snapshots from sydney.
i'd never been to australia before, but james actually lived and worked in sydney for a few months back in the day (he was working on happy feet - yes, the penguin movie!). i don't really know what i was expecting, but sydney definitely surprised me in many ways. the city center is very dense, but it's surrounded by so much water AND land. my first views of australia from the plane were these uninhabited ocean cliffs and all the bays. then once we were in the city, seeing all the old colonial victorian architecture mixed in with a modern high-rise skyline was pretty wild!
they also had coffee shops everywhere. multiples in a single block. sometimes two in a single building! and none of them were starbucks. and they were always busy. head over to this post to see more of what we ate and drank in sydney.
some of the prettiest views of the city came when we hopped on a ferry to go places like watsons bay, manly or taronga zoo. and it it definitely affords you the best view of the opera house in my opinion.
speaking of the opera house, we were lucky enough to catch an opera there! it was don quichotte. i loved seeing it up close, lit up at night. and i never realized that the white surface of the opera house is actually tile! beautiful intricately laid tile making an almost-chevron pattern. what a lovely detail.
we were there in late march, the tail end of the southern hemisphere summer and it was HOT. and it turns out the ozone is thinner over australia, so even though bondi beach looked oh-so-inviting, we simply walked through and didn't spend any time sunning. unlike james, i have darker skin and rarely get sun burnt as long as i'm not just sitting out in it, but i got burned on this trip! like, first day, just walking around the city! lesson learned, i kept myself slathered pretty heavily for the rest of it.
one of our favorite attractions in sydney was actually the zoo! the tiger sanctuary was really cute because you "got on a plane" to indonesia, and then the area disembarked into was really reminiscent of our time in bali. plus, i just love tigers (year of the tiger!). they also had two tasmanian devils (so adorable, so vicious!) and a baby elephant who was having the time of his life frolicking in a giant dirt pile.
well, that's a wrap for sydney. after that we headed north into north queensland to go scuba diving in the great barrier reef. that post is coming soon!