My first post about my time in Sydney and I thought I’d start by addressing all things iconic about Sydney!
On my first day in Sydney, I wasted no time heading down to Circular Quay to walk along the harbour. It was pretty busy (though no where near as crazy as the weekend) and I soon found myself in a gorgeous little area called The Rocks headed to The Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Starting at the harbour, you actually have to walk away from the bridge if you want access to it. There are 5 ways to get across the bridge: car, bus, rail, climb & walk. I, of course, chose the cheapest way and walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
It was a beautiful walk with insane views of the ocean, harbour and Opera House. Unfortunately, I’m not crazy about heights so I had a hard time getting close to the iron-grate fence. About 15 minutes later, I arrived on the other side, walked around Kirribilli and decided to ferry back.
Sydney’s ferries are also quite iconic. They come in a few different sizes, can hold a scary number of people and act as a pretty great way to tour the area. Amazing views – especially when I took the ferry out to Manly a few days later.
From the ferry stop, I walked along the harbour to the Sydney Opera House. It’s much smaller in person, but still pretty impressive. It’s definitely an icon and worthy of the many photos it stars in, but I can’t decide if I actually think it’s pretty or not. The fact that it has the beautiful blue ocean as its backdrop probably doesn’t hurt.
I decided to see a production of Romeo & Juliet at the Opera House. It wasn’t playing in the main theatre, but a smaller one on the main level. It was awesome to not only be able to see the famous building but be able to go inside it. The show was also pretty cool – they had a revolving set, modern costumes and wicked music. But I had forgotten just how long Shakespeare could make his characters whine on for (3 hours!). I also started to find some serious faults in the world’s most famous love story (she was 13 years old and they knew each other 1 night before getting married).
On Saturday, I returned to the harbour for Sydney’s International Fleet Review. A whole week has been set aside to honour the 100th anniversary of Australia’s navy. War ships, tall ships, helicopters and army planes from all over the world were gathering in Sydney. It was a pretty spectacular sight! The harbour was full of huge boats, roaring air crafts zoomed overhead, sailors popped up on every street and the harbour became a mob scene on Saturday.
Every Sydneysider and tourist descended on the harbour to watch the official review (aka ships going past), crane their necks for the air show and be dazzled by the night’s fireworks and light show. Of course, I had to join them. I walked across the bridge again and it was packed! But on my ferry back, we were right in it with all of the ships and the start of a helicopter show. A guy even waved to us from the copter. I had to line up and have my bag searched to get anywhere close to the Opera House. Once at the Opera House, I got to enjoy an overpriced chicken wrap while I listened to military bands and waited out the fireworks….
….which did not disappoint! It was the most incredible thing and I’m so glad I got to see fireworks in the Sydney Harbour! They had a projection onto the Opera House and bridge explaining the history of the Australian Navy. I loved when they used the fireworks to help tell the story; they had a series of low red firecrackers to act as gun shots go off under the bridge as they described the navy’s involvement in WWI. The best thing was that the fireworks were going on all around us. I literally kept turning in circles to see fireworks from every angle. The display was amazing and it was kind of beautiful when everyone clapped at the end as the image of the Australian flag was proudly projected onto the Opera House.
Next up: the natural side of Sydney (beaches & furry creatures) and lots of ways to spend some money around the city.