|New South Wales Coast|
|Yuki's at the Quay|
|I climbed that|
I wasn't really prepared for what a huge impact Sydney would have on my life. I knew that it was going to be beautiful because it was on the water and even though it was winter (our summer in The States is winter down under) we had some magical weather to match our extraordinary experiences.
We did decided to stay in the area known as The Rocks, Sydney's historic centre, with a view of the Sydney Opera House from our hotel room. I could hardly put my stuff down fast enough and ran over to the edge of the harbor where I could see it in all of its glory and in person. The Opera House is so iconic that it's a bit unbelievable to see it standing in front of you. I could not take my eyes off of it during our entire stay. We had our first meal that afternoon at a lovely sushi restaurant that sits in the upper story of a pier with giant windows that faced the massive landmark.
The Rocks is a quaint area with shops and eateries and is absolutely walking distance to most of the other sites in the city. We ate very well while in Sydney. Some of my favorites were Cafe Sydney, which is rooftop dining - perfect for a romantic dinner, the Waterfront Restaurant with great views of the entire harbor and out-of-this-world oysters, and of course, Est. which was the restaurant that our cab driver in Adelaide suggested. Turns out his son was the chef! The five-course fine dining experience was worth the splurge and the memories.
We did way more than just eat during our stay...Obviously, I made a point to spend most of a day exploring all over the outside of the Opera House (the interior was closed for a private event), getting up close and realizing that all of the ten "sails" are made up of simple square tiles. There are bistros and a gift shop on the grounds of the Opera House. We also made the right choice to take the commuter ferry across the harbor and explore the other side instead of an expensive, fancy boat cruise.
But above everything else, the number one best thing I've EVER done on vacation was the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. If you've been following my Instagram, you'll know that I "have this thing with bridges." I find bridges to be the most beautiful architectural representations of strength and they continue to intrigue me, from the ancient to the modern. Make your reservations for the bridge climb prior to your stay or early in your trip. Upon arrival, we were able to get reservations for two days later. The staff was amazing. They made the training fun and we felt confident for our climb. The experience was a great workout and a lot less scary than I thought it was going to be. Looking out over the harbor from the top of the bridge was strangely calming and exhilarating all at the same time.
Being near the water has a centering influence on people and Sydney Harbor did not disappoint. Feeling "present" was an important piece that I took away from this city. We spent our final night looking out over a stormy harbor and soaking in the last views of the most esthetically beautiful urban place I have ever experienced.
Our final stop in Australia is going to be the Daintree Rainforest, so stay tuned. G'day!