Exploring Sydney

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

I must start this post with a apology of sorts - this is written from the perspective of someone who had an incredible 10 days in Tokyo and Japan before landing in Sydney. We were prepared to be underwhelmed - few places in world are as 'out of the ordinary' as Japan. But, that does not mean they are not just as special in their own unique way. So forgive me if I do not ooze with the kind of enthusiasm  I've displayed in the past whilst writing about Japan, The Outer Hebrides and East Africa. Sydney is a very cool place too - big and gutsy -  it is just that bit more familiar than the others mentioned despite being so far away.

Whilst in Sydney, we stayed in a stunning AirBnB property in the Petersham neighbourhood. It was handy for getting to and from the airport and an interesting area too. Many of the suburbs in Sydney have strong European links.  Petersham, for example, is very Portuguese with houses that were beautiful and had ornate architecture. Even the local supermarkets and what they offer seem to vary depending on the locality. It felt very cosmopolitan. Plus, the transport links across Sydney are very good.

 We spent an afternoon in Manly beach catching up with an old friend and that was very pleasant. Not the most spectacular beach but it was lively and had a friendly vibe. We were told that Bondi is usually teeming with tourists and so we gave that a miss. The journey by boat from Sydney Harbour to Manly and back is well worth doing (on a clear day) for the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney is great for shopping too but I had only one shopping agenda on my mind - heading to the Bloch flagship store and stocking up on ballet flats at half the UK price. And I did just that as I know they will last me absolutely ages - I wore my last pair almost daily and in all kinds of weather and they looked reasonably good even after a year of heavy use.

Other things we did in Sydney included a trip to the Bally outlet (but we didn't buy anything), numerous pit stops in town for coffee and cake (Gumption coffee is well worth checking out), catching up with friends and checking out some local restaurants. City is even more stunning by night  and a walk around the Harbour area and The Rocks is a great way to finish an evening.

Hope you are all having a lovely holiday season! Ann x

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