Thursday, 26 April 2012


Well the time came and we sadly departed Melbourne, saying farewell to our family and friends and looking onto our new adventure, the city of Sydney. We caught the overnight train from Melbourne to Sydney, the easier, cheaper and quicker option, so we thought why not. After a tiresome 14hours on a train, we where delayed along the journey as the night instigates track works and we where held in them. Arriving into the city feeling sleepy but excited, we checked our baggage into a storeroom for the day and embarked on exploring...after breakfast of course!

So, I briefly remembered certain places and familiar sights of the city from my last trip here a couple of years ago. I took the lead and navigated us around the city, well...I do have great navigational skills when it comes to finding my way around a place. It's one thing I am good at, finding my way when we are lost or only visiting a place once and never really forgetting where to go. So, we indulged in a pastry brunch served with delicious tea and coffee. The city was already alive bustling with people, noises and smells. We wandered through the streets, admiring all the buildings, street buskers....we even spent 30minutes watching a guy on drums and a trumpet! The weather was not the best, quite grey and small droplets of rain, but we didn't let that affect us. We marched on through the Paddy's Market, explored China Town and headed towards the Harbour. After strolling and stopping for a rest near Darling Harbour, we caught a glimpse of it....the vast structure of the one and only Sydney Harbour Bridge! This trail followed on to the lovely Opera House. I really like the Opera House, its location is great and the architecture that formulates this beauty is amazing. The outer shell almost reflects the light and allows the building to glisten. We ended our day resting in the Botanical Gardens, watching life pass us by and joking around with the wildlife. We felt really calm and content. As evening approached, we began to get excited again as we where heading into suburbia and staying with my lovely family friends Marie and Brian.

When we arrived into Caringbah, we where greeted by Marie with a lovely warm hug. I love Marie, last time I visited Sydney I stayed with her and had the most amazing time. Marie and Brian welcomed us both into their beautiful home, having our own room and bathroom. It was great to have a base and really feel at home and comfortable. They have the sweetest cat called Nina, who John grew to love, after a few slasher incidents and run-ins they became the best of buds! Over the next few weeks, we stayed in Marie and Brian's, they took us to great places around Sydney, visiting beaches, coastal walks and eating in delicious bistro's! Through the week days, me and John did our own things, sightseeing and spending lots of our time down the local beach at Cronulla. What a mesmerising beach this is!

I was even more so excited to see my best friend Katie, herself and Kieran had only just emigrated over to Sydney from Liverpool. So, after a couple days we got to meet up, spending the evening in their wonderful new home at a great 'Ozzie' bbq! The area they live in is very open, bohemian and cool. The vibes around the area and people is very warm and friendly, I am so happy they have moved here and from observing them they seem so happy. In terms of lifestyle, they have it all, beach life, city life, cosmopolitan cafes and a great circle of friends. One thing with Sydney is that people really do work hard and long hours through the week, so work days start as early as 5am and work until 7pm, but when the weekend approaches, everybody fully enjoys them and takes time to relax and enjoy life. That's what I love about this culture, a real appreciation of life and most of all to enjoy it!

Staying with Marie and Brian, we got to enjoy lots of tasty meals, with John and Brian expressing their brilliant culinary skills. Each dish which was delivered was like a piece of art and with the approval from myself and Marie on the tasty treats, we all enjoyed our evenings, wine and dining and having lovely conversations. When we where making plans to depart and head up on a road trip up the East Coast, I felt quite sad to be leaving everybody. We felt really happy in Sydney and almost naturally at home. It's strange as we felt so strongly about Melbourne and the life of living there but deep down me and John loved the suburban life of Sydney. Saying goodbye to Marie and Brian was hard, to me they are my family and it's always hard saying goodbye to the ones you love. We have grown to appreciate those we love and have in our lives and especially with travelling, we are always on 'the go' and live out of backpack, so time settled in one place is like heaven to us. After a farewell kiss to Marie and Brian, we headed over to Newtown to spend our last evening with Katie and Kieran. They are really enjoying life over here and no matter where we are in the world I can always have fun with Katie. So, after our time in Sydney together, we had experienced brilliant days at beaches, catching the rays, enjoying the sea and having some good ole fun! We ate delicious food together and enjoyed a beverage or two...So, as the time came to say farewell, I felt strange. I think it was the emotions of sadness to say goodbye, happiness for spending time with them and everything rolled into one really. It's difficult to describe as these emotions can play with you when saying goodbye to the people and places you love! I know Katie will do brilliantly over in Sydney, so I just kept telling her how happy I am she is living this life and that no doubt I will soon be back over!!

We had arranged a road trip with a lovely couple, which unusually we met in Halong Bay on a boat trip. They are originally from Southampton and have lived in Australia a while, living in Sydney and about to take a road trip up to Brisbane. So after exchanging details and confirming our plans, we all set off in their monster car up along the East Coast. I felt back on the road!

Arriving into Sydney after a long train journey

With all my bags...exploring the city

Admiring the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Joking around outside the Opera House

Enjoying the afternoon laying down in the Botanical Gardens

Enjoying the waves down at Cronulla Beach

John was so happy watching the students having a PE surf lesson at the beach

Just after being filmed for a music video taking a picture down at the beach

Me and Marie having a stroll by the water

Me, Marie and Brian joking around by the edge of the cliff

John, Marie and Brian...just before our lunch by the water

On Katie's balcony at the Ozzy BBQ!

Popping to see Katie while she was on her first week of work

Exploring the famous 'Rocks' of Sydney

The lovely Opera House

Enjoying the views and the sunshine

Having a great day in the city

A day at the beach with our friends

A self picture balanced on a surfboard

Fun times down at Cronulla Beach

A lovely morning stroll

John, me, Marie and Brian enjoying the Sunday sunshine Portuguese Chicken!!

Enjoying our farewell meal at a local Portuguese restaurant

The beautiful Nina 'aka - Slasher' the Cat

John drooling as Kieran cooks up a treat on the bbq

Me, Kieran, Katie and Jess enjoying our afternoon bbq lunch

Having a traditional Bondi Burger

Treating myself to an ice cream on a super hot day

Heading down to the beach

Enjoying the beautiful Bondi Beach

Walking around the cliffs, some amazing waves, rocks and views

The landscape is beautiful with a lush breeze flowing by

The last trails of we head further away

Me and Sean enjoying the views

Being windswept up the it!

A great end to the day. Me, Sean and John loving the Sydney sights!!

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