Australia is so big, and there are so many things to see, that a five days trip is never enough here. Because I didn’t have too many days off, I took a flight ticket for Sydney. This distance was the shortest and most affordable.
As I said, I’m not a city person. Therefore I went to the Blue Mountains first. I spent a couple of days there. They are easy to reach from Sydney, just one and half hour by train to reach the principal town of the area, Katoomba. This centre has not significant things to offer, simple accommodations, some bars and restaurants. However, it is an excellent place to stay because very close to the major attractions of the park.
I spent there a couple of days, hiking, taking photos and doing sport in open spaces, finally outside the city, far away from traffic and noise.
The Blue Mountains are so called for the blue shade that they take during the first or last hours of the day with low light. These mountains are without end, rich in forest, wildlife, waterfalls and beautiful lookouts. To be honest, I have the impression that this Park is very touristic, at least much more than others in Australia, probably because of the short distance from the big city.
Hikes and lookouts are quite often easily accessible; this aspect is excellent for persons of all ages and fitness levels. However, because I love to enjoy nature with silent and peace, I prefer less busy place, with less comfortable infrastructure and less beaten paths.
Before moving to Sydney, I felt the Melburnian pressure. Like it is common in every part of the world, the major cities of a country always feel a sort of competition. Because I lived in Melbourne, of course, I was strongly influenced by it, though Melbourne is objectively better :p.
Sydney is as busy as organised. Public transports bring you around without any difficulty. The city has beautiful parks to relax, like the Royal Botanical Gardens or Hyde Park in the centre, and tall skyscrapers to walk in between.
Of course, when I arrived, my curiosity brought me to the most famous buildings: The Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. They are very crowded at every time of the day and the evening. From a short distance, The Opera House didn’t impress me so much. I mean, it’s beautiful, but probably I had too many expectancies. It is clear that I’m not an expert on architecture. Do you know that the architect Jørn Utzon was not invited to the opening ceremony, nor was his name even mentioned? That’s crazy. Apparently, there were conflicts about the increasing cost for the realisation.
Fortunately, some less proud Melbournian nationalist gave me a good suggestion. There is a ferry leaving from The Warf, between the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, that lead to Manly Beach in 30 minutes of travel. I spent there the time for a beer, and I came back to the city. I calculated the exact time to be on the boat during the twilight and what a sunset, guys!!! The view was stunning, to hold the breath. The sun goes down between the Sydney skyline and the Harbour Bridge, lightening everything with a red light. The Opera House is something special from here. Colours change every second, making it difficult to decide whether to look or take photos.
The day later, I was at the Royal Botanical Garden to admire the sunset again, this time chilling on the grass with a beer. It’s illegal drinking alcohol in public places in Australia, but it was a sin I couldn’t avoid!
There is a beautiful walk on the North side of the city, The Promenade. It offers lovely views, many bars and restaurants and many attractions.
My bed was in a hostel next to Bondi Beach, 30 minutes from the city centre by bus. It was pretty dirty to be sincere, but there were friendly people. I spent my evening until late laughing with a crazy British guy, English teacher in China, and his friends.
Finally, it was beach time; Bondi is the glamour Sydney’s beach. It was a long time ago when I surfed the last time at Canary Island. Finally, it was time to try it again, for the first time in Australia. I rented a board, and a wetsuit in one of the shops in front of the beach and I run into the ocean. Surf needs to be practised as much as possible. I’ve done the opposite in the last years, so I spent two hours in the water, fighting against a couple of meters’ waves. In the end, I gave up. The wetsuit was oversized, the water was cold, and I was freezing with the chest muscles hurting without any result. It was the signal that lunch and beer could be a better option.
Starting from Bondi Beach, there is a nice walk that arrives at Coogee Beach. I did it running. It’s a coastal walk with fantastic views. In that time, there was also a pretty sculptures exposure along the first portion. It is an annual exhibition between October and November, “Sculpture by the Sea“. Running was impossible, too many people, but the outdoor sculptures were handsome.
Probably because the few days, I didn’t love Sydney as I liked Melbourne. I lived it as a usual busy big city. However, there is a spectacular view in Sydney that is incomparable with anyone else. Just that values the ticket price.