It was a stormy night in Sydney. My room at the Star Hotel by the Darling Harbour was all purple: the linen, the quilt, the pillow covers, the curtains were all shades of purple and lavender. I tucked myself in bed in my room on a high floor, and the wind whistling and beating against the glass windows as I fell asleep in the dark. The residents were warned to stay indoors because of the storm. However, Sydney had other plans for me the next morning. The sun was piercing through the curtains promising me a sunny day, I slipped out of the purple quilt, my feet couldn’t find my fuzzy hotel slippers (that was not purple), and so I tip-toed my way to the glass window and wedged myself between the curtains. I saw the sun gleaming at me.
The first day, I spent my afternoon at Circular Quay. The vibrant city of Sydney probably has one of the most spectacular harbours I’ve ever been to so far. In the area, you can spot the Sydney Opera House, possibly the most iconic landmark in Sydney; this architectural masterpiece is a must visit; I strolled around the area to catch a glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Spoilt for choice with so many classy cafes and restaurants in the ever effervescent area of Circular Quay, I sat by the harbour and drank my hot chocolate on a chilly afternoon in Sydney, an incredibly relaxing combination when you have good company and a great view!
I’m a lover of long walks, and Sydney had just the treat for me. The walk along The Rocks exposes you to some of the oldest streets in Sydney rich in cultural history and heritage. What I loved, even more, was the walk on the Bondi Beach. Bondi Beach boasts its strong, tall waves, and sharks aren’t unusual in the area. The beach is a treat for surfers and beach addicts; pellucid waters and fine-grained white sand that glued to our feet as we strolled on the beach as the swelling waves came crashing towards my feet on one side and the heaps of sand formed by the roaring storm the previous night piled up on the other side. I climbed a boulder by the beach to get closer to the waves; I could see the peeling waves slowly approaching and breaking towards the boulder, splashing across my face and water gushing between the rocks. I pressed my feet firmly toward the rock to keep myself from falling. If you’re wondering If I fell, some things are best left a secret.
After all that walking, to satisfy my hunger pangs, we dined at The Hill near Bondi beach. They served up a delicious meal, my guilt-free indulgence: eggs, sausages, sun-dried tomatoes, bread, mushrooms and greens; it tasted as good as it looks! Although it would be a good time to say, the rest of the meals that followed involved carbs, lots of carbs and the sweeter things of life. Another impressive eatery is further down from Newtown, in Erkinseville called Doughbox Diner that sells decadent savoury crepes, you’ll probably end up indulging in more than one but it was a bit too heavy for me (a heavy appetite is not my strong suit)
Breakfast at The Hill
Crepes at Doughbox Diner
The Taronga Zoo feels like a world of its own, a new city. Once we got ferried into the zoo, the sky safari took us in cabled rides as we gazed upon the wildlife from above. The zoo offers plenty of activities from watching dolphin shows to getting scarily close to the kangaroos; you could spend an entire day there. Some areas of the zoo gave way to ecstatic views of the city from afar, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and tall buildings silhouetted against the sky.
I hate to have missed the Sydney Bridge Climb; it would have satisfied my slight cravings of adrenaline to get a good view of Sydney from dizzying heights, but the rains wouldn’t agree. The climb is said to capture some breathtaking views from the top of the bridge, and I am going to go back for it someday.