When I was composing the ticket for my trip I saw the opportunity to have a stopover in Sydney without any extra cost. I gave myself three days to explore the city and to break the trip from the Philippines to New Zealand.The flight from Manila left at 7 pm. The flight time is 8 hours but with the 3 hours time zone shift I arrived 6 am in the morning in Sydney.
Back home I love watching movies and tv shows but the last 2,5 months I haven’t seen anything apart from half an hour of Zondag met Lubach every week and I haven’t missed it really. But I still felt like a little girl in a candy shop when I saw the entertainment screen in front of me. Yes!! 8 hours of movies, or should I focus on sleep? I watched La La Land, Lion and Bridget Jones’s Baby and no sleep (it was only last night I had the night bus).
Transportation to the center only took half an hour, I arrived so early that my hostel reception was still closed. So I found a wifi spot and had my second breakfast. I’m now 10 hours ahead of the Netherlands, meaning I’ll be awake even before you go to sleep. Right from the start it was clear I was no longer in Asia. Traffic rules are obeyed, cars stop when you want to cross a zebra crossing. Everything is super super expensive. Toilet paper goes into the toilet and not in the bin beside it (this might sound strange but I was so used to it) and my laundry, to my huge surprise there is no laundry service. Not in the hostel and not down the street. I had to do it myself, and it would cost me six dollars.
With just three days I had a to make some kind of plan and I chose three destinations: the city, the beach, the mountains.
The first day I walked around town and did the mandatory round of highlights. I walked to the harbour, I saw the harbour bridge and opera house. They were somehow smaller than I had expected, but it was so cool to see these landmarks in real life. There was a market at the rocks and I had the most expensive (pancake) lunch. I went up close to the opera house and then walked around some more in the botanical gardens and different parks. I find people sitting everywhere in the parks, it looks very relaxed. My dinner is simple back in the hostel and at 10 in the evening I finally lay my head to rest after two nights of traveling I’m really behind on sleep.
12 hours later I wake up, I really needed this one! It is Sunday today and it’s a sunny day. Fall might have kicked in here in Sydney, it still gets to a pleasant 25 degrees during the day. I take the bus to Bondi beach. There are plenty of people here, it is of course a weekend day. A lot of people are enjoying the sun, and lying down on this crescent shaped beach. But many are surfing or swimming or going for a walk as I was doing. One of the highlights here is to walk from Bondi to Bronte beach. It’s 3,5 km one way and you walk along the coastline. There are many people in sportive outfits and I also see a lot of exercise patches. The waves on this side of Sydney are always rough and ready to surf. The views take me far to the horizon and it’s just really cool to have this beach this close to the city.
I do go back in time as I have an awesome idea for the night. On TripAdvisor I saw there is a theatre in Sydney with good reviews. When I read the comments people were excited about the Aladdin musical they had recently seen, but what’s even better is that the theatre apparently sells forty tickets at a huge discount for today’s show in a rush line that starts two hours before the show. I’m a huge musical fan, I haven’t seen Aladdin, the theatre is right around the corner of my hostel and I have time. I go three hours before the evening show and find a line with ten people standing already. We wait for an hour and then the sale starts. I am super lucky, since I’m the only one going alone I just end up getting one of those single tickets with a perfect spot. Row ten from the stage right in the middle for 45 Australian dollars (32 euros). The show was colorful and fun, a great cast and I’m very happy I stumbled on to this. The only thing I disliked was me going in my Nike pants and trainers. It is the best way I could dress up. Usually I go with my mum and we like to take our time to put on some nice clothes, but it was better than shorts and flip flops haha.
The next day I wake up by my alarm a bit after 7. Right now it is evening in the Netherlands and Siebren is boarding his plane in Amsterdam. He’ll be traveling to Sydney the next 24 hours and I’ll be spending my last day by myself. I plan to go to the Blue Mountains. It is a nature park area just 90 km west of Sydney. A two hour train ride from Central station to Katoomba. I start at Echo Point, a viewing platform giving already spectacular views of the area but also of the area’s most essential sight, the Three Sisters. It is a rocky trio that got the name by a tale about a sorcerer and three sisters. From here I start to hike toward the Katoomba falls and descend a thousand steps to get lower. I’ve had good views, some strange small animals, waterfalls and specific trees. The intention was to walk back from down there for another 2-3 hours but my energy was very low, there weren’t many people and I was alone and didn’t want to get lost or anything.
I go back to Sydney a bit earlier than planned. Go to some shops and stumble upon a tea store (T2) that’s just perfect for me with lots of tea and beautiful teapots and cups. I want to buy everything but really can’t so I settle with a thermo flask and some fresh tea that might come in handy in New Zealand. Back in the hostel it’s time to pack and make dinner (first hostel with a proper big kitchen) and go to sleep. Next morning I’ll go to Sydney airport as well and reunite with Siebren after not seeing each other for 2,5 months, then New Zealand!