Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Sydney Affair

Dad came and visited me last week for a (very) short stay. It was great to see him, as I've been missing family for a little bit, and we got to catch up over a few days.

We met up at the airport in Sydney after his long flight, and my hour-long jump, and made our way to the harbor.

We got to explore Sydney for a day or two together. I will say, despite seeing a limited portion of the city and not having a lot of time to explore, I really liked Sydney. It was vibrant and pretty, though it was a brief love affair. I felt like there were some hidden gems on the waterfront that I will hopefully get to see more on another visit.

I decided that Melbourne is a bit like the downtown of Manhattan (maybe a bit of Brooklyn too) in the sense that it is a lot of culture and food. Sydney, on the other hand, is more like uptown Manhattan - from 14th street up; it was crisp yet romantic.

My friend Esther and her partner met up with us as well and they ushered us around the city. It was so nice to have some people who actually know the city guide us along for a day. Also, they are both fantastic people, so their company with us was perfect for our daylong adventure.

We ate some fish & chips on the harbor and started our tour of the area on a cruise for a few hours. We took in the harbor area and admired the cliffs near Manly, as well as the expensive houses in nearby suburbs on the coast. The harbor really is lovely - I think it's great that Sydney is on the water, and the Sydney Opera House is as impressive in person as it seemed to me in pictures. It also helped that we had a beautiful day with barely a cloud in the sky. We didn't stop at the beaches because I wanted Dad to be able to relish the beaches in Queensland, and we barely had time to sit down and breathe while we ran around the city.

We wandered slowly through The Rocks, which was an adorable old area, despite having a pretty soiled history. We grabbed some drinks and ambled around a little while before stopping in for dinner at The Argyle, a fun outdoor bar area tucked away from the main streets.

One again in Australia, I was charmed by a harbor city.

We also got dressed up for a play at the Opera House. It was funny for me to realize how some of my impatience comes from being my dad's daughter - he was anxious that we weren't at the theater 45 minutes in advance! I have let my impatience melt away somewhat here, as I learned that it was a futile exercise in a country where everything is remarkably laid back.

We saw "Orlando" by Virginia Woolf, and I liked it a lot! Poor jet-lagged Dad passed out during the play, but I was captivated by a curious plot of someone who survived hundreds of years and changed sexes in the middle somewhere.  In some ways, it was the perfect play for me to see, as it was about learning how to understand and accept oneself while the world around them shifts and evolves.

The next day we went on one of those silly double-decker buses that tour cities for tourists with little time to explore - my idea! Our ride along the main drag of Sydney was interesting and I thought Hyde Park was great! I just wish I had had more time to get off of the bus and go a little deeper in some of the cuter areas, like Kings Cross.

Dad was anxious to get to the airport early for our flights to Brisbane, so our adventure of Sydney was cut short, and I ended up intimately acquainting myself with the insides of the domestic terminal for a few hours while I waited to fly back to Queensland. Now that I've got a taste for Sydney, though, I hope to go back and learn more about it in the future.

But, for now, there are other, further, more exotic adventures to be had. Starting tomorrow night!

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