Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We went to Sydney!

Man, don't we look happy? It's because we went to Sydney! After four months of trying we finally coordinated our calendars with our friends Alex and Matthew. We went for a weekend of fun and sightseeing in Sydney back in April. This picture was taken at a cute little waterside cafe where we had brunch. Brunch- the greatest meal ever in Australia.

After brunch, we went for a stroll along the walkway which was populated by lizards on the rocks. Here's one guy just saying hello.

This lizard seemed to be very interested in the surf.

After our brunch we started in on some super touristy stuff. Alex and Matthew were nice enough to not roll their eyes too much at us while they came along. We drove up to Manly beach, which is one of Sydney's more iconic suburbs. It even has its own rugby league team, the reigning premiers, the Sea Eagles. Alex said that people from Manly tend to be a very insular crew. Her co-workers from there pretty much associate only with each other, and only go out in Manly. It was a pretty nice area and beach. We rode the ferry back to the Inner Harbor, snapping some great pictures of the city and the Opera House on the way. Riding the Manly ferry is high on the list of things to do in Sydney, we'd recommend it.

From there we walked over to the Museum of Modern Art. Along the way there was a group of Aboriginal Street Performers. Laurel donated a few gold coins and we got a great picture!

Matthew hates the Museum of Modern Art. That was even before we walked in and discovered that all modern art is terrible and really not what any of us would classify as art. When the building was soliciting design ideas, he submitted one, which was not selected. The building they built is not great (which matches the art inside, so maybe that's what they were going for?), but it did have a rooftop cafe which had a great view of the city. Here's the harbor bridge on the horizon.

On Sunday, Matthew had to go into work (booooooooooooo), and we discovered that Alex is many things, but tour guide is not her forte. She actually took us to great places, but didn't sell them very well. Example:

Greg: "So where are we?"
Alex: "The Gap. This is where people go in Sydney to commit suicide."

That does explain this sign and the subsequent phone booths that we came across about every 200 meters.

Amazing, right? Alex took us to the Sydney Harbor National Park (refered to as The Gap), which consists of the cliff face that separate the Sydney harbor from the Pacific Ocean. It is beautiful and majestic. Also, how great is the picture warning that there is a falling hazard?

We were there, and it was awesome. Definitely another Sydney must see.

Looking the other way, great views of the city from there too.

The three of us, enjoying a great day.

This is the anchor of one of the, what sounded like, hundreds of ships that have shipwrecked in the area as a monument to those lost at sea.

Oh, and giant spiders liked to build webs over the walking paths, which is terrifying. These pictures do not do the size of these spiders justice. Australia- a welcoming place.

We finished off our day with a trip to the other famous iconic Australian beach- Bondi. It's definitely a very social and touristy hang-out. Stores and shopping line the beach and a major road goes right by it. It's a big beach for surfing. We were surprised that there wasn't a giant Oporto restaurant right in the middle of it though. Oporto is a local fast food chain which makes chicken burgers, and its entire advertising campaign is centered around Bondi Beach. Their main sandwich is even called the Bondi Burger.

We had an absolutely fantastic weekend! We did a lot of the touristy things in Sydney we hadn't done yet, even though we've been to the city several times before. Sydney is just a gorgeous, picturesque city, that while we don't think we would want to live there, is definitely a place that deserves regular visits.