What I did in Sydney

Sydney Harbor. I’ve been around and have seen a lot of harbors even in my own country. Nothing prepared me for Sydney Harbor. It’s just so breathtakingly serene. On really nice days, you’ll see the quiet waters peppered by sailboats sharing the water with massive cruise ships. The Rocks and the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera house are must sees either from a distance or up close. And when Vivid Sydney is on, the entire Sydney Harbor area lights up with a new energy.

sydney harbor

 

Sydney Opera House and the Botanic Gardens. A visit to Sydney will never do without a visit to this most iconic of Australian landmarks. Taking the relatively long, scenic walking route right into the Sydney Botanic Gardens should be part of the package. I’m not really a nature lover, but I have to admit I have never seen such a beautiful display of plants from around the world especially those from Australia and the South Pacific. Good thing I didn’t forget to bring water as it was a bit of a walk.

sydney-opera-house

Queen Victoria Building. Shopping is something I really like doing on visits to other places. A visit to Queen Victoria Building (or the QVB as some of my friends called it) supposedly to shop turned out to be more about architecture. Absorbing the quiet, elegant beauty of the Queen Victoria Building was enough. The roman inspired architecture is nothing short of beautiful whether from afar or in the ornate details that you’ll find throughout the building. It spans a whole city block bordered by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. You can easily spend a whole day in QVB just admiring the architecture.

queen-victoria-market-melbourne

Bondi Beach. I’ve seen my fair share of awesome beaches. I come from a country where some of the best beaches in the world are found. Nothing prepared me for Bondi Beach. It’s one of the Top 10 beaches in Australia. Though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for beauty. It’s much more famous for the great sand and clear waters that’s located so close to one of the largest population centers in Australia. Getting there was a lot easier than I expected.

bondi beach

 

The location and accessibility naturally makes Bondi a convergence point for locals and tourists. A brief dip in the water, a relaxing stroll, some food and then that’s when I got down to what my friends told me was most important about not missing Bondi Beach — people-watching. This is when I understood the attraction that Bondi Beach holds for the visitor. It’s really a microcosm of Australia and its work hard, play hard lifestyle.

As my brother so aptly described when he visited Australia to see Bondi Beach specifically upon my recommendation:

“Bondi is beautiful: wide beach, fine sand, great surf, some length, easy access. There is some amazing sealife — young Aussies learning to surf in winter presumably coldblooded, distantly related to the Kayakers in Manly. They probably come out to the beach in winter and hibernate in summer.”

This was written in June. I ended my Sydney visit in May. After countless retellings of my sydney sojourn, my brother booked a five-day tour to see Bondi Beach himself.