When I went to Sydney in 2008, I didn’t really like it. I had $30 to my name and had to save $4 for the ride to the airport, so I spent my few days there totally broke and young. I remember Sydney felt very “Toronto”; corporate, cold, busy. Nothing like beloved Melbourne. When I went to Sydney this year, it was mostly to see a friend and give the city a second shot, though I wasn’t getting my hopes up.
What a stupid girl I was.
Sydney is fantastic. Does it have the bohemian-artsy vibe of Melbourne? No. But it has so much charm and character packed into its suburbs, you can forgive it a little bit of graffiti.
I was lucky enough to stay with my friend Dylan, who is lucky enough to live in an apartment with views like this:
He lives in Kings Cross, a suburb that during the day is beautiful and full of cafes and professional gay man couples who have tiny dogs…but at night, it is the place to go for 24-hour partying, sex, drugs and booze. When I first arrived at 10:30pm on a Tuesday, I couldn’t believe the way girls were dressed; I didn’t really think I could feel simultaneously underdressed and overdressed at the same time. Girls looked like strippers, and they weren’t even the ones working at the strip clubs. Quite a shock, but you’ve gotta admit it really gives character to your second first impression of a city.
On my third day there (after my ANZAC Day hangover wore off), I did a free walking tour of the city which I would HIGHLY recommend. A 3-hour free tour given by passionate locals?! Amazing.
Really,check them out(and be sure to tip at the end, as that’s their only income!) On the tour we saw a bunch of main sites, and got some really interesting history about the city. We started as Town Hall, made our way down through the streets and ended up at a great view of the Opera House. A really fantastic way to start your time in this great city.
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney are another great walk. I haven’t seen many botanic gardens in my life time so I can’t compare them to anything, but they were really pretty and peaceful.
EXCEPT FOR THIS:
I thought these were plastic bags in the trees. Some tree-person thing to protect….I dunno, fruit or something. But no. They are FUCKING BATS. Excuse me? Pardon? Can we all pause for a moment and see how big those things are? Please keep in mind I’m on the ground and they’re at the top of a fucking tree.
RIGHT? Wtf. W. T. F. Look, I’m not a squeamish person and I actually really like bats and think they’re cool and useful to the Earth and I’m sad that they’re dying from white noses. If you were a forest ranger and brought me a bat, I’d gladly hold it and be like “oh cool!” But yo these huge bats were just there. In the middle of the city. WHAT? Come onAustralia. Come. On.
I’m so far away from home….