Sprint through Sydney

We brought the rain with us from Melbourne to Sydney… And we managed to catch a cab from the airport right in the middle of rush hour meaning a very expensive trip into the city. Perhaps not the best start to our sprint through Sydney. 

Cat had chosen the hotel and we ended up at another Pensione hotel! Unfortunately we couldn’t check in right away which meant we had a few hours to kill in the rain… So what did we do? We went to the cinema! Sounds a bit silly but it’s fun to go out and do things like how you do at home. It makes it feel like this is how life would be if we were living there! We made a bad choice in terms of film though- “Noah”. What an utter let down. Darren Aronovsky, you should be ashamed of yourself! I felt tricked into going because the movie trailers made the film look far more interesting and exciting than it really was… Be warned! Rant over…

The hotel was in a good location, situated on George St next to Chinatown. Which was great news for us as we still hadn’t gotten our fill whilst in Melbourne. And there were bubble tea stores every ten feet! (I can be such a bubble tea fan sometimes!). Terrible, right?

Anyway, so for our first glimpse of the famous Sydney sights, we headed down to the Opera House in the evening to see the iconic site all lit up. It was pretty special! We had some fun taken pictures here and apparently everyone else does too as we saw a couple in full wedding regalia also having a mini photoshoot…

Sydney by night


On the advice of our lovely concierge at the Pensione, we joined a free walking tour of the city (they run twice a day, every day from outside the town hall at 10.30am and 2.30pm and rely solely on your tips). We had a very amusing tour guide, regaling us with stories so outlandish you hesitate to believe them- but I’m pretty sure they’re mostly true… It’s a fun way to see the city and buildings and places become more meaningful and memorable when you’ve got a back story. Plus they point out important landmarks like the fountain where they filmed The Matrix (the woman in the red dress scene). 

Friday nights are a good night for a wander around Chinatown if you fancy it. A night market opens up and the street is full of food stalls and queues of people waiting for dim sum steaming on the street or Emperor’s Cream Puffs- I joined both queues… We grabbed food and heading down to Darling Harbour to people watch. If we’d been there two weeks later, they’d have fireworks going on- from mid April it’s on every Saturday for no particular reason…

Waiting in line, bubble tea in hand!

Look at his hands!

Dumpling time!

At last sunshine came down on us and Saturday was spent at the Rocks, a small area of historical buildings kept and turned into cute shops and cafés. It’s all very British! We had lunch at Baroque- very nice except for the lack of avocados and fresh juice…- and spent some time rummaging through the weekend markets. We also took a quick stroll through the Musuem of Contemporary Art which was pretty cool. 

We tried to take advantage of the sun whilst it was still shining and quickly hopped on a ferry to Manly (return tickets are just under $15 for an adult) to enjoy the beach. All the natives recommended going to Manly over Bondi if we were on limited time because the beach is meant to be quieter and cleaner- no idea if that’s true or not though! Manly was lovely. The ferry ride was great too since you get a great view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge without forking out for a “tourist cruise”.

Sunday yum cha with relatives took a big chunk of our day out but we managed to get time to go to the Botanical Gardens. WARNING- if you’re scared of spiders, don’t look up!!! Giant spiders hanging above your head everywhere. Seriously terrifying times!

La la la LAAAAAA!!!

Our last dinner in Sydney and we went to a Malaysian restaurant Mamak which has crazy authentic roti canai. It’s amazing!! Timeout Sydney call it one of the best places to queue for…

So all in all, a good trip!

If we’d had more time there so much more I wish I could’ve done- gone to Bondi, to the Blue Mountains, seen an opera in the Opera House, climbed the Harbour Bridge to name a few. Whilst a lot of people I’ve met haven’t like Sydney much, I loved it. Probably because it’s like being in London but with a nice beach close to hand…


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