Saturday, 17 December 2016

Spending a weekend in Sydney

Sydney, Sydney, Sydney. It’s a city that has been talked about again and again, and of course, there’s some pretty great reasons as to why. If you’ve followed my travels over the past few months, you’ll know that Australia and I didn’t get on as well as most travellers do, we just didn’t seem to click y’know and after originally planning to spend at least a year there, it was quite the decision to instead book a flight to Nairobi after 6 weeks and just…go.

Sydney was always in our plans, and after leaving ourselves a couple of weeks to explore Australia as a tourist before boarding that flight to Kenya, those plans seemingly sped up just a tad. After flying from Melbourne to Brisbane and heading down the East Coast for 10 days, our final destination was Sydney and, really, if there was one thing that I could change about my time in Australia, it would be to have flown there first. Why? Because, you just know you’re in Australia when you arrive there. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge - Sydney features the things that instantly spring to mind when you think of Australia (that is, after kangaroos of course). I just knew it would happen, we’d be in the final days of our time in Australia, we’d be getting psyched for a new adventure and then we’d fall in love with a city. Typical.

We only had four days in Sydney and after my two friends from Melbourne surprised us with a visit, we stayed two nights in Bondi with them and then headed into the city centre for our final two sleeps in Australia! I would absolutely love to say we completed the Bondi to Coogee walk but….we did approximately 30 minutes and then stopped for a drinks break…and 8 hours later had been on a pub crawl of Bondi. Let me pause here so that, oh yes, absolutely no one needs a moment to recover from shock.

I mean, aside from the drinking, we also, you guessed it, ate some pretty great food. One restaurant in particular, stands out by a long, long way and it goes by the name of Hurricane’s Grill & Bar Bondi Beach. At an infamous steakhouse, it really would have been rude not to order the rib platter - a trio of pork, lamb and beef - and it’s safe to say, it really did not disappoint and would come highly recommended.

Bondi’s beach and coastline is utterly stunning, and even for a place that is incredibly busy and there’s people quite literally everywhere you look, it still manages to somehow keep its laid back, chilled vibe and I liked that, I liked it a lot.

After a fun couple of days being shown around by our Aussie friends, it was time to say goodbye and head to the city. We had booked into Maze Backpackers however it’s safe to say it was the worst hostel we have ever been too and within an hour, we were gone. Thanks,!

Our new hotel, 57 Hotel, located in Surrey Hills and just a 5 minute walk from the inner city, was just a dream, so much so that, being the politics geeks that we are, we maybe spent half of one our last days drinking their amazing coffee in our room watching the US Presidential debates… The award for the least cool people in the world goes to…!

Of course, our final day was spent taking in the sights of Sydney, and honestly, the Harbour bridge and the Opera House really are spectacular to see in real life. It would’ve been very rude not to toast to our two months in Australia, another chapter of the trip coming to an end, so prosecco in the warm sunshine was ordered with the stunning views in front of us. I can’t say it was too bad of an afternoon.

Our final meal was at El Loco in Surrey Hills and whilst the food was great and very affordable, it’s the service at this place that stands out. My friend, Rosie, has a nut allergy and when she mentioned this to them while ordering, they were absolutely fantastic and even cleaned down the entire kitchen before starting to prepare our food. The decor is fun and bright, the staff are amazing and it really was a great place to end our time in the city.

Despite the working holiday visa experience not quite being the one for us, there are absolutely no regrets from our time in Australia. We visited some great places, met fabulous people and hey, everything happens for a reason.

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