Monday, 19 April 2010
So many memories bumming around Sydney, spending time in our favourite little Cuban coffee shop in the centre of Kings Cross, the fireworks on valentines day at Darling Harbour, the Malaysian restaurant we had to cue for, hanging out at the bar in the Kings Cross Hotel overlooking the Coca Cola sign, the ornate decor of the Queen Victoria Building, wishing we were rich whilst window shopping in Paddington to name but a few. The more time we spent there the less we wanted to leave.
I found that a lot of people who haven't been to Australia know very little about the place. But one name that nearly everyone has heard of is the infamous Bondi Beach. Only a hop,skip and a bus ride from Sydney's CBD is the once small beach community that is now thriving with life and one of the most sought after areas. Bondi offers the quintessential city-come-beach lifestyle, it's the extension of the city but in a bikini. And everyone, everywhere looks fabulous.
When the you need to evade the heat there's one bar that offers the best views around: Bondi Icebergs. The home of Bondi's swimming baths and social club. We spent a few afternoons there escaping the sun and sipping on alcoholic ginger beer whilst admiring the spectacular views from it's glass fronted balcony, looking over the swimming bath, the beach and the ocean.
Because Bondi is world renown you can guarantee that you won't ever be the only one on the beach. Tourists and Sydneysiders alike flock to Bondi for a bit of beach action. Fortunately it has such a wide beach so there's room for everyone, however if you want a bit more seclusion there are the local beaches only a short walk away; and Bondi, like so many other places in Australia has considered the out door life style and created the Bondi to Coogee coastal path, offering a great running or walking track with views to the destinations along the coast line.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
My impressions of Sydney changed over the course of time we were there. When we arrived we missed Melbourne, a city that we loved from the minute we arrived. With Sydney it was a slower infatuation but by the time we left I was hooked. Seeing the Sydney Opera house was one of those moments when you aren't sure if it's real, having seen it so many times before in magazines and on the tv, it was surreal to see it up close. I remember having the same feeling when I saw the Hollywood sign in LA (which if it is torn down like planned it will be tragic to lose such an iconic part of America).
Sydney central business district reminded me of London, the hustle and bustle, everyone on a mission, but on seeing the Harbour we were reminded we were along way from the River Thames. There are so many great areas surrounding the CBD in Sydney, theres the well known areas like Circular Quay which is the location of 2 of Sydney's Iconic landmarks- the Opera House and sydney Harbour Bridge. There's also The Rocks which holds the oldest pub in Sydney as well as many original building from the 19th Century, its only about 100 ft from Circular Quay but suddenly you feel as though you have stumbled across a historic village. We were staying in Potts Point which is the other side of Sydney's Botanical Gardens to Circular Quay, so when heading to seeing the Opera house we would walk through the Gardens which gave us our first glimpse of the Opera House, possible even more astonishing then the sight of the Sydney Opera House was the giant bats hanging in the trees above our heads. Thousands of them, everywhere. When it got to dusk they started to wake and would fly all around the park. It was truely spectacular to see. We later found out after that they are actually called grey-haired flying foxes. Like London there is a Kings Cross in Sydney, the one in no London no longer holds the seedy reputation that it used too, however the Sydney one does. It has a great selection of bars, clubs and restaurants but it has a big problem with drugs, and the sex clubs don't help the image. However if you look past the neon lights, the girls on the street and the users in the alleys then Kings Cross is pretty damn fantastic. What we found wierd about Sydney is that you get a street like Kings Cross which is only about half a mile long that is minutes away from an area like Potts Point which is full of quaint little deli's and coffee shops or at the other end of Kings cross strip is Paddington which is a shoppers dream with lots of high end boutiques. It's almost like they took a city and condensed it into small areas closely packed together.