THIS POST IS LONG, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I’ve noticed that if you pay enough attention to the date format you can tell which posts are written by who.
Jokes aside, I was in Sydney for a bit for winter (Southern hemisphere guys) which was a blessing simply because Melbourne was absolutely freezing. No kidding.
What do birds do when it gets too cold? They migrate.
What do humans do when it gets too cold? Turn on the heat, duh.
But honestly, it was too cold to even walk on the streets and don’t even mention going to class. It was not worth going to lectures when you can view it online after (shout out to Monash for at least providing this for all the fees I’ve paid). So on a whim, a close friend (Lexie) and I (of which I’ve met off ,yes this is a classic, the airplane from Kuala Lumpur en route to Melbourne where I did my exchange for a whole semester) decided to pack it up and move, jk, take a trip up to Sydney, where the Sydney Opera House lives.
Right after the ultimate last paper of my degree, I had to get down to packing for our flight the next day. Knowing that Sydney was a lot warmer than Melbourne, I took a bag pack of stuff which includes:
- 4 (shirts + tank tops)
- 2 sleeping t-shirts
- 1 romper (which I did not end up wearing its still too cold)
- 1 coat
- 1 denim jacket
- 1 hoodie
- 3 jeans
- 1 sweatpants
- 1 skirt
- 1 pair of shorts
- 6 pairs of socks
- 1 scarf
*In the start of a series of unfortunate events I forgot my towel.
- Flight ticket
- Make up
- Water bottle
- A tote bag for daily exploring
– As for Toiletries. We got everything we needed in travel sizes at the local chemist after we landed which included-
- Make-up remover wipes
- Facial cleanser
- Two pack kids toothbrush #itwascheaper
- Body wash
- etc etc.
On the day of the flight itself, we got up at 7 am, and Lexie was actually pretty pissed at my anxiety of needing to leave as early as possible due to the fact that our flight wasn’t until around 10- 11 in the morning but I can’t help being scared of missing a flight?? ANYONE ELSE?
We got to the airport via SkyBus at around 9 am, and checked in within 10 minutes. That gave us an extra hour of which we used for breakfast and a cuppa at the airport.
Upon arrival, first things first, we went ahead and got our free Opal card given out at the airport which was equivalent to Melbourne’s MyKi which will be used for any public transport you take. Extremely ecstatic at first I later realized that Sydney’s public transport costs almost 2x of Melbourne’s.
We checked into our hostel which was predominantly occupied by Europeans who were on working holidays, and the atmosphere was extremely friendly albeit on the noisy side.
Being extremely excited for the first day we hopped onto the train and checked out tourist sites – Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. Sydney was significantly warmer than Melbourne.
Upon sundown we had ribs at Hurricane’s which came highly recommended, it was just like your typical rib joint, nothing worth a loud shout honestly.
Night life in Sydney generally ends at 2-3 am, and one regret would be that I did not manage to check out an apparently amazing spot – The Scary Canary but ahh well I’ll be back some time aye?
On the second day, we went ahead and checked out another tourist trap – Darling Harbour. We went round and round in circles and finally managed to find our way there via Google Maps, after walking for close to half an hour we realized that it was also possible to take ferries there. Coolest fact ever, ferries are considered part of the public transport system in Sydney. The view was amazing on the ferry, 10/10 would do it again even though we almost froze to death with the sea breeze.
We contemplated upon visiting the Chinese Garden of Friendship but we decided not to due to the Oriental style of the garden which was highly prevalent in Asia (where we are from ahem). Lexie and I met up with her friends for dinner out and we finally came to realize to start budgeting our money for food because we were spending so much on it! #revelation
Third day was the start of it all, I felt extremely exhausted and decided to stay in whilst Lexie went ahead with our initial plans of exploring the eclectic Newtown area which was the ‘hip’ part of town with tons of cafe and vintage/ designer stores. I was literally mad at myself for feeling under the weather because this was supposed to be my favorite part of the trip but I just did not want to? We even got into an argument about this. I should have seen this as a sign for what’s coming for me, oh well. I still managed to get myself out of bed in the end within the afternoon hour, and upon looking up indoor things I can do within the vicinity – I came across an interesting Google recommendation – White Rabbit Gallery . Described as a private gallery which exhibits contemporary 21st century art, it has a cute ass cafe downstairs which sells dumplings and green tea plus the exhibition was FREE. Like hello, FREE IN SYDNEY? I slipped on sneakers and went, so the directions on Google maps’ pretty straightforward but I did get lost a couple of times going down the wrong street/ direction but after a few attempts I came across a signage which was poking out the corner of an alley that says ‘White Rabbit Gallery’ and I walked down a hipster-esque alley with hella street art and came across a building which was technically the entire museum. It’s located within a quiet district with a few developments around so it was fun exploring there after as well, but public transport was a pain in the ass where I had to walk half an hour to the closest Metro stop – Redfern. It gave me a real insight into what Chinese artists had to offer and I paid my tributes to Ren Hang.
I got back to Circular Quay and went ahead to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Australia which was a-ma-zing. I did not get to spend as much time there because everything closes at 5 pm in Australia as per the usual. After that I met up with Lexie after her shopping spree and we went for dinner then Luna Park, which was funny because Luna Park is also located in Melbourne and we had to come to Sydney to see it, like really? It was freezing so we just went and looked around which was free if you don’t get on rides. The theme park had a major Coney Island vibe going on which was a strong juxtaposition of both creepy and also hauntingly beautiful with all the lights and rides and laughter and screams. Especially with Mr Moon up front, to quote Taylor Swift, it seemed like a nightmare dressed like a daydream. One thing that really blew me off my feet was that I could view the entire Opera House and also the city lights on the opposite side. After that we dropped by Chinatown for snacks and one of the traditional Chinese-Hong Kong bakery was unbelievably good with their little tiny ‘Emperor Pastry’ which was technically moist, soft balls, yes, balls which oozed cream when you bite into it. Like all things wrong, it tasted right. Oh yes it did.
On the fourth day, IT WAS TIME FOR BONDI. So so extremely excited we were. We took the bus just right off the corner of the hostel, and headed off after breakfast. We were contemplating on doing the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk which will cover a few of the beaches along the coastline but later decided to just spend our time covering where we can. There were people surfing despite the cold and the entire Bondi beach was littered with tourists and locals alike, cafe and restaurants were abundant, everyone was relaxed and spending their time equally as content alone or with company. Bondi Icebergs Club was just a clubhouse where you can have some drinks and food, the renowned saltwater pool had tons of sand in it with its close vicinity next to the sea but it looked like the pools near the coasts of Italy. We spent the entire afternoon there and headed for churros after sundown.
Fifth day on wards up till the last day of our stay, I was finally down with the cold following a major temperature drop in Sydney, it was quite sad considering there were more things I wanted to do but couldn’t but it’s okay, I’ve covered parts of it and I’ll be back someday, I hope. Sydney was, in my impression, more commercialized and business oriented than Melbourne which wasn’t all that surprising given its global status of a city, which meant an even more diverse range of people with more global brands being stationed here as well as more choices for whatever it was that you need due to the demand. You will either love it or hate it, with the pros and cons weighed out, since we had a classic discussion of Sydney vs. Melbourne with friends who had been living in Sydney and despite the jaw-dropping property prices and cost of living, many of them placed Sydney as their prime choice of settling should they choose to settle within the country. As for me and Lexie? We had the exact same thoughts as we spoke of it on the returning flight to Melbourne on the 27th. Melbourne is 4eva. 5 even. Sydney was just a side hoe with all the flashy jewelry, prim and proper posh manners with an uppity accent and properly done make up. We prefer to roll with our hood chick and home, which to us was, Melbourne.