We’ve been back for 2 weeks now, and it’s been more or less radio silence over here while I try to catch up on all the work we missed! Even though I always have coverage for urgent issues, the “but this needs your attention” stuff definitely piles up. I’ve pretty much dug out now and am feeling back to baseline, so better late than never- here’s our recap! Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 (the Great Ocean Road and Melbourne, up next!). For the first week of this trip, Jan was working at the Sydney office, and I was totally on vacation!
We arrived in Sydney around noon and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Sofitel on Darling Harbour and I highly recommend! It was a great location for our stay, plus they have an outdoor pool. We walked around the city for a while, but it was a bit cloudy and we were way jet-lagged.
The next day, we had breakfast at Social Brew Cafe, and then Jan went to work and I went to the pool! It was the one sunny day they were calling for all week and… oof I overdid it. Usually my skin is pretty good in the sun, but even with SPF 30 on I was really burnt. I was so glad I’d packed some ibuprofen… overpacking doctor mode paid off :- ). We had dinner that night at Golden Century, a famous Chinese restaurant that’s open until 4AM! It’s known for being the place chefs go after their restaurants close, and apparently Rihanna ate there after her Sydney concert! They even bring the fish you select, still alive to the table for your approval! I was like “dear god ok yes that is fine please don’t remind me my food had scales 10 minutes ago”!
For the next few days I took it really easy in the sun (and, somewhat luckily, it did end up staying cloudy), but we kept enjoying breakfasts and dinners together. On Tuesday we had dinner at I’m Angus, above, and the waitress explained to us that since Australia cancelled all flights from China due to the COVID-19 outbreak, plus a bad season of bushfires, tourism numbers were wayyyy down. We were one of only 3 or 4 tables seated in the restaurant! Others nearby looked the same.
During the day, while Jan was working, I mainly read, strolled through different neighbourhoods, went for runs along the harbours (when my burn allowed- seriously, ouch) and enjoyed relaxing lattes. My favourite neighbourhood was Pyrmont (and Darling Harbour)! We had a great dinner at Muum Maam, a Thai place, with J’s colleagues (I will remember the pork belly FOREVER), and breakfast at The Grounds (in the CBD- on our last Sydney trip we visited the Alexandria location, which has a cool farmer’s market!). I also liked breakfast at Pablo + Rusty’s.
On Friday evening we took a (stormy) ferry to Manly beach, and walked along the boardwalk there before getting a delicious dinner at The Herring Room. Saturday morning, we checked out the Sydney Fish Market, which had an incredible amount of seafood and HUGE fish (Alyssa for scale in the photo below… our heads are the same size!) We were there in the morning, but it would be a cool place to eat lunch if you like fish.
Our last day in Sydney was Saturday, and we really wanted to do the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, which we loved last time we were there. This time, though, it was POURING rain! We decided to just go anyway, and it was cool to see how different the stormy weather made everything look. We took a break for a casual lunch at Icebreaker’s, the famous restaurant looking over Bondi beach, and made it all the way from Watson’s Bay to Coogee before we uber’d back, soggy but happy.
On our last night we packed up and slept REALLY well after a long walk! We hit up Social Brew again in the morning, where I proceeded to crush a stack of pancakes (they were amazing) before heading to Melbourne!
Trip notes- I wore a LOT of what I’d packed in this first part of the trip, mainly because we had everything from warm sun to pouring rain and low to high temps. I liked that I could mix and match (denim bottoms!! and a colour palette) but probably wouldn’t use up space with as many shoes next time. I find Sydney to be a “dressed up” city (maybe that’s just the Vancouver in me!) but really warm and friendly and active.
Nice photos thanks to Jan! Cell phone photos and selfies all me :- )