Thursday, October 26, 2017

First Day in Sydney, Australia



It was the longest flight I had experienced yet. Our flight to Sydney took off half past midnight (local time). Since it was a red-eye flight, almost everyone was sleeping soundly. I was lucky enough that no one was seated beside me; I had the entire row to myself! I carefully tucked my jacket to keep me warm and leaned on the cabin window. Then, I completely surrendered to a deep slumber.

I woke up to the sound of the trolley being pushed by the cabin crew. Groggy and feeling dry, I drank water with so much gusto and took a peek outside. The dawn was breaking - it was a symphony of pink, orange, and blue. We were still halfway to our destination. Then, it was starting to drive me nuts, frankly speaking. Five episodes of This Is Us didn't help. I became more anxious, well probably because of sleep deprivation.

Five minutes before eleven in the morning, the plane banked to the right. The deep blue waters of Botany Bay extends to infinity for quite some time until an unfamiliar landmass started to unfold. And there it was, Sydney. What used to be a settlement for prisoners in the early 18th century became one of the most livable cities in the world, and soon became my favorite city in the world.

The Sydney Coastal Walk

Upon arrival, I met up with my mate and drove our way to Bondi Beach. It wasn't part of my original plan, but since the sun's up, sky's blue and cloudless, and weather's mild at 25 degrees, we took the chance.  I know it won't be that exciting to explore Sydney's famous beach on a rainy day, right?

It felt surreal while walking along the boulevard of Bondi. I mean, everything was pulled straight out of the telly! I have been watching Bondi Rescue at National Geographic for quite some time and I thought the show was just stereotyping the beachgoers - large tote bags dangling on their shoulders, and surfers wearing nothing but beach shorts and their huge surfboards.

It's a good day at Bondi!

At 25 degrees, it was a perfect time to explore Sydney's famous beach.

What a view! Too bad I didn't bring along my swimwear.

Cliffs and cerulean waters.

As a first-timer, I made sure I won't miss the Coastal Walk. You can walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach, or the other around. In my case, we only did the walk up to Tamarama Beach because I got exhausted (sorry, but when you just got out from an 8hr flight and didn't have a decent sleep and shower, you'll probably know what I feel that time). Sure enough, it was one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen. And oh, I got lucky because there's a seaside art gallery known as Sculpture by the Sea.

Sculpture by the Sea.

I am in love with this view.

Tamarama Beach, lesser crowd compared to Bondi.

A Walk Through the Gardens

After a quick shower at my mate's flat in Burwood, we went to Queen Victoria Building, but this time, we rode the Sydney Train. Their train system is quite efficient, and their coaches have two floors! After three (or four?) stations, we alighted at the Queen Victoria Building. Built in the late 1800s, this building served as a marketplace in the early days of Sydney. Later, the government restored this building and reopened in the late 20th century. This is one of the grandest buildings I've seen in Sydney. You'll never miss QVB as you drive or walk along George and York Streets. Like Queen Victoria, it stands out from the rest.

I took this photo while waiting for our train at Burwood Station.

This is the Queen Victoria Building.

Old meets new.

After a quick tour at QVB, we walked all the way to Hyde Park, St. Mary's Cathedral, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Circular Quay. I didn't mind walking around despite Sydney's hilly terrain. It was literally a breath of fresh air. The geek in me got overjoyed upon seeing Australia's unique flora and fauna at the Royal Botanic Garden. It reminded me of my lectures in Evolutionary Biology. Awww, reminiscing the good old uni days.

I hope we have more gardens and parks here in the Philippines.

I saw this while strolling around Royal Botanic Garden.

This is one of my favorite photos.

These are two of Sydney's famous landmarks. Sorry, Tokyo, but Sydney is officially my favorite city in the world!

This is Sydney Harbour at dusk. It gets livelier here at night.

It was almost seven thirty, and the sun was about to set. We walked to the Sydney Opera House, and there, we spent the remaining minutes of sunlight. It was a spectacular sight to see - the Sydney sunset, the Harbour Bridge, and me standing right at the facade of Sydney's famous landmark. Honestly, I thought I was dreaming. 

We went back to Hyde Park. There's a night market that offers a wide array of Asian food. Of course, I didn't go there to eat Filipino food, LOL. But, I was really hungry and was craving for rice. You can't blame me, rice is life! I only had a huge serving of Angus beef burger and loads of fries for lunch. Since there were too many people, we went straight to Darling Harbour and had dinner at Chinatown. Finally, I had rice and fried soy duck for dinner. And oh, the food serving in Oz is fucking big, like it's good for two to three people. I managed to finish the entire plate... well, almost.

Sydney Opera House

Darling Harbour

It was almost ten in the evening when we got home at Burwood. My feet were sore from walking, but I ain't complaining. And then reality hit me hard - I am in Sydney, and I ain't fucking dreaming.

2 comments:

  1. I thought you stayed in Newtown. Burwood is just 4 mins train ride away from our suburb, sayang!

    ReplyDelete

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