First things first, Happy New Year to you all!! I can hardly believe that it is now 2017 and I am already over a month into my trip!
Hannah and I had a fantastic New Year’s Eve in Sydney. We decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out at a Japanese restaurant called Saké in the Rocks in Sydney. The meal was some of the best sushi we’d ever had, including popcorn tempura prawns with spicy mayo and selections of sashimi, nigiri, and sushi rolls! We were in heaven!!
After the meal we went to a nightclub called The Argyle, also in The Rocks – very near the Sydney harbour. We enjoyed a few drinks there before walking over to the harbour bridge to catch a glimpse of the famous Sydney fireworks! Safe to say they did not disappoint – I would even have to admit that they are better than London’s!
Since New Year’s Eve we decided to explore some of the other beaches in Sydney, including Manly beach and Palm beach. One of the best things about our trip to Manly was the journey there. You have to catch a ferry from Sydney harbour, which goes right past the harbour bridge and opera house and gave us stunning views of the Sydney coastline.
My favourite beach we visited was definitely Palm Beach, which you might know from the tv program Home & Away. We had to get a 2 hour bus ride there, but it was definitely worth it! After grabbing a bite to eat we spent a couple of hours relaxing on the beach. The highlight of the day was doing the lighthouse walk up Barrenjoey headland. It was only about a 20 minute walk up there but it was very steep so quite a challenge in flip flops! Once we reached the top the views were absolutely breathtaking!
Sometimes when you’re travelling for an extended time and are without home comforts it’s good to do things that you would do at home to make you feel normal! We decided to go to the cinema and it actually made me temporarily forget that I was in Australia. We saw Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard’s new film Allied and I cannot stress enough that it is a MUST SEE – definitely one of the best films I’ve seen in a while! It was one of those films where with only five minutes left you still don’t know how it’s going to end. Set during World War II, it tells the story of a Canadian intelligence officer and a French resistance fighter who meet on an assassination mission in Casablanca and fall in love. In a world plagued by suspicion and unrest, Pitt’s character is ultimately forced to grapple with his undying love and trust for his wife and the British government’s suspicions of her true identity. I won’t give too much away, all I will say is that it perfectly balances romance and drama and won’t leave a dry eye in the house.
Now, taking my analytical English lit graduate hat off…. On the walk back to the hostel after the film we decided to stop off in a lovely little chocolate shop on Bondi road that we’ve been eyeing up for days. We each bought a few of their freshly made choccies, which were to die for! My personal favourite was the salted caramel chocolate heart!
Continuing along the theme of food, we visited some wonderful bars and cafes while in Sydney. Three words: wine, cheese & hiphop. If I told you that it’s possible to visit a bar that combines all three you’d probably think I was crazy. But such a place does exist and it’s amazing!! It’s called Big Poppa’s on Oxford Street and if you’re a fan of these three things, like I am, then I urge you to visit it if you’re ever in Sydney.
Also, Preach cafe on bondi beach serves the most yummy (and healthy!) food! It wasn’t until the waiter had visited our table 3 times that we finally decided what we wanted to eat as there were far too many amazing things to choose from. We even took a picture of the menu so that later that evening we could make our own version of their zucchini noodles, with chicken, pesto, tomatoes, avocado, and pine nuts!
Before leaving Sydney we were determined to visit the Blue Mountains. We decided to do it through a tour company advertised through our hostel called Oz Tours. Unfortunately, the tour itself was quite disappointing, as they made a number of mistakes with our booking and the actual tour itself was poor, unless you were willing to pay extra for the activities offered at each stop. Thankfully, being able to see the beautiful blue mountains and specifically the Three Sisters made up for it!
As I write we are currently on our way to Byron Bay, where temperatures are being reported at 47 degrees Celsius – wish me luck!!!
Bye for now,