Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sydneyside-up!


Right, a few pics and impressions from our Aussie exploits this weekend. But first thanks again to everyone who gave me recommendations for things to do in Sydney - five days is just not long enough to do it all!

Up there, that's Bondi beach. It was just as I expected with a surf competition and all. What I didn't expect were the hoards of blue jellyfish everywhere and how little Aussie kids love stomping on the ones washed up in the sand. Also, I didn't expect it to rain while we were there - I thought that was illegal in Australia or something. Apparently not.


Me on the red-tipped banana phone. Good reception, but not sure about the need to dip it in red wax.


Can you see what's sleeping in the tree? It was quite the introduction to Sydney when we walked through the botanical gardens at dusk to get to the Opera House with a swooping and active swarm of bats 20 feet above us. I pretended not to be freaked out - they're just like birds I told myself. Later I found out they're fruit bats and aren't interested in me, but I still think they're a bit creepy.


The Opera House in all its glory. What a great building! I mean, what would come to your mind if I said "Sydney" without the Opera House? Bats? Red-tipped bananas?!


Sydney surprised me with how big of a city it is. I imagined some sort of sprawling Orange County type of place, but what I found was more a London-by-sea - but newer, warmer and friendlier. I definitely see why so many Brits do a year or two here.


A fantastic room with a view in a neighborhood called Potts Point that felt a lot like Greenwich Village. Great foliage and sidewalk cafe action all around. I love how cafes have massive magazine stacks to read while you munch on scrambled eggs with sourdough toast. I also love how Australia gets sourdough. I'd forgotten how much I missed that stuff.


One final Tim Tam throwback in the airport with the black forest ones I bought the night before. Legend has it that Aussies bite off both ends of this sandwich cookie, use it as a straw to drink a hot beverage like a flat white (shown), then throw it in their mouth before the cookie collapses. Any Aussies able to verify this for me? Even if they don't they really do this they should, and so should you, because the result is exciting and delicious.

After the Tim Tam throwback there was a slight scare going through security when my carry-on high school backpack tested positive for explosive materials. We sorted it out and I was deemed safe in the end, but I think the false alarm might be a sign that I need to buy a new backpack.

All in all, it was great to hit up Sydney and check off another continent. I think Australia's an underrated place and recommend it to anyone. But the strangest thing was that in Sydney I kept thinking about how much I love New Zealand. And I must admit that it's a great feeling when you go on holiday and are actually looking forward to going "home". I'm definitely going to savor my next 2 1/2 months here...

13 comments:

amyrenee said...

I've got a friend who spent lots of time in Sydney, and that's exactly how she described it, "London by the sea."

Sounds like you are turning into quite the little beach girl... Hmm...

Sarah Stapleton said...

Hey girl! Funny you should say that coz I loved Australia but there was just somthing very special about NZ!!! I only got as far as Sydney and the Blue Mountains and everyone raved about Melbourne so maybe next time...but I'd need 3 weeks holidays then! Glad you had fun and as always loving living vicariously through you! Btw what is that camera? Those shots are so vivid!!! Keep smiling sweetie! Sarah.x

Foosh said...

The Tim Tam legend is true. The one and only time I've had them is with a friend from Sydney who had me drink my coffee through them. I've craved them ever since.

alisha said...

Amy, I think I am a beach girl at heart, which is strange for a land loving, alabaster skinned bookworm. :)

Sarah, glad you saw the X factor about NZ too. I've also heard Melbourne is fab so indeed maybe next time.

And thanks for the verification about the Tim Tams. For that I can bring you guys back some!!

koalainscotland said...

Glad you guys had fun in Sydney. can't believe I forgot to mention the Tim Tams! Yummy.

Did you go to Pancakes on the Rocks or Taronga Zoo or Blue Mountains in the end?

alisha said...

Hi Koala, :) we didn't end up doing any of those in the end. Not because they didn't sound appealing, just because we didn't have enough time. Plus, we were trying to keep it cheap and I equated the cost of zoo entry to the price of 5 flat whites - and the flat whites won! It's always good to have things to go back for though...

Jocy May said...

For a long time I wanted to live in London, but then thought better of living in a damp, dreary climate and set my sights on Sydney. The name of this new plan: London 2.0 because everyone I know that's been to both said that Sydney is just as you described it- London by the sea. Fast forward to me living in Seattle and now NY and no plans of moving Down Under, but hey, maybe one day- your post really made me want to visit! I've also always wanted to visit NZ- sounds so wonderful. Really enjoying the regular blog posts lady!

Prince said...

I just tried my first Tim Tam at an international potluck party two weeks ago...looks like we're Tim Taming it up, girl! And you've got it right...the Tim Tam moonlights as a straw and it is AMAZING! I'm so glad you're having such great experiences and fun moments down under. You are so darling and I love the glimpses you share.

alisha said...

Jane, I love that you went to an int'l potluck party. You really go to some great parties, what with you furniture party and all! Glad to hear your causing some Tim Tam trouble over on the East Coast of your own. :)

La Dolce Vita said...

When I visited Sydney (and it was after visiting London!), I didn't feel like it was "London by the sea"...despite the same names of the places, my sensation was more like being in a unique place. A sort of California on the other side of the Ocean, with a different accent anyway. I didn't stay long, so maybe I didn't realize how similar to London it was, but next time I'll go, I'll take it into consideration...

NZ is also a fascinating place for me. It's geographically opposite to Italy...so that it also has a similar shape. Have you ever noticed that NZ is similar to a boot like Italy?!? Funny! I would love to visit NZ one day. I know I will! ;)

I think I didn't try TIM TAM when I was in Australia, but I remember some other Arnott's interesting biscuits and salty snacks...I loved them...and how about Vegemite? :) A must down under! :) What is typical food of NZ?

Nadine said...

Looks like a fabulous trip!!

I wonder why they dip the bananas in wax? Too funny!

I really need to try the tim tam cookie/drink!

Jess Fouche said...

BEAUTIFUL pics! Thanks for letting us in on the beauty and the uh, red waxed bananas? That's pretty funny:) I second the tim tam verification and add that it's officially called a 'Tim Tam Slam':) according to Aussie friends!
Happy travels! Talk to you soon!:)

alisha said...

Mario, I have noticed how NZ is kind of like a boot too. I think the best Kiwi food down here has to be the wine. It's also famous for fish and chips which is OK, but lots of good fusion cafe foods too. And great baked goods. But very different to Italian food.

Nadine and Jess, I did a bit of research about the red wax on the bananas and found out that it's to distinguish them as 'eco-bananas', which I think means they're organic. I love them even more!

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