September 27, 2016

Spring time in Sydney

I think I’ve arrived in Sydney, Australia at the perfect time. Spring is in the air!

The temps here are actually much higher than they were in New Zealand, so my first order of business (after seeing Eight Days a Week) was buying some cooler clothes. After that, I was ready to tackle this huge and vibrant city.

First on my to-do list was finding some good coffee — never a problem in Sydney! When visiting coffee shops in other parts of the world, it was always a mark of distinction when the proprietors were from Australia. Coffee quality and culture is a big deal here. It’s also (relatively) reasonably priced. A superb flat white and plain croissant costs roughly $4.50 USD.

My favorite coffee shop so far is Workshop Espresso, which is also just steps away from the beautiful Queen Victoria Building, or QVB.

Sydney has a modern, immaculately clean and fairly well-connected train network. I caught the T2 train to Circular Quay — the stop for Sydney’s most iconic sights.

Like the Opera House …

… and the Harbour Bridge.

See the people doing the bridge climb?

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Climbing the bridge is pricey and too much of a budget-buster for me. So I decided to get my views the (much!) cheaper way — by visiting the Pylon Lookout. For about $10 USD, you can climb the interior stairs of one of the bridge’s pylons …

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… and be rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views.

Or … you can also simply walk across the bridge, but it’s pretty ho-hum compared to viewing from above or below.

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Next to Sydney Harbour are other things to enjoy like shops/restaurants, ferries and boat tours, and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Another big tourist draw is The Rocks, with its rich history and unique architecture.

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Here’s what Sydney.com has to say about The Rocks:

As the strip of land where European settlers chose to step ashore in 1788, The Rocks is essentially the birthplace of modern Sydney. Over the last 200-odd years, it’s morphed from a rowdy, raucous settlement of convicts, soldiers, sailors and street gangs to a thriving, modern precinct boasting a range of sleek accommodation, attractions and funky bars and restaurants.

There’s also the (free!) Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art.

One museum exhibition I found particularly moving was The Letter Writing Project by Taiwanese American artist Lee Mingwei. Here’s the description:

In this work, the artist invites you to write a letter to someone of your choice in response to the theme of gratitude, or insight, or forgiveness. It offers an opportunity to put into words the things that so often remain unsaid in our lives; or those things that we too often do not find the time to say to the people around us, including loved ones and family. Courtesy and respect are encouraged in all letters written. If you choose to leave your letter unsealed, other gallery visitors may read your letter. If you seal your letter, it will remain private. If you seal and address your letter, the Museum will post it on your behalf during the course of the exhibition.

Here’s another Sydney Harbour sight worth mentioning. If you time your visit just right, you can also see the “resting seal” taking a snooze on the steps.

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Looks like I timed my visit just right!

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He (she?) is clearly not as excited about Sydney as I am. 🙂

More to come from down under!