17.07.2009 - 22.07.2009 18 °C
Stepping out into the sunny Circular Quay of Sydney Harbour and seeing the beautiful Opera House and Harbour Bridge was amazing but surreal. The view is so iconic and familiar, but seeing it with our own eyes was more impressive and fantastic than we were expecting. We immediately fell in love with Sydney, as it is such a vibrant and exciting place to explore. It probably also helped that it was considerably warmer than Melbourne!
The highlights of our jam-packed stay in Sydney included a free walking tour, where we learnt loads about the history of this relatively young city and about the European settlement of Australia. We also had an amazing time on a tour of the Sydney Opera House, and a lovely picnic lunch in the neighbouring Botanic Gardens. We couldn't resist splashing out on a contemporary version of Shakespeare's play Pericles at the Opera House, it was worth every cent!
We spent a couple of days exploring beyond the city centre, first with a day trip to the suburb of Manly. Here we ambitiously took on the 10km manly Scenic Walk. This traced the coastline from manly beach back towards Sydney and involved a lot of clambering up rocky pathways and through areas of bush. The views were great and we got to sneak a peak at the Manly way of life - gorgeous sea view houses, long walks and dog-walking.
Another great day trip was to the Blue Mountains where we had a guide to show us all the best parts. The dramatic valleys are completely filled with Eucalypts, which in late afternoon give off a eerie mist that appears blue when the sun filters through it.
Our final day was spent on the famous Bondi beach sunbathing and admiring the skill of the surfers. All in all we really enjoyed our stay in this cosmopolitan city and the surrounding beaches and areas. We also learnt so much about Australia's 240 year history, and are looking forward to discovering the rest of it's East Coast.