Swinging by Sydney for Some Sun

This past weekend I finally headed to Sydney with three of my mates to check out the second best city here in Australia (Melbourne takes the cake if you ask me). We hopped on a flight Friday afternoon and taxied on over to X Base Hostel right next to CBD (the central business district). We grabbed a quick bite to eat and walked around for a few hours before heading out to explore the nightlife. Our hostel was conveniently connected to a bar, the Scary Canary and from there we wandered down to the harbor to for a beautiful view of the water and a few rounds of pool at a local pub. We woke up bright and early the next morning, grabbed some Pie Face for brekkie (they’re everywhere here in Australia and apparently opening a store in NYC soon too!), and hopped on a 2.5 hour train ride to the Blue Mountains. When we got there we realized just how spread out it is so we decided to buy a ticket for a double decker bus as well as the three rides at Scenic World, a cableway, the world’s steepest railway, and a skyway. We also got to enjoy the walkway, a sprawling boardwalk through the rainforest. We ended our trip with a short hike to a waterfall and then a quick bite to eat in town before hopping back on the train to the city. After hopping in the shower, we headed to the hostel in King’s Cross where our friends were staying. King’s Cross is considered the party area of Sydney filled with clubs and…some less classy businesses as well. We played some goon pong in the hostel before heading to a nearby club packed with people. After enjoying ourselves for a few hours on the dance floor we grabbed a late night snack and then we were ready to head back to the hostel but the trains had already stopped running for the night so we went in search of a cab. After spending nearly an hour getting turned down by cabbies because our hostel was too close (not a big enough fare I guess) we finally stumbled upon a police officer who was more than helpful. He actually stopped traffic and ordered a taxi to drive us home!

The next day we walked to the rocks to explore the market and grab breakfast  at a cafe. We headed to the wharf where we got to listen to some locals playing the didgeridoo before hopping on the ferry to Manly beach. After snapping some great pictures of the bridge and opera house we finally found ourselves at the beach. Lucky for us it was a beautiful sunny day so we played a few games of volleyball and even took a dunk in the freezing water for a few minutes. We grabbed some sushi before catching the ferry back and walking down to get prepped for our evening bridge climb. We had to get all geared up with jumpsuits and beanies, fleeces, headlamps, walkie talkies, headphones, and handkerchiefs all clipped on to us. We were harnessed to a cable on the bridge and walked out just in time to see the sunset in vivid colors above the city skyline. We made it to the top in record time and someone in our group even proposed!! It was the cherry on top to a breathtaking experience. Of course, I had to pee by the time we began our descent and halfway through, one of the workers took me aside to a secret bathroom atop the bridge! I bet very few people can say they used the bathroom on the top of a bridge! Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. We headed next door to rooftop pub for some chicken schnitzel before crashing for the night.

For our last day we had to check out by 10 am so after a quick shower to wake ourselves up, we wandered down to Dalring Harbor. Unfortunately the weather had taken a turn for the worst and it was pouring out so we headed indoors to browse the shops, grabbed some wedges for a mid-morning snack and then went to the aquarium which was filled with exotic Australian sea creatures. As it started to clear up we decided to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant on the water before heading to the Opera House, an architectural masterpiece. We decided to end the day walking around CBD and burning off some calories. We were struck by a crazy wind gust suddenly that literally swept us off our feet, shattered a huge glass street lamp, and even knocked over a nearby potted tree. After that we decided to call it a day and spent the last few hours of our trip watching the final Harry Potter movie and eating Subway sandwiches for the first time since coming to Australia. Before we knew it it was time to hop on the train and catch our flight back to Melbourne before catching a taxi back to the village and immediately falling into our own beds at 12 at night. It was a great four days and Sydney was a multifaceted city but after visiting, I can say with complete certainty that I am glad I chose to study in Melbourne. Melbourne has its own quirkiness and quaintness that no other city can match.