Don’t give Leah the map

“Now that’s a city that captures you!” Becca exclaimed as our plane descended on Sydney’s skyline. Our faces quickly planted smack against the window, our eyes were wide with excitement. The skyline had us entranced: buildings went right up to the waters edge, greenery decorated the pockets, and ferries crossed this way and that.

I knew this was going to be a good weekend.

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All it took was a stop at the botanical gardens, and we were in love. Photo: Becca.

Becca had come to visit me for two weeks from Scotland but I suggested we go somewhere else rather than limit ourselves to Melbourne. Of course, it had to be Sydney. Becca is a chemist by brain and I had already decided weeks ago that she would be responsible for navigation in Sydney. She didn’t seem to mind, not even when I would play “Backseat Driver” and challenge her anyway. “Are you sure, Becca? Are you sure it’s North? Cause I think it’s Direction Blue, near the pointy thingy.” She would be right of course, and exclaimed at one point (in Melb) “This is why we don’t give Leah the map.” I agree. I wholeheartedly agree.

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We saw lots of these weird birds. Less aggressive than pigeons but wanting our meat pies nonetheless.

She put up with me anyway, even when I had low blood sugar levels and little sleep (She’s a keeper!). We wound our way through the city, going from harbour to quay to pier and back again. The Opera House was stunning; did you know it is tiled? We picked restaurants by the size of their seafood platters and wine bars by the length of their happy hours. The seafood was out of this world. We went to five beaches in all, including lovely Manly Beach (our fave) and the [in]famous Bondi. We walked several kilometers a day in 20-22C and sun. We went to many markets, our favourite being the Manly markets. Not the touristy ones, but the one that just happens to be once a month at the local public school. We bought heaps of stuff there for next to nothing. One of those friendly, down-to-Earth places (and prices) that there are less and less of these days. Every stall had a friendly face and it took us ages just to get through the whole place.

On the last day we finally took advantage of the free CBD shuttle bus. Why had we not thought of this before? Ah, because it requires extra navigation and negotiation! THAT’s why! 😉 Is the stop symbol to the left of the Hilton hotel or to the right? We agreed; the bus driver did not. Is it stopping where the other ones go? No? Shall we run or wait? Ah fck it; let’s just walk!!

We stayed at a great hotel downtown and were therefore able to hop around and come & go as we pleased. The public transport didn’t seem as sophisticated as in Melbourne, but for a weekend in the downtown area, we did alright. I absolutely am going back to Sydney; it’s just a question of when…

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