Tuesday 21st October – Saturday 25th October
As well as doing plenty of exploring, we were lucky enough to meet up with a few friends, old and new, who showed us around various parts of the city.
Conny, Sydney University and Inner West
Conny is a friend of the family (she stayed for a time in Northumberland with my Aunt and Uncle when she was studying at Northumbria University). We hadn’t met her before, but when we told our family where we were going, they suggested we get in touch.
Conny works at Sydney University in the Business School (she runs a successful post-graduate accounting course there) and very kindly offered to show us around the University campus on Tuesday evening. The main buildings have been modelled on those at Oxford and Cambridge.
The campus also featured a ‘graffiti tunnel’ (the only place where graffiti is permitted on campus, to allow freedom of expression). After a fantastic guided tour we went for dinner at a Lebanese restaurant, followed by a walk to a funky cafe for a delicious dessert!
Mel, Central Business District
On Thursday we met up with Mel, a friend of Joanna’s that worked with her in the City a few years back. She and her husband Alex moved out to Sydney about seven years ago.
Mel now works as an in-house lawyer, and Alex works in the media industry. They live in Manly, which means their home is a ten minute walk from the beach, and Mel’s commute to work is a short ferry ride across the harbour.
We had a lovely lunch with her in a cafe by the Royal Botanic Gardens (though we forgot to get a photo, so you’ll have to take our word for it!).
After lunch, the weather was so lovely that we decided to go back to Bondi beach for a bit of sunbathing!
We finished the day with some fantastic food from the Night Noodle Markets, an annual event in Hyde Park. It was packed, with a massive array of food to try, and lots going on.
My sister Claire and her husband Mark had given me some Aussie dollars as a birthday present before we left, so we took the opportunity to try loads of different foods, including barbeque pork dim sum. My favourite, though, was the desserts from Chat Thai – sweetcorn and coconut, plus banana fritters.
James and Kellie, Balmain
We spent a bit of time on Friday doing some shopping in the city centre. We were told on our walking tour that there were a lot of underground shops in Sydney, as a way to reduce pedestrian traffic at ground level, so we took a look.
On Friday evening we took a short bus ride to Balmain, a suburb of Sydney where our James and Kellie lived. James is a friend of ours who went to school with Joanna and moved out here about ten years ago.
Balmain is a lovely place, with a great high street. We went for dinner at Blue Ginger, which was absolutely delicious. It was fantastic to catch up with James and to meet Kellie.
A last look at the sights, Circular Quay
Saturday was our last day in Sydney (and in Australia) and the weather was beautiful, so we took one last chance to enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
We stopped for lunch in the Opera Bar (with views of the bridge and the bay), before heading off for our flight, and our next stop: New Zealand!
Spoonerism of the day
A family saying, spotted at Coogee beach.