Friday, November 3, 2017

A Day in Manly Beach and Sydney Central Business District

The sun finally showed up its might and glory on my third day in Sydney. I really thought that it would still rain, and that would really suck if it really did.

I woke up at half past nine in the morning, which was kind of late. But since we weren't actually in a hurry, we left the flat at half past 10. The crisp, cold Spring morning was a perfect day to explore more of Sydney's suburb communities.

Manly Beach

Sydney is surrounded by a natural harbor. Hence, Sydney beaches are not just limited to Bondi, Tamarama, or Coogee. With a coastline sprawling more than a hundred kilometers, the choices are endless. On our third day, we visited Manly Beach, situated in the northern part of the city.

Jacarandas in full bloom. Spring is here!

Sydney Opera House.

This is one of my favorite photos.

There are two ways to get there. One is to drive all the way to the northern suburbs of the city, while the other option is to ride a boat from Sydney Harbor to Manly Port. We chose the latter since we wanted to avoid Sydney's weekend traffic. Plus, it's more scenic when you ride the boat. The sky, the sun, and the weather were great, which made my photos dreamy and surreal.

We sat on the upper deck of the boat for ten minutes until I could no longer feel my face since it got colder. We then transferred inside the cabin and enjoyed the rest of the boat trip. It wasn't surprising to see many people visiting Manly. The place is more or less like Bondi. There are numerous stores, shops, boutiques, hotels, and even banks along the main street.

Before anything else, we had a quick lunch at a Japanese restaurant. Forgive me, the Asian in me wanted to eat rice. Chips (or fries) won't suffice, even at a large serving. Rice is life, mate!

Manly Beach.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach.

The rich and affluent Sydneysiders live here.

As we continued our walk to the shoreline, we were greeted by a flock of seagulls. Like in the movie Finding Nemo, they were flying low to scavenge for food. I imagined them blurting 'mine, mine. mine' several times. Some were busy feeding them, but I wouldn't dare. Several months ago when I was at Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea, we tried to feed a huge flock of seagulls. We ended up panicking because we thought they'd kill us. These birds could get rowdy, you know.

We strolled along its long stretch of sand that runs from Queenscliff to South Steyne. As we walked farther, we passed by several rock pools up to Shelly Beach, which is another beach with a smaller crowd. Despite the growing number of tourists visiting Manly, the entire place remains clean. How I wish we have this kind of public beach back home.

We took the long walk back to the main street of Manly and strolled around its quiet and upscale residential area. I would love to live there one day, but I reckon it's expensive to rent a property, much more own. And yep, I was right. A quick Google research told me that Manly is the 25th richest suburb in Australia. The great view of the beach comes with a hefty price.

The Central Business District

The shopping culture in Sydney isn't that expansive compared to Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, or even in the Philippines. Don't get me wrong, I scored a great deal here in Sydney. Since it's my last day here, we walked all the way to Pitt Street and splurged a bit by buying some autumn clothes in Uniqlo and H&M (they were on sale, by the way, so I didn't feel guilty). And that's not all, a trip to Sydney won't be complete without visiting Chemist Warehouse. Here, you can find huge discounts on perfumes, facial wash, and much more. Because I'm a sucker for perfumes, I bought not one but two (Hugo Boss 200ml and Acqua di Gio Armani 100ml) for only AU$150. It's double the price if I bought it here in the Philippines.

Gelato Messina

Downtown Sydney.

Pitt Street

After my shopping therapy, we walked all the way to Hyde Park, then towards the war memorial. Walking around this city is easy, albeit the occasional uphill climb. What I really love about walking around the city is the abundance of parks, sidewalks, and walkways.

To cap off the day, I went to the nearest Gelato Messina shop and bought a gelato. I ordered Honey Honey, and it tasted good.

In Retrospect

Sydney now has a special place in my heart. I am sorry Tokyo, but Sydney is now my favorite city in the world. It really is accessible, all thanks to its efficient and easy to understand mass transportation system. Every corner of Sydney is so picturesque. I love everything about this city - the food, the culture, the genuine hospitality of the locals, food, and their coffee. Oh, did I mention food twice?

I left Sydney with a heavy heart. Four days were too short, and I made a promise to spend more time there. If being there was just a dream, then waking up is a fucking nightmare.

Sydney, I'll be back.

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