We arrived in Sydney on Tuesday at 11:30am to beautiful spring weather since we were below the equator now. We had a taxi take us to our hotel, which isn’t as bad as the Google review made it sound. It’s definitely not a nice hotel but not really gross or scary. Anyway the hotel wouldn’t let us check in for another hour, but we were pretty hungry so we went out for some food. The guy at the front desk said there was a good place across the street, so we went over there. Randomly it ended up being the bakery that I had seen on a list a few months ago online that was titled the top twelve bakeries in the world. I only realized it was that bakery as we finished eating though haha. We got ham and cheese toasties. The bread was pretty good. Then we got the keys to our hotel room and took a nap. We slept until 4:45pm; then we got up to get ready for our date at the Sydney Opera House. We ate at the Opera Bar, a restaurant right next to the opera house and on the water looking out on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was really pretty. Michael got mushroom risotto, and I got a goat cheese caramelized onion potato pizza for dinner. Both were absolutely fabulous. We shared warm donuts with berries and cream for dessert. Then we went to the opera house to seethe musical The King and I.
The musical was great! The sets and costumes were very well done, and the King and Anna were great actors. We really enjoyed it and went back home after the play. It was one of my favorite date nights we have ever been on. I will always remember that night.
We slept in a bit and grabbed some chocolate raspberry muffins at that same bakery across the street. I asked the people working there if they knew about that list they were on and they said no but were pretty happy I told them about it haha. We made our trek out to the Featherdale Zoo. It took about an hour and a half to get to it. We got the suggestion from Michael’s best friend, Steven, to go out to this zoo. At this zoo they are liberal with the cages. A lot of the kangaroos and some of the bigger birds, including peacocks, are just allowed to go where they please. And the koalas are on trees that are in a tall box but there’s no wall or glass between you and the koalas after four feet off the ground. Pretty fun. So we got to feed and pet kangaroos! They were so cute when they nibbled the feed out of our hands! And we got to see a mama kangaroo with a baby in her pouch! It was so cute!! We also got to pet a koala that they had out of the cage with a trainer. Both were really soft! We also got to see Tasmanian devils, bilbies, wombats, dingos, and a crocodile! The Tasmanian devils and wombats are kinda cute. The bilbies are strange and the crocodile was absolutely terrifying. It was HUGE and looked fake until I saw its mouth start moving. The dingos were pretty adorable too. The baby dingos were rough housing like little puppies. We also got to see porcupine looking things and tons of really pretty birds. It was a really fun zoo, and I’m so glad we went out there to see it. Thanks for the suggestion Mr. Kapeles!
After that we headed to the Sydney LDS Temple. It’s really interesting and pretty. The roof is blue shingles and there is stained glass in some of the windows. It was a great session and a pretty celestial room. In case you are wondering, the video isn’t shown in an Australian accent haha. I was kinda hoping it was!
After the temple, we took a bus to the Parramatta Wharf to take a ferry back to downtown Sydney. It took us an hour to figure out all our public transportation the night before, and we had really scheduled it out to a T. But it turns out there was no ferry after 7pm, so we walked back to the train station to get home instead. They have a Max Brenner mini restaurant there so we got dessert and headed back to the hotel.
Today we slept in again…I think jet lag has set in for the first time on the trip. We keep staying up really late and sleeping in late. Anyway we grabbed a few donuts when we headed out the door to Bondi Beach. It’s spring here so it’s sunny but windy which can make it a little chilly at times. We got some lunch and laid out on the beach for a few hours. The water was way too cold to swim, but we enjoyed our beach day. We were going to scuba dive here too, but there wasn’t a dive shop nearby that was willing to take us out. They said we could rent the gear and go out ourselves, but I don’t feel quite ready for that. Anyway around 4:30pm we started the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach walk. It takes about two hours to walk it with stopping for pictures, but man, was it beautiful. It kind of reminded me of Monterey, California. You get to walk along the coastal cliff line on this walk and the views are remarkable.
When we got to Coogee we ate dinner at Beach Burrito. It was pretty good especially since we haven’t eaten Mexican in a month! haha Michael got a mucho burrito, and I got a cilantro lime prawn taco and a chipotle chicken taco. And we got gelato after because Michael said we earned it after our two hour walk haha. After dessert we headed back to the hotel. We are basically masters of public transportation around the world now. From subways, trains, taxis, ferries, and buses we’ve seen it all.
On Friday morning we went to Darling Harbour to have breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks. A friend from Renner who was on a study abroad here recently told us to go there. They had some pretty crazy pancake options. They all had ice cream on top even though they are supposed to be for breakfast, not dessert haha. Michael got the macadamia pancakes, so it was macadamia pancakes with macadamia nuts, syrup, and vanilla ice cream. I got chocolate pancakes with strawberries, chocolate syrup, cream, and chocolate ice cream. Both were great. Something we’ve learned on this trip is never order juice. It’s always gross and overpriced. I thought since we were in Australia that maybe that would change but no.
Anyway after breakfast we walked across the pedestrian bridge to go back to Darling Harbour where the ferries come. We took the ferry to Circular Quay, which is where the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House is. We did that so we could get better pictures of those two things and enjoy the water a little more.
And we loved that the ferry had wifi, so Michael could check the score of the BYU game, and we could FaceTime with both sets of parents! Go BYU on another great win!! We are starting to miss college for the first time since graduating. We miss our BYU home football games. Getting pretty jealous of all the pictures of people at the game on social media. Although travelling the world and having no responsibilities at the moment is pretty great too…. just wish we could do it with college football! After the ferry we walked over to The Rocks Friday Foodie Market. It’s a cute little market where restaurants set up tents each Friday. It is definitely a local favorite. There were tons of people taking their lunch break waiting in line for certain tents. Unfortunately we weren’t hungry yet because breakfast was so big! So we walked around and tried samples from whoever was giving them out. We tried traditional French salami, and it was the best salami I’ve ever had! It sure doesn’t look good all wrapped up, but it tastes so good!
After that we walked over to the Royal Botanic Gardens. We took the Choo Choo Express (a red mini train they drive around the park with a tour guide). The park is so interesting because it contained Australia’s first bridge, the first glass pyramid green house in the world, and a tree that we thought to be extinct for hundreds of years until a man found it in the Blue Mountains in 1994. Anyway the park was filled with beautiful flowers and trees. We also saw Mrs. MacQuaire’s chair (the first governor of Australia’s wife’s chair carved out of stone) and tons of Australia’s birds. You know the white evil bird from the movie Rio? Those are normal birds you see flying around here! There were tons of them at the park. They are kinda terrifying. People who had bread were able to get them to come up on their arm. It was pretty cool until one guy was getting bit by the bird like crazy after the bread was gone. We were still sad we didn’t have any bread to try to get them on our arms though haha. The park also has a few trees with really fat trunks. They are a special species that retain water, so if you were to tap a hole in the trunks then water would come rushing out! We also ran into three weddings in the park! So romantic!
After the park we went to the Queen Victoria Building. It’s a beautiful building that has about one hundred years of history in the city of Sydney. It has been used for many purposes (mostly involving the government) until the early 90’s when it was refurbished to be a high end shopping mall. We walked around a bit while enjoying a chocolate dipped peach and a Dr. Seuss collectibles store. I also loved stopping at TopShop!
After shopping we walked about a half an hour to dinner. We got a recommendation from the same friend in Plano to go to dinner at Jazushi (a sushi place that has live jazz music every night). So we got there and it was closed because it was only 5:30pm and it didn’t open until 6pm! So we waited down the street on the curb playing games on my iPad. So at 6:05pm we walked over to the restaurant and walked in. No one was seated yet and there was no customers in there. We asked if they were seating people yet. And he said “…yeah.” So we said “great! Two people.” The host then gave us a weird look and said “well do you have a reservation?” And we said “no, do we need one?” He rudely laughed at us and acted disgusted that we didn’t know you needed a reservation to eat there. He was like “there is noooo way you can eat here now” We were a bit confused because no one was there still. So we asked when the next reservation was open for tonight and he said maybe 8:30 without looking at the book. So we put our name down but decided we were too hungry to wait that long/had no idea what we would do until then. We walked down the street to find another place. Michael saw a less nice sushi place so we decided to go there. Unfortunately it wasn’t good and there was no jazz music haha. As michael so bluntly put “it was the worst sushi I’ve ever had.” Hahaha so we got Anderson’s of Denmark Ice Cream near our hotel later that night. We had to get the nasty taste out of our mouths. We has Danish nougat and banana chocolate ice cream. We’ve had some great ice cream/gelato/sorbet on this trip, in case you were wondering. And I think I’ve lost weight on this trip. Score.
Sydney is a dream come true. It is beautiful. The coast is gorgeous. We are sad it wasn’t warmer, so we could go swimming and scuba diving. We loved the city scene of the different neighborhoods. People weren’t rude, but they weren’t friendly either. We would love to live there except that it is also an expensive city. Just about everything is extremely inflated in price. (Every place we want to live internationally is SO expensive!) We can’t wait to return to Sydney and the rest of Australia though!