Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Sydney, Australia Part 2...

The week went by far too quickly but we sure managed to fit a lot in. On Monday we took a road trip out to a place called Cronulla, checked out a few beaches in the Shire, visited Engadine and also drove through The Royal National Parks along the Grand ole Pacific Drive. It was great to get out of the city and experience a bit of the Australian countryside, and sure made for some awesome sightseeing. The Royal National Parks are the second oldest in the world next to Yellowstone in the USA. They were originally just called The National Parks but (would you believe) after Queen Elizabeth II parked her arse in 1955 they were renamed, and the ‘Royal’ part was added. Sure.

Cronulla has some gorgeous beaches but nothing compares to how beautiful the beaches in Manly were. Manly was literally named 'Manly' due to the ‘manly’ behaviour of the local people that lived there - I kid you not! So (after excepting this and moving on with our lives) we took one of the many boat trips out the following day and did some epic sunbathing...I burnt my nose! It was pretty horrendous! The boat ride took about 30 minutes from Circular Quay and we sailed past some gorgeous little spots. Taking a boat trip whilst in Sydney is probably number 1 on my list of ‘things to do’. It genuinely is the best way to see the sites and who doesn’t love a good boat trip?!

Road Trippin'

Grand Pacific Drive
 Boat Trip!!
...they weren't joking!
Manly Beach 
I couldn’t visit Sydney without checking out the many Merlin attractions they have on offer. As a previous employee this was something that wasn’t to be missed and so we managed to visit not just the Sea Life Aquarium, but also Wild Life Sydney and Madame Tussauds too. I had no idea who many of the people in Madame Tussauds were as many of them were Australian stars, but none the less it was interesting and it was a bit of a blast from the past to be honest. Wild Life Sydney and the Aquarium had many different animals on display from all over which was awesome, but it wouldn’t be a trip to Sydney without a visit to the famous Taronga Zoo. This Zoo is not only home to an array of different animals but you can also catch a pretty impressive glimpse of the city aswell...

View from Taronga Zoo

 Wild Life Sydney
 Taronga Zoo

One of the many things I was looking forward to during my stay was New Years Eve - the anticipation was quite literally killing me. During the day we visited Martin Place and did a bit of shopping in the Queen Victoria Building. This building was built as a monument to the long reigning monarch herself in 1898, and it really is a beautiful site not to be missed. I also enjoyed my 17th fry up of the week (you can never have to many), and finally it was time for the main event to unfold. To celebrate this occasion before most of the worlds population was pretty amazing, and to do so from the Sydney Tower was even more impressive. As the clock struck 12, the fireworks over the harbour bridge exploded in an epic display that I will remember for years to come. Sydney was pretty crowded but well organised and everyone's spirits were high which made for an all round awesome good time.

 Sydney Tower Eye
 Queen Victoria Building
 New Years Eve!
On the final day we took a trip out to the gorgeous and world renowned Bondi Beach. The weather was perfect if not a little too hot and the beach was absolutely crammed with people. The water was extremely clear and it really was the best way to spend my final day in Sydney, Australia.

 Bondi Beach
Pacific Ocean

Overall Sydney is a beautiful city and I had a fantastic time exploring it, but to be able to spend this Christmas with my nearest and dearest just absolutely made it for me. Its funny what living alone in a different country does to a person. I am grateful for the people I have back home more than ever, but I have also found a new appreciation for this experience in Korea, and am looking forward to what 2016 will bring to the table.

So Korea...lets be 'aving ya! Sold!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Sydney, Australia Part 1...

It was Christmas morning and all through the land people were waking up to a spread of festive joy. Trees were glistening, turkey’s were roasting and children everywhere were unravelling the presents they’d waited oh so long for. As people near and far celebrated this day surrounded by their loved ones, I was about to board a flight that would take me through China to my final destination of Sydney, Australia. This was a trip I had been anticipating for a very long time, and one that would inevitably remind me of what Christmas, is actually, all about.

 The beautiful Sydney, Australia
The day started out much like any other in South Korea, with the smell of fish and the sight of old men honking up their lungs and spitting out the results on the unfortunate pavements below. The occasional car horn was heard, and the taste of pollution and left over Christmas kimchi was evident in the air. There was something quite comforting about it all though, it was a feeling that I had come so accustom to over the last year and maybe one that felt like home. However the lack of cheer and merriment on this particular day reminded me straight away that this was definitely, not home. And so I boarded my flight and took off to the western world in search of bread, cheese and those oh so familiar faces.

The flight itself was devastating! I don't mean this literally - there were no incidences and no one died or anything (apart from perhaps a bit of my soul) but I caught a cold somewhere around China and the rest is history really. As someone who use to love flying, hating it has come as a massive surprise to me over the last year. Maybe its something about getting older, but I feel there’s this real risk of death now - I mean what’s even holding the plane up? It’s extremely bizarre. I landed at around 9.30am, and after an awkward encounter with a black sniffer dog, I bought some vodka and I was on my way.

Christmas Dinner!
I couldn’t wait to start exploring Sydney and experiencing a different part of the world, but the main purpose of my trip was to visit my friends and that was what I was most looking forward to. It had been a long time since I’d seen anyone who I’d known for more than just a few months, so it was pretty amazing to see these people who I’ve been through so much with. After the long flight I must have looked like hell on earth on the outside (I sure felt like it) but on the inside I was absolutely ecstatic to see their faces and I couldn’t wait for this mini adventure to begin.

We arrived back at my friends house (where I would be staying) and I had my first western meal of the week. Turkey, roasted potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings and pigs in blankets...literally the works, and to top it all off with we had a lovely little glass of bubbly as we watched the Queens speech. It was just the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. After a lazy first day and a pretty good nights sleep considering, we headed off the following morning to explore the city of Sydney in all of its glory.


We started the day off by walking past Mrs Macquarie's Chair and through the Royal Botanic Gardens, which were beautiful and packed full with plant life as far as the eye could see. These gardens are almost 200 years old (this year in fact) and are one of Sydney's most visited places due to their close proximity to the harbour and in particular, The Sydney Opera House. This performance venue is one of Sydney's most recognisable places and tourists flock here in their millions each year to catch a show or two. The entire building is covered in individual self cleaning concrete white panels but up close they're actually more of a glossy cream colour. The building is fascinating and offers some great views of The Sydney Harbour Bridge as well, which was pretty epic.

Mrs Macquarie's Chair
 Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney Opera House

Harbour Bridge

Next we took a stroll through Circular Quay although the amount of people meant that it was more of a jolted walk to be honest. On the other side we reached The Rocks - a historical area of Sydney's city centre and a fascinating place filled with beautiful architecture. This area was the site of Australia's first European settlers in 1788, so as you can imagine it was packed full with Australian history including Sydney's oldest building, 'Cadmans Cottage'.

 Cadmans Cottage
The Rocks

We stepped on to the famous Harbour Bridge to take in the views of the Opera House and beyond, and I couldn't help but feel a real sense of elation as I stood there looking out on to the harbour. It was a wonderful first couple of days in Sydney and I couldn't wait to see what the rest of the week would bring...

Follow this Blog Via Email...