Sydney: should-be capital city of the Promised Land, famous for its Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Port Jackson.
But, I wonder, does anyone know the real beauty of Sydney? Of its incredible, relaxed nature? Its hidden, back-street whisky bars, its blooming Jacaranda trees? Its refusal to be anything but loud and proud for its huge LBGT community? Its complete individuality, yet comfortable familiarity?
I love this city, immediately, irrevocably.
I don’t even care that you’ve all already seen this photo. Like three times. The trees here make me So. Damn. Happy.
A friend of mine said to me once, “I stepped off the plane in Sydney and felt at home”. I didn’t put much stock in this – I’ve visited hundreds of cities and yes, I’ve adored some of them. But never have I felt “at home” pretty much straight away – until now. Granted, we were greeted at the airport by my Uncle, Aunty and beautiful cousin, which helped. But that aside, I just felt like the Boy and I fit in here straight away – we got our bearings quickly, we slotted straight in to Sydney’s laid back lifestyle. I’ve not felt so comfortable in a city, ever, in my life, after such a short time.
Having never set foot in Oz before, it was pretty damn cool to realise that we’re on a huge island, to which many things are purely indigenous and we won’t have seen before. The ugly white ibis, for one – Australia’s answer to the common pigeon. I’m not kidding, it’s the ugliest looking bird you’ve ever seen. Poor thing. Google it. Do it.
We’re staying in an area called Surry Hills, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It is definitely what I would call, very “cool” – packed with bars, cafes, restaurants. Every place you walk by entices you in with scents of all kinds of cuisine – Thai, Bangladeshi, burger bars, burrito huts. I’m pretty devastated that there is no way we’ll have time to sample each eatery; I love me some good food*. Everyone here is good looking, effortlessly well dressed, stylishly presented.
Sydney is also famous for, of course, its beaches; Bondi, for instance, pulling in millions of tourists each year. We spent the day on Coogee beach which is beautiful – pretty small, not overcrowded. The waves were rough, the water freezing – compared to that of Hawaii, anyway – but we had an awesome day, which ended with a huge storm. Clouds started rolling in at around 2pm – the sky darkened, the ominous grey fingers of the system started reaching out across the ocean, lightning forking way out in the deep sea. It was fascinating to watch.
That is, until it started shitting it down with rain. We ran for cover from the deluge pretty sharpish. The weather turns here so fast.
We were lucky enough to score tickets to see Chet Faker, an electronica muso from Melbourne, live at the Sydney Opera House for free – it was an incredible show, and what a venue; outdoor stages are the best, no question, but to have the SOH to your right, the Harbour Bridge straight ahead and a roaring crowd to your left made for an awe-inspiring setting to listen to live music. My honest opinion? The guy himself is a bit of a douche – he is the man-bun fad embodied, epitomizing every single “too-cool-for-school” person out there – but, he is bloody talented, I’ll give him that. Anyone who can mix music, sing live AND play an instrument all at once has done pretty well in my books. Have a listen to some of his stuff on YouTube – Talk is Cheap is my fave tune.
We’ve had an incredible time exploring the streets of such a lovely city – in honesty, I feel a bit of a sell out, as everyone goes on about how awesome Sydney is, bla bla bla.
I hate to be the one to break it to the non-believers – Sydney is, in fact, awesome.
*We’re heading to MELBOURNE this weekend for a foodie event which look a m a z i n g – it’s called Taste of Melbourne. Watch this space!