Sydney: back to being alone

When I was in Melbourne I was told that people either love Melbourne or Sydney, definitely not both. Whilst I didn't really have a big issue with Sydney itself I can completely understand why people like one and hate the other. Melbourne, in my mind, was such a cultural city. Things were happening on every corner, it was bustling with life. Sydney was, in my eyes, a complete business district; men and women rushing around from office jobs, the trains and the buses jam packed with people on their daily commute to and from work, and then there was me... Bleary eyed, miserable, and very much alone. 

This was the first time I was on my own since I was in Singapore. Ever since I got to Australia I've been with people I know; family for the first week, then seeing my cousin's girlfriend on a regular basis, then at Pirates. Okay, so I didn't know anyone at first but I quickly got in with a group and fell in love with the place. As soon as I arrived into Sydney after approximately 4 hours sleep (another lovely night bus) I made my way to the hostel - Kings Cross Backpackers - which wasn't too far from KX station. Unfortunately this meant getting a train from Central Station to Kings Cross, costing me $3.80. Okay, I'm away from relatively cheap transport now. I landed at the hostel a few hours before I could check in - great - so I parked my bum at the benches, not realising there was a downstairs lounge area with comfortable seats, and sat with my head in my hands until I could check in at midday. 

As soon as my head hit the pillow in the hostel I passed out. I was literally out like a light and feeling pretty damn miserable about it. I wanted to get out and about before the sun set so as soon as I woke up I pulled myself together, grabbed a peach and banana from a local organic shop (delicious and far cheaper than Coles!), and went on my way to have a little walk into the night. I got incredibly lost and, for some wild and not-so-wonderful reason my 3G stopped working so I was trying to rely on instinct. Great. New city, on my own, and my phone doesn't bloody work. I remembered something a friend had mentioned and that was if I ever needed to smile, go to Mrs Macqueries point. Perfect. A quick look on the map (a proper paper map I'll have you know!) and I knew I needed to head to the botanical gardens, but first I had a wander around the harbour...

As soon as I got into the botanical gardens I heard some bizarre screeching. Trying to find the source of the noise I looked up and saw about 10-15 flying foxes heading to feed off the trees. These cuties are huge bats, fruit bats essentially, and a world away from the bats we recognise from home. I stood trying to take the same photo over and over again to no avail, until this little fella decided to look straight into the camera. Hello bud!

I crossed over the park to find Mrs Macqueries point/seat. There were a few people sat and I just wanted to be alone so I walked down a little further to find a seat with a perfect view.

Beautiful huh? It was at that point that I sat for a good half an hour, thinking to myself and reflecting over these last few months. I'd been travelling for what, five months now? Five months. That's nearly half of the year up like that. That was nearly one month in Thailand/Singapore, then four months here in Australia. Crikey. It did kind of hit me at that point what I was doing... I'd been surrounded by people all of that time and now I was on my own again and the thought terrified me. I'd been so used to planning my life around others (as in, going to places when others were going also, or eating when others were eating) that the thought of me having to stand on my own two feet just wasn't going down very well. I came out here to gain some of my independence back but ... Ah well. It happens.

After a good sleep and a little bit of a late wake up (oopsy!) I managed to grab some breakfast at the hostel just before they were clearing it away. I wanted to get up and out - explore Sydney in the beautiful sunshine and try and change my mind about the city. So. I did. I went out. I walked. A lot. About 10 miles in total by the time I got back to the hostel in the early hours of the morning following an evening out...

The grand tour of Sydney in one day...
First I left the hostel towards Hyde Park and the libary


Then I went to the Opera House to marvel at its beauty.... Okay no I just wanted to go because it was one of Australia's iconic landmarks. I was approached by an Italian chap who wanted a selfie with me. Standard! So naturally I got one also.

I left the Opera House to see The Rocks and got awfully distracted by the Friday food market. Ended up paying $10 for a wrap (!!!) and $6 for a green detox juice (!!!) and then cursed myself for wasting my money. Again.

I left there and head towards Darling Harbour. I stood on the Harbour Bridge for approximately 5 minutes before realising I didn't know how to cross it. I had a wander round the harbour (beautiful) and went to visit the Chinese Gardens... until they wanted $$. No thank you!

Left Darling Harbour to head home...... but ended up at Paddy's Market to buy some earphones and a peach. Australia, I'll hand it to you, you produce amazing peaches. Then, on recommendation, I visited Gelato Messina, apparently voted to be the best gelato in Australia. It was incredible!

Heading back, feet and legs a little sore, I jumped in the shower to get ready to see an awesome bunch of guys I met when I was in Fremantle, The Fitzafrenic - a quirky Irish ska-rock band and heaps of fun. Typically my "I'll have a quiet one" ended up with me walking back to my hostel as drunk as anything at about 4am. Thank goodness  for my (apparently) excellent homing abilities. Just call me pigeon.

Feeling a little fragile the next day (as expected) I went to see my darling Grandad, the reason I came to Sydney so soon. I only managed to see him for about an hour and a half as he had to get back on his cruise, but we had a good natter about life, travels, and I laughed as he paid for two Australian beers and cursed when the barman asked for $15. Welcome to Australia gramps.

Unfortunately after he left the night before started to hit, hello delayed hangover - so very nice to meet you again. It hit about the time of an epic thunderstorm so I was nicely cuddled up in my bed watching Breaking Bad and feeling exceptionally sorry for myself... Little did I know that I wasn't just a hangover but dreaded tonsillitis. The verdict, a three hour wait at the doctors for him to verify what I already knew and an unexpected prescription of three jabs of penicillin... in the bum. Wonderful! Just what I always wanted. I also had to delay my trip to the Blue Mountains by a day which was unfortunate but did give me time to catch up with some Pirates and head over to Manly a couple of times. I'm still kicking myself now that I didn't get to go to Manly earlier on because my idea of Sydney would've completely changed. First off the ferry ride was awesome fun, half an hour crossing the harbour to Manly, then secondly the air of Manly is just completely different to the CBD. It felt so much more chilled and relaxed, a little like Fremantle I guess. Still, things happen for a reason, maybe too much of a good thing would've ruined it for me?



  1. I can't comment on which I preferred - Sydney or Melbourne, as I've only visited Sydney but boy did I love it there!



Blogger news



Follow on Bloglovin