The first day I arrived in Melbourne, I had decided to stay overnight at the airport hotel and fly out to Sydney the next day to meet up with a family friend. He was only in the area for a short time, but wanted to give me the “true Sydney experience” on his yacht. In translation, he wanted to get another vote on his side of the everlasting rivalry of which city is better between Sydney and Melbourne.
After flying over and taking the trains to Cockle Bay, I arrived at the harbor and we set off.
It was a gorgeous day and the sights just kept coming. We passed under the Sydney Bridge and by the Prime Minister’s house, the Sydney Opera House, the old prison and the amusement park, among other breathtaking architecture.
For lunch, we anchored in Darling Harbour, where we also went for a swim by entering the water in the only way plausible: jumping off the roof of his yacht.
After this adventure, we headed back to the hotel and freshened up for dinner at Machiavelli, an authentic Italian restaurant. The server assistant came around to our table with a bread basket (like a literal wizard-of-oz-toto-size basket).
We began our meal with Greek salad and moved onto what was probably the best Italian I’ve had in my short lifetime. The Gorgonzola Gnocchi truly melted in my mouth; it was a dessert all in itself (seriously, I was incapable of so much as looking at the dessert menu after). I highly recommend stopping by Machiavelli if you’re ever in town.
The next morning, we woke up early to check out of the hotel and head down to Central Station. It’s funny how similar Sydney is to New York, well, besides the weather. I mean, Central Station even had one of those clocks that the tourists are supposedly meant to gawk at.
Anyway, we checked our baggage in here so we wouldn’t have to lug it around all day, then hopped on the train to Central Quey, where the ferry to Manly Bay is located. There are two ferries that you can take from here:
1. Very fast, can get you across in about 18 minutes.
2. Slower, more scenic and takes about 40 minutes.
I bet you can guess which one I took.
18 minutes later, our first mission was to grab some brekky (Australian word for breakfast) and Moustache Cafe happened to be the winner.
I ordered banana waffles and an iced coffee, and the barista asked me if I wanted ice cream in that. Mind you, it was 10:00AM. Apparently, iced coffee is not black coffee with ice when you’re down under. A classic iced coffee here is coffee with vanilla syrup and cream topped with ice cream (okay Aussies, we see you).
After brekky, we headed down for a walk along Manly Bay. The water didn’t feel as warm as it had while swimming the day before, but even so, surfers were lining the waves. Those experienced and those taking classes through Manly Surf School were all out and about.
Though I didn’t take any surfing lessons, I did head to a local beach restaurant, Hemingway. When I first walked up here, a server handed me a children’s book. Confused, I opened it up and low and behold, we’d found the jackpot.
This place had a very cute atmosphere, all the way to its toilets (another odd way that Aussies refer to the restrooms).
Having a little more time before we needed to head back to the airport, we decided to explore a few more of the local shops, like Wildflowers.
At about 1:00, we hopped back on the ferry toward Circular Quey, where we got a closer look at Sydney’s Opera House before I had to officially head back to the airport.
Sydney was truly an incredible place to be with all of the local hot spots [and hot weather] and I hope to get back to this city again soon!