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Sydney Blew us away before we even touched down. An early AM arrival with a courtesy flyby of the city and harbor allowed awesome views of the city surrounded by boats and water.

We spent our 5 nights in Sydney in the funky metro neighborhood of Glebe. Close to Sydney University and full of cool cafes, 2nd hand bookshops, with plenty of students and young locals out and about. We were fortunate enough to get some great recommendations from our friend Katy who grew up in Australia and went to university in Sydney. With her recommendation we got a nice mix of cool neighborhoods, the best of the big city, and the amazing beaches within a short ferry ride from downtown.

The iconic opera house and city skyline from the ferry

Sydney has a wonderful public transportation system and it was easy to catch a 20 minute bus ride into the city from our hostel in Glebe. It was just as easy to catch one of the many ferry’s that departed often to the surrounding beaches and neighborhoods. I was really impressed how the public transportation system seamlessly combined trains busses and ferrys. At circular quay, the main transportation center in the harbor, all three options come together in a three story water front plaza were the busses pull in over the boats and the train tracks run above the busses.
Ferry pulling into Circular Quay

We split out time between exploring the city and exploring the beaches. We were in town on a Saturday and checked out a few of Sydney’s great weekend markets. The Market in Glebe was mostly funky vintage clothing and was set in a shady park and a bohemian feel to it between the goods, patrons, and vendors. The second market we checked out was in the downtown area called the Rocks. This was much larger and spread out over several city streets. Here they mostly catered to tourists with Australian art and crafts but it was still fun to explore and see this part of the city as well.

Everyone knows I am a sucker for picture frames! (Glebe Market) All I need are photos of sunsets!
Rocks Market
We also spent some time in the large and very pleasant botanical gardens. Offering a peaceful retreat from the city and great views of the harbor bridge and opera house, as well as all the impressive boats moving around the harbor, it was a great place to just chill out in the shade and take it all in.
Yours Truly

We checked out the Opera House up close and even walked around inside a little bit. It was interesting reading about the history and the controversy behind its exterior and interior creation. Here are a few different perspectives on the building you have all scene the classic image of so many times. It is truly an amazing building and getting up close and looking at it from so many different angles was a lot of fun. Meghan did tire of how many pictures I was taking and I had to go find her in a nice shady park were a festival for green energy was being put on. We watched a decent band for a bit while enjoying organic kiwi popsicles!


On to the Beaches and eye candy galore. We did not have to leave the city to notice that everyone was beautiful and extremely fashion orientated. Countless women strut the streets of Sydney dressed to impress and it all comes off at the beach. Our first beach stop was Manly, named after myself and the manly aborigines spotted on the beach when it was first discovered. It was Saturday and it appeared that the entire city headed out to the beach. A 30 minute ferry ride dropped us off on the harbor side of the northern entry to Sydney harbor. A short stroll down a pedestrian mall from the ferry stop brought us the packed ocean side beach. We took refuge under a rented beach umbrella and spent the entire day reading, sleeping, and playing in the ocean.
Manly Beach
Our second beach day was to the famous Bondi Beach. Well known around the world as a place were Sydney comes to show off its' skin. The beach is a mile long stretch of golden sands backed by a green public park and boardwalk. We hit this beach mid week and did not experience the massive crowds we did earlier but it was still busy and offered a fun scene. We started the day down the shore a few miles and walked the eastern beach walkway past 4 nice beaches on the way to Bondi. Never before have I seen so many nice beaches so close to such a big city.
Eastern Beaches Walkway
A nice place to rest in peace
The pool at the Bondi Surf Lifesavers Club and Bondi Beach

Meghan takes in the Scenery!
Some holiday guidlines for all you revelers

Sydney was a lot of fun but did not feel all that far from home. One local person we spoke with compared it to LA, and said that it does not really represent Australian people or culture too well. Equaling the size of the continental United States Australia is a big country and we would love to come back again with more time to really get to know it. We have enjoyed exploring these first world countries but exited to move on to Singapore and then Malaysia were things should get interesting.

Luna Park, Just across the harbor bridge
[i]We ate at the Sydney fish market, 2nd largest in the world with regard to types of fish available!
[/i]One last shot of the Opera house from the Harbor Bridge

Posted by pmunson 06:53 Archived in Australia

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Love those architectural shots, Peter... keep 'em comin'!
Meghan: way to really take in the 'scenic' culture he hee

by gallchance

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