It was a fairly non descript Thursday at work. Relentlessly the rain pelted the window next to my work desk. Dull, dreary, dismal, I knew tomorrow would be much like today. Yet another raining day. DING! Insert light bulb moment of genius, and in that moment I found myself deciding “ No it did not need to be another rainy day.” The rest happened with the speed and efficiency that would impress a digital native (aka the millennium gen.) and from the discomfort of my work desk I was booked and bound for Sydney the next day. But not before having first checked Sydney’s weather forecast (21 Celsius and blue skies), and arranged with Hubby to play Mr Mum in my 21 hours of absence.
Many venture forth to where the grass is greener, but on this occasion, I flew to where the sky is bluer. Re-trace my steps one photo at a time, with my foot print diary.
Deliberately choosing a 6am flight departing Melbourne, I knew I’d arrive in time for a seaside breakfast, and to watch the sun rise over the ocean. I was not disappointed.
The descent into Sydney was scarily turbulent, to which I was assured by others was consistently normal when flying from Melbourne over Sydney’s coast. Must remember this for next time: Note to self; double apply deodorant and thou shalt not panic.
With limited time I jumped in a taxi and was headed for Balmoral Beach. Inevitably a 6am flight such as this, will result in arriving in peak hour morning work traffic, so with anxious eyes I watched the taxi meter. The bumper to bumper traffic annoyance was saved by the most comedic Fijian taxi driver’s banter. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, I relish the interaction and above all else, value most the people I meet whilst travelling.
ARRIVED. Balmoral Beach. Instant calm and that feeling that pervades my body when I see with virginal eyes a new place, (particularly nature). Few people about. Certainly no tourists. Simply locals in serious lycra with designer water and fresh organic pressed juices, running or walking. It sounds pretencious, and yet it was far from it. It screamed of a better way to life philosophy. The essence of Vitamin SEA, and with the Spring morning Sun, calm water and boats bobbing in the shallows, I was sold. Hook, line and sinker (sorry, not sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun).
Breakfast was a noteworthy affair. The Boathouse Balmoral, with a focus on clean eating, wellness, and organic produce and food was all I hoped it to be. The coffee aficionado within me was ridiculously thrilled with the novel latte art. A quinoa bircher breakfast was the perfect fuel for the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk that I had planned for later that afternoon. I should probably at this point mention that I am only functioning on 2 hours and 45 minutes sleep, and had plans to walk about 15 kilometres for the day.
Completely at peace and caffeinated, next stop viewing the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. But not before hastily snapping one last photo upon my exist of the cuter-than-cute, seaside décor outside the Boathouse Café.
The short but extremely hilly walk up from the Boathouse to the main street of Balmoral to catch the bus to Circular Quay. Door porn made the walk a highlight, because for those that follow me on Instagram, you already know, ‘I have this thing for doors’ of the world.
One wrong bus later I found myself directly outside The Queen Victoria Building. I had intended to take the bus that would allow me to exist near the Harbor Bridge where one can walk over it. In hindsight I’m glad I missed it. I later discovered just how high the bridge actually is, not for the faint of heart. If you have a fear of heights, it’s probably best you sit this one out.
A quick exploration of all the levels of the QVB and it was safe to conclude this was the prettiest retail building that I had frequented since having left the opulence of Paris department stores.
Without delay I walked along Pitt Street, passed the Cathedral of Capitalism (Westfield, Myer, H&M, Sephora) and more stores than I can recall towards Circular Quay. Strolled alongside the Harbour, and was soon fatigued by the crowds. Seeking an alternate route, still in search of a unique angle to capture the Opera House I found stairs that led from Circular Quay and cut through the Botanical Gardens. Now this was perfect.
Venturing closer towards the Opera House, I laid eyes on Sydney’s crowning jewel. Stood in the shadows of the arches and looked up. It’s amazing what perspective people miss because they forget to look up. It sounds silly, but when was the last time you were in the city and remember to look up towards the sky. City folk tend to forget, (please allow me this sweeping generalisation), better still test the theory and ask one of them the last time they stared at the stars? (Anyhoo, moment of digression).
Tired feet, I found myself once again ambling through Circular Quay. I needed a bus ticket to Bondi Beach, and having been told I could purchase one from (insert person pointing finger), “Over there”, I soon discovered I’d bought a train ticket and not a bus ticket. Note to self for future reference, the train tickets and bus tickets are dispensed at different machines, and not compatible on either mode of transport. Many mentioned the need for an Opal Pass, but as I was embarking on one way travel the majority of the time, the old paper based ticket was better suited. Note, the Opal Pass which is a preloaded transport travel card will be the only accepted ticket option as of 2016 in Sydney, (or so I was told).
Ticket misunderstanding sorted and I found myself on yet another bus headed towards Bondi Beach.
Although I didn’t dine at The Iceberg’s Club, I did venture inside. Think smart casual, seaside-luxe, inspired patronage, who wish to feast with a view. A bottle of water would suffice for me, after all I was on a ticking clock mission.
H2O (water) prepared, I began the Bondi to Bronte Coastal walk. You. Must. Do. This. That is all I can say. Hyperboles aside, this walk is so visually breath taking and the walking track so well maintained I cannot wait to bring Hubby here. It is the ultimate cocktail of Vitamin SEA, Vitamin D and Vitamin Me. It really is that worthwhile, more so if you appreciate physical exercise, or landscape photography.
I arrived in Sydney just after 7am, having only made it half way to Bronte (much to my disappointment), it is now 1:30pm. Desperately in need of lunch, a power point to recharge my very low mobile phone battery (a bloggers nightmare), and to rest my now blistered feet I bused my way to Potts Point.
Introducing The Butler.
Although sustenance was needed, it was the skyline view of Sydney that drew me to this café/restaurant. I had heard the panoramic views were outstanding, the rumors were right. Sadly the images are an injustice to the beauty of this restauarant as I couldn’t quite capture the full effect due to the crowds dining at the time (not always appropriate to have faces clearly distinguishable due to privacy). But here is a teaser that I did manage to capture.
Not even the coffee could defibrillate my catanoic state, so after a huge day of sightseeing, walking, walking and more walking, at 4pm I was satisfied to call it a day. One taxi later and I was sitting at the airport, despite my plane not leaving for another 4 hours, I had just exhausted myself into oblivion. The pros, a blogger come Instagram addict is never bored with ‘waiting’ time as I disappeared into my happy cyber abyiss on Instagram, and so concluded my Sydney day-trip. See below for a teaser on what my account looks and feels like.