Sydney spoiled us. From the moment we saw it from the sky, to the day we left, it was nothing but sunshine. And when Sydney gives you over 48 hours of great weather in winter, you take advantage of it.
We arrived to our hostel, Big Hostel, in Surrey Hill a little after dark. The name alone was description enough. It was a big hostel. And we were in an 8-bed dorm, the biggest we had been in the whole trip. And it really wasn’t that big, but it felt like it. Not to mention, one girl in particular was living full-time in the room and had made herself quite at home all over it. As we tried to go to sleep that first night, we also discovered that we had a cougher in the room. And cough she did…all night long.
But our first night wasn’t all that bad. We got a great dinner recommendation from one lady at the hostel. Dulcis Domus is some bomb, decently priced Italian food. Carly and I still talk about that pizza and salad to this day. Check it out if you are ever in Sydney. There is also a cool bar across the street called The Olde Clare (if I remember correctly). We popped in there after dinner for a quick drink and to people watch as it is a hot spot for the locals to grab an after work, cheers-to-the-weekend beverage.
Our time in Sydney happened to fall on a weekend. We arrived Friday evening and left Monday morning. That left us with all day Saturday and Sunday to explore. Exploring for us turned out to mean hitting up any and every market happening over the weekend. And I think we successfully perused them all (I took it one step further and bought something from each one as well). We spent the morning walking to the Paddington market, where we each bought a beautiful blanket scarf that quickly became our most favorite/used possession. We wandered from Paddington to the harbor, saw the opera house, got a bite to eat, stumbled upon another market at The Rocks while trying to find the walking path across the Harbour Bridge (once again made a purchase), and walked across the bridge to a park where we got to see the city and iconic buildings from a different perspective. A local we met in Cairns had given us the tip that there is a café on the rooftop of the MCA gallery. So we gave our feet a break and treated ourselves to a drink while watching the sun set over the harbor. On Saturday nights during the winter in Sydney they have a free fireworks show in Darling Harbour. So we hiked back to the hostel, dropped some stuff off, and headed out to see some fireworks. After all, it was July 2nd, and we weren’t sure we would be getting a show for the 4th. After the show, we made our way back to the hostel and turned in for the night. We logged over 31,000 steps that day and couldn’t bring our tired bodies to get out and experience the night life.
We took a more mellow approach to Sunday. After breakfast, we caught the bus to the famous Bondi Beach. We window shopped, watched the surfers, saw the ocean side pools, happened across yet another market (where I treated myself to a necklace) and set out on the highly recommended Bondi to Coogee walk. It is about a two hour paved hike along the ocean cliffs, leading you from one amazing beach to the next. We stopped about halfway through at a quieter beach and had one of the best lunches in Australia yet at a little café. We had been blessed with a 65-degree day and nothing but sunshine, and you better believe we were basking in it. It was the perfect way to experience something classic Sydney. We took it easy the rest of the day, and mentally and physically prepared for the last leg of our Australia journey.