Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Big S

So Sydney's sexy. 

I've been here three days, and apart from a wander through the CBD this afternoon, I keep gravitating back to that Opera House. I may have seen it on several occasions now, but each time it blows me away. 

Not only is it a beautiful building, but it's Australia. Along with Ayres Rock, nothing else means Down Under in the same way. 

The rest of Sydney's centre is very clean, modern and white. The city gleams in the sun, and every day I've been here the sun has been out to play. It's spring, and the days are warm and the nights chilly in the wind. But when you're watching the sun set on the fins of the Opera House, you can live with that. 

My first night here I restarted proper travelling with a bang, by climbing the Harbour Bridge. I didn't realise it's such a popular thing to do, but they have a lot of tours each day, from dawn to night. I chose a night walk, because it was cheaper, but I also wanted to see the city lights. It was expensive (over $200), but worth it. 

I gathered fearlessness to climb to the top of the magnificent arch by telling myself I'd done a skydive. But when it came to it, I didn't need courage. It was just fun. Not to mention I was preoccupied with the view. A big orange moon rose as the last of the sun's light faded and the skyscrapers of Sydney's waterfront lit up, reflected in the water under the glowing Opera House.  As a lover of cityscapes, it took my breath away. 

Yesterday I did a day trip to the Blue Mountains, so called because in the sun's rays the haze from the eucalyptus trees has a blueish tinge to it. 

They're only two hours from Sydney, and you can go by train and then take a bus to the major attractions, the most famous being The Three Sisters rock formation. This was my plan, but the train line was closed this weekend for maintenance, so I booked myself onto a tour, and it was only $20 more than the train/bus combination ticket anyway. 

There were some very impressive views, and I paid $35 extra for Scenic World, which includes a cable car and a ride on the world's steepest train down to the rainforested valley floor, but I didn't feel that was worth the money. 

Then today I met an old friend who I haven't seen in four years. I only found out she was in Sydney last week when she saw on Facebook that I was travelling again. The power of social media, ey? We walked round the bay through the botanic gardens to find the best view of Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It was exactly the postcard-perfect vista I was looking for. 

We also went to a British chocolate shop in Darling Harbour, and I bought Salt & Vinegar Walkers crisps for $1, because their sell-by date was yesterday. All in all, rather a good day. 

I have one day left here in The Big S, and then my plan is to go to Ayres Rock on Tuesday. I have ten days left to see my highlights of Australia, so I need to make the most of them. 

I'll sleep when I'm dead. 

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