
(because of the smell) at the same time! There is so much fresh fish
everywhere you look, it's overwhelming. This is where we planned to
have lunch, but it took us a while to walk through the whole place
first and then back again to decide on what we wanted to eat. We
opted for salmon sashimi as our appetizer and then grilled fresh
snapper with fries and salad as our main dish... OMG, it was SO GOOD,
and such a great deal as well! After a while, I couldn't really
handle the intense fishy smell any longer, so we made our way to the
Wildlife Center, which is located right in the harbor. While it's
not one of the largest wildlife centers here in Australia, it was
still really nice and fun to see all the animals. We finally got to
see some Red Kangaroos... as well as more adorable koalas and
wallabies and emus and birds and one massive crocodile among many
other little creatures. After that, we went right next door to the
Sydney Aquarium, which they say is one of the best in the world and
the main reason why we bought the attraction combo pass. They have 2
tubes running through the water tanks where people can walk through
and feel like you swimming with all the fish. The first tube we saw
had a big mix of exotic fish and sting rays and a couple sea cows,
and the second tube was solely dedicated to all the sharks... that
was incredible! We saw about 8 different shark species swimming
right over our heads and underneath our feet. That part was really
cool!


At
this point, we had again been walking non-stop all day long, and we
hit a wall... our legs and feet were hating us and basically shut
down. It took all of our reserve energy just to make it back to our
hostel... believe me, it was a lot more difficult than it sounds. We
made ourselves a spaghetti dinner and then cracked open a bottle of
wine while we enjoyed the view and a random fireworks show over the
Opera House from the roof-top deck. We chatted with our new
roommates for a little, as well, before going to bed. We are giving
ourselves a day off from walking tomorrow, which we are so happy
about. All we have to do is laundry and go see our symphony... YAY!
:-)
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