I’ve survived over 24 hours in Sydney and I’ve only thought ‘I need an adult’ three times so far. I think that’s a success. What isn’t a success is the fact that I’ve already got sunburnt despite my very enthusiastic application of factor 50 sun cream.
When I landed yesterday, irritatingly about an hour late, I met up with Emily at the arrivals hall and after a bit of a faff with getting the shuttle bus to our hostel we had our first look at Sydney. By first look I mean we walked to the supermarket round the corner with our new friend Danielle and then came back. It’s hot, sunny and nowhere near as flat as I thought it would be. This city is like a mix of San Francisco and New York with a hint of Seattle, so it’s basically my dream place. We didn’t get up to much yesterday, thanks to being completely out for the count by 8pm (thanks jet lag!), and I couldn’t even eat dinner – seriously, that’s how tired I was.
Today got off a better start. After breakfast we decided to do a walking tour of the harbour, and made our way down George Street to see the bridge and the Opera House. It’s even better in real life than it is in pictures; when I saw it it was a proper pinch-me moment! It’s so much bigger than I thought it would be, and the harbour is so beautiful too. After the obligatory photo shoot – have to get that Insta shot, obvs – we went round to the Opera House. Is it bad that I thought that it was all one building? Genuinely never knew that all those different bits were different buildings. Oops. It was crazy to see it in real life and actually be there – it’s one of those places that I never really thought I’d get to go and see for myself until I decided to come out here.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Proof I was really here!
After this we took a stroll in the Botanical Gardens and went round to Mrs Macquarie’s chair to get that classic shot of the harbour. Looking out over the water was so surreal. I’ve seen that picture so many times in my life and now I’m here!
The view from Mrs Macquarie’s Point
Sydney Botanical Gardens
Then we realised it was lunchtime and set out on an epic quest to find a sandwich. Do Australians do sandwiches? It was near impossible to find one that appeared edible – the only one without meat in that I found was curried egg mayo. No thanks! After getting some crisps and dip we went down to Hyde Park and sat in the sun.
For our afternoon adventure we went over to Darling Harbour and explored the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Lovely. At this point the sun was starting to blaze down, so on went the fourth layer of factor 50 sun cream. It didn’t work. I’m already burnt to a crisp. After some very rejuvenating ice cream we took a walk up to Barangaroo Reserve (we didn’t make it all the way round as it was so hot we had to go lie under a tree) before heading back down to the hostel to have a shower before cooking dinner.
Sydney isn’t at all what I expected; it’s a weird and wonderful mix of old and new, big and small, famous and quirky. It’s got way more hills than I thought it would have, but it’s beautiful none the less. I think I’m going to like it here.