Surrealism to me has always been the ‘stuff of dreams.’ These are the things we see when we close our eyes and drift off to other places. – Michael Meissner
Please pinch me….. I think I am dreaming. Or maybe I’m just watching a movie and daydreaming that I’m standing in this exact scene. Nope, I’m here. I’m actually truly here! If you had asked me three years ago what’s the first few things that come to mind when someone mentions Australia, I would have simply said “Kangaroos, snakes, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Opera House, and Steve Irwin.” Pretty cliche answer, but honestly that’s what most of us Americans know about Australia. I’ve seen countless movies and photos that show picturesque views of Sydney (mostly The Harbour Bridge and The Opera House). Particularly after watching the episode of Modern Family when they visit Sydney. (If you haven’t seen that episode, you MUST watch it! So funny!)
When I used to work in Noosa, we had thousands of people visit from Sydney and Melbourne. Each person would ask me if I’ve visited either or both cities yet. Each time I answered, “No, not yet.” They looked at me as though I slapped their child. I felt like I completely offended them by my lack of travel in Australia. To be fare, it was never at the top of our Australia bucket list. Patrick in particular detested cities in general. It was like pulling teeth the few times we had to drive to Brisbane for something. So planning a trip to Sydney or Melbourne- plus pretty expensive airfare and accommodation- wasn’t something we were dying to do. Again, perks to single life… Sydney here I come!
I had a very quick work trip to Sydney. We flew some passengers down on Friday afternoon and then the crew were meant to fly back to Brisbane that same day and then pick the passengers up from Sydney on Sunday afternoon. I raised my hand to stay the weekend and pay for my own accommodation and meet the crew back at the airport on Sunday. Sydney accommodation (close-ish) to the city is incredibly expensive, even using Air bnb! I booked an Air Bnb near the airport (Botany) which ended up being a pain in the ass. I used the train in certain areas, but Botany wasn’t very ideal. With the amount I paid in Uber transportation, it probably would have been the same price to book a room closer to the city. Ah well, lesson learned! My good friend from Brisbane- Isabel- decided to join me for my Sydney trip. Although she booked hers very last minute. We would have shared a place but she was very adamant to stay in Newtown, and my accommodation was already booked and paid for. If you don’t know what Newtown is, it’s basically Sydney’s mecca lesbian district. We went out that night and ventured to a few bars for dinner and drinks. I was absolutely dying to see The Opera House, so we hopped on a train towards the city. Sydney’s public transport (trains in particular) are amazing! You simply buy an ‘Opal Card’ , add money to your account and tap ‘on and off ‘ on all public transport throughout the city. As we approached The Opera House and The Harbour Bridge, I truly felt like I was dreaming. It was an incredibly surreal moment for me to finally see it in real life. Probably similar to the way people feel when they visit Hollywood for the first time. This was my Hollywood surreal moment! Pictures do not do it justice. The harbour was absolutely breathtaking in person. It was a perfect chilly Autumn night for a night adventure in Sydney.
The following morning I took the bus to North Sydney for my afternoon sailing adventure! I booked this on Groupon for $45! Three hours of sailing through the scenic harbour. I’ve never been sailing before, so I was absolutely thrilled to try it! You can bring your own snacks and drinks (which I highly recommend). We stopped at a beautiful turquoise bay for an afternoon dip, although it was a bit too chilly- even for me! The captain was a funny chap that made the experience even better. He let me steer the boat at one point and quickly took the steering wheel when I almost tipped the whole boat! His exact words were “Well it’s a good thing you’re not a pilot!” haha!! He just so happened to have a pirate hat laying around, so of course I wore that for the afternoon!
After sailing, I explored the Harbour Bridge. After watching the Modern Family episode, I was dying to do the “Bridge Climb” to the top of the bridge, but I quickly changed my mind when I saw the price. $308! If you wanted to do sunrise or sunset, it was nearly $400! Sweet baby jesus… That’s a lot of money to climb a bridge! I was nowhere near financially stable for that, so I settled on the cheaper version. If you walk across the bridge, you will come across a “tower”. From here you can climb a massive amount of stairs and pay about $20. You still get an incredible view above the bridge and around the whole harbour. Well worth it!
I met up with Isabel for sunset. We enjoyed the harbour views from Lavender Bay and then jumped on a ferry across the harbour. That’s when the sunset colours really started to come about! We hopped back on the train and headed to Newtown for a lesbian meet up dinner. Met some amazing and inspiring women here, although they were in a much older age group than me and Isabel. We “kidnapped” one of them (Jenny) and took the train back into the city to explore Darling Harbour! Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera here, so there’s no photos to show. The nightlife and views were incredible to say the least! We had an absolute ball. It was wonderful getting to know Jenny. It was nice to take a break from the camera and enjoy the scenic views at night with great company! 🙂
I checked out of my Air BNB the following morning and headed to work! Less than 48 hours in Sydney…. I think I did pretty well. Sydney did NOT disappoint in any possible way. Some places look better in photos, but Sydney is not one of them. I am absolutely smittened by this city. There’s still so much I want to see (Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, and some places outside the city) so I will definitely be back.
Thanks for reading 🙂