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9 May 2014

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Let me preface by saying I want to move to Sydney. Today, please.

We arrived at our hotel in the afternoon and were greeted with the most stunningly beautiful view:

Sydney Opera House, view from Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Sydney Opera House, view from Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

Raring to go out and explore, we hopped onto a ferry to head towards Darling Harbour to check out the aquarium. I adore aquariums - there's hardly a more peaceful place (minus the occasional screaming kids and harried parents).

Sydney Aquarium, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

After working our way around Sydney's surprisingly large (and winding) aquarium, we'd worked up a hefty appetite and wandered over to the incredible food smells wafting over from further down the harbour...

Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

We chose Braza, and proceeded to eat all of the meat in the world. Unlike any Brazillian barbecue I've ever been to in the past, the meat was incredibly tender, not at all overcooked like so many tend to be. Beef, lamb, pork, chicken hearts - we gobbled it all down. We sat outdoors with the most spectacular view through the window (aka right next to) of this baby on an open pit rotisserie, slowly spinning, tantalising us. I mean, just LOOK:

Darling Harbour, Braza, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

After dinner, we went for a leisurely stroll (to help our disgustingly full bellies digest) around the opera house. At night, it looks somewhat like a spaceship out of a sci-fi movie. Stunning!

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
boyfriend, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

The next day, after a ridiculously indulgent breakfast (I mean, did I really need to order Belgian waffles with whipped maple butter and pecan cream? Apparently so. Hello, stomach ache) we were off bright and early to catch the Manly ferry over to the island. Jarv lived there for 3 months once upon a time and had only good things to say, so I wanted to check it out.

Park Hyatt breakfast a la carte, Belgian waffles, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
seagull, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Manly Ferry, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Manly Wharf, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

After a walk down the street where Jarv used to live and a small tour of his old neighbourhood, we stopped by this awesome restaurant for a seafood lunch.

seafood restaurant, Garfish, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

We started with fried courgette flowers to share. Delicious flavour, but slightly too greasy for my tastes.

seafood restaurant, courgette flowers, Garfish, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

For mains, Jarv went with the Moreton Bay bugs (they were fantastic) and I chose one of the local fish (I'm useless - I've forgotten the name, as it was over 2 weeks ago now), baked in a wood-fired oven (also delicious).

seafood restaurant, Garfish, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
fish, seafood restaurant, Garfish, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

After lunch, Jarv suggested we take a half hour walk up towards Shelly beach. I grumbled (as I am occasionally wont to do...) a little at the idea of trekking for an hour, but Jarv convinced me of the spectacular view at the top and I was persuaded.

beach, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
beach, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

My doubt was assuaged the moment we started walking down this gorgeous pathway.  The sun felt amazing on our bare skin, and all around us happy, healthy people were stripping into their swimming suits and wandering the path eating ice cream or acai and drinking ice cold water. Life felt pretty damn fantastic.

beach, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
beach, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
beach, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

Is there anything more soothing than the sight and sound of the ocean? I challenge you to find anything better!

couple, love, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

Stopped off quickly for coffees at the Manly Coffee Guild (recommended - friendly staff, good coffee, open plan setup).

Manly Coffee Guild, Manly, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

This guy caught a ride back to Sydney Harbour with us.

on the Manly Ferry, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
on the Manly ferry, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

Suddenly, not long after this photo was taken, the captain announced that if we didn't want to get wet, we ought to head inside. Like the raving rebels we are, we didn't listen. And got splashed head to toe as the ferry crashed down onto the waves, over and over. I'm telling you, if you don't have strong sea legs (hell, any level of sea legs), it would not have been a fun journey. I honestly felt as though I were on a water park ride, clutching onto the side with mixed feelings of glee and terror. The stomach lurching feeling as you rise and fall drastically was simultaneously nauseating and thrilling! No photos of us looking like wet dogs in the aftermath, though.

on the Manly ferry, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

After a rather dramatic ferry ride, we hastily stepped onto solid land and rushed back to the Park Hyatt for some r&r in the rooftop jacuzzi. You can't beat the view, with the Sydney Opera House behind you and the Sydney Harbour Bridge lurking pretty much right above.

Park Hyatt rooftop jacuzzi and pool, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

We also had the place to ourselves (for about half an hour)! Lucky us.

Park Hyatt rooftop jacuzzi and pool, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

Later in the evening, I wasn't feeling so hot, but we ventured out to dinner anyway (where it was too dark to take photos) at Cafe Sydney (on the rooftop of Customs House). Godawful name, excellent food and service, with a pretty decent view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and water.

On our last morning (sniff), before flying back to Tokyo in the afternoon, we gorged ourselves on the buffet breakfast (I've never seen smoked salmon served like this, in actual chunks) before strolling around the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens for an hour or two.

Park Hyatt buffet breakfast, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Royal Botanic Gardens, bird, Sydney, Australia, Euriental
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

How cute is this guy, bathing in the sunlight? He stayed in that pose for a good minute or two!

Royal Botanic Gardens, bird sunbathing, Sydney, Australia, Euriental

So, there we have it. Sydney stole my heart (corny, I know) and I can't wait to go back. With the hustle and bustle of cool, modern city life at your feet and gloriously clean, beautiful beaches a mere half hour away, it's hard to imagine a more perfect paradise to live in, in which to experience the best of both worlds - a buzzing metropolis of food, shopping, culture and people, and the peaceful tranquility of an oceanside nirvana.

Featured in this article -

Food:

Braza (Brazillian Barbecue)
Garfish (Manly)
Manly Coffee Guild
Cafe Sydney (excellent for dinner with a view)

Sights:

Sydney Aquarium
Darling Harbour
Sydney Opera House
Manly island
Shelly beach
Royal Botanic Gardens

4 comments :

  1. I would love to know Australia. Such a lack of beautiful and unique places.

    <3
    http://zazzish.blogspot.pt/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it's a beautiful country! I hope you make it over there some day.

      Delete
  2. Australia is my favorite Destination in this world. I wish I could go there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's worth it! I'm sure you'll make it happen one day.

      Delete