This essay presents a diary of what I did during my stay in Sydney, Australia, where I spent all my time with my cousin Nina, who took me to see many interesting sights in Sydney, such as the New Town, the Opera House, the Bondi Beach. It was a really wonderful experience, one I will never forget.
Keywords: Australia, Sydney, Opera House, New Town, Bondi Beach
I really have to say that I love Australia, because it is such an interesting and fascinating country, which also happens to be where my cousins live, right here in Sydney. I have been visiting them frequently with my parents when I was younger. On Monday, September 23rd, I booked a ticket to Australia, where I flew from Gothenburg to Australia, Sydney International Airport. Those two glorious weeks cost me about 15000 SEK, but it does not matter. Of course money is always an issue of big concern, but then again, we must not be slaves to it. It should be a means to help us enjoy our lives and experience new and exciting things.
The flight was pretty standard and enjoyable. I have always loved looking at the world from high up above. It makes the people and the places seem so tiny, while I am down on the ground, all the objects can sometimes appear frighteningly big. Somehow, one feels in control when looking at thing from a higher position, floating through the clouds and watching the sun pierce them with its arrows of light. I saw the on-flight movie they were playing and slept for a little while. It was a long flight, but I was so excited to finally be on way, that I did not even feel the time pass.
When I arrived, I was stopped and checked by the Australian customs. I have to say, I found this pretty ridiculous, because I am not really a suspicious looking person and I have nothing to hide. I understand that these things are a standard routine, so I went with the whole process willingly and in a good mood. I was just happy to be there. Finally, after making sure everything was in order, they wished me a pleasant stay and sent me on my marry way. I met my cousin Nina at the airport as she was waiting at arrivals. She picked me up with her brand new car, she does very well in advertising. She has always liked pretty things and it shows. The car was not one of the newest models, but it definitely had class. Just like Nina. It was crimson red, glistening in the sun, like a huge cherry orchard. The inside was as beautiful as the outside. Its cushiony comfort appealed to my tired being. I fell into the seat, and felt like in a nest. I was a bit tired, especially due to the flight which was long, but I figured it would be rude of me to take a nap. So, Nina and I chatted throughout the whole car trip, until we finally reached her apartment.
Unfortunately, her success does not reflect her apartment. It was pretty small and crowded. She mentioned she did not like it either, but that this was the best thing she could afford at the moment. Because she got the new car, she had to save money during the next several months. She told me that she had to choose between the car and a nice apartment, and that after a lot of thinking about this whole thing, she finally decided to go with the car. ”It is hell moving throughout Sydney on foot, you’ll see,” she told me. ”This way, we’ll be able to get anywhere in the shortest time possible.” Because her apartment was not fit to take in any guests, despite the fact I was very welcome, it was simply impossible for me to stay there. So I decided to take accomodation at a hotel. The name of the hotel was ”Seasons Darling Harbour Hotel.” I admit, the name had a sort of an appeal, especially the ”darling” part. I chose it because it seemed to be a nice hotel, the room looked very comfortable, and most importantly, very clean. I had a big and delicious breakfast every morning, and I also enjoyed ocassionally swimming in the big luxurious swimming pool they had. Also, I had a very picturesque view from the window in my suite overlooking the Sydney Opera House. Plus, the hotel was only ten minutes away from the airport. It seemed I had managed to find the perfect little place, in close vicinity of anything I wanted to check out. And, it was not even that expensive, I expected that it will cost a small fortune, but it was bearable. Everything was perfect!
The following morning I woke up at 9 am. I was feeling pretty relaxed, as I glanced at the window. The blinds were drawn, so I could not really see anything, but this invisible view made me smile. I was in Sydney! And all I had to do was open the blinds and drown myself in the beauty of the city I see before me. I went down to eat some breakfast. I generally do not eat much for breakfast, so I just had a small piece of toast and was slowly and peacefully sipping my morning coffee, savoring every moment, every taste. Then, all of a sudden, a loud ringing noise awoke me from my daydreaming. My mobile rang, it was Nina. She told me to take a taxi to Newtown, and she would meet me there. It was no trouble finding a taxi, all I had to do was lift my hand and I was on my way. Nina was waiting for me at our meeting spot. It was a lovely day and we were both wearing light, colorful clothes. It seemed that it might become even hotter during the day. We took a walk around the place called New Town. It is located in western Sydney, just one hour from my hotel. It is a big place, with numerous attractions, appealing to any kind of tourists. What appealed to me the most was the Hub Theatre, which is located opposite the New Twon Station. Its history is not a very happy one, but I saw that now, it hosts many comedy performances and is slowly, but surely being revived. I am a great fan of the theatre and was happy to see that this historic theatre was not just standing there, rotting. In this area, there is also a big shopping mall with two to four hundred different stores. Of course, Nina and I had to do some shopping. It was amazing, I felt like a little kid in a candy store! I was trying not to spend too much money, but as most girls know, this is very difficult when there are so many beautiful things around you!
We were extremely hungry and tired after all that shopping, I felt I could eat a horse. I told Nina this, and after having a hearty laugh, she agreed that we should put something in our bellies. So we decided to take a bite at a restaurant, called ”Stafili Wine and Bar.” When we came into the restaurant, it smelled really good. After all that fuss at the shopping centre, with all the noise and the people, it was actually pretty nice to finally get away from it all, and simply enjoy each other’s company in a cozy restaurant. We were seated in a very comfortable booth and looked at the menu. I noticed that they served grilled haloumi and lemonades, which were hot chips with a lemon flavour, a divine dish if I may add, plus the warm vine leaf rolls. Yum, it was good with capital letters. We ordered this, and decided to top it off with a great vintage wine. This pleasure cost us 100 euro, for two people. It was quite expensive but everything we ordered was fabulous! If I have to compare, I have to say that it was more expensive that eating at Grand Hotel Stockholm. But then again, one should always take into account the quality one is getting when paying. Higher quality demands higher prices. This is how the business world functions, and at least for me, this seems more than fair.
The following day at 5 pm, Nina and I decided to go to the Opera House. It so happened that the entrance was free of charge, so we did not need to pay for visiting it. If one wanted an exclusive, guided tour where one is allowed to go backstage and meet the stars, which would take two hours and cost 150 AUD. The Opera House in Sydney is one of the most famous and well known buildings in the world, and I was really looking forward to visiting it. Designed by a Danish architect Jorn Utzon, it has a spectacular profile and roof like sails of a ship. The house was ready in 1973 after many years of problems because of the complicated constructions. But now, after overcoming all those problematic issues, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Afterwards, we decided to have dinner at the Spanish Quarter, a very small community, located on Liverpool Street, where we had an abundance of Spanish restaurants to choose from. We finally chose a small restaurant, where we tried one of their national dishes, the Paella, and were entertained by Spanish flamenco dancers. It was interesting to see the variety of nationalities at the very heart of Sydney. It was a pretty enjoyable day for both of us.
After the Opera experience and the Spanish dinner, we decided to go home and have some sleep. Nina went back to her apartment, and I went back to the hotel. Before we parted, we decided that tomorrow, we would go to a place tomorrow called Bondi Beach. ”A really nice beach,” Nina said. I was so tired that I think I fell asleep the moment my head felt the comfort of the soft pillow. I closed my eyes and got lost in my dreams of Australia.
I woke up at 10 am, I ate breakfast, a much larger one that I usually have. It seemed that I was more tired that I thought, so my body was asking for more food to keep going. I had eggs and ham for breakfast, some toast with butter and strawberry jam, and I finished it off with green tea. After having a quick chat with Nina, I went out to catch a taxi to Bondi Beach to meet up with her. When I went there, it was already pretty crowded. It seemed to me that there were thousands of people, who wanted to enjoy a sunny day at the seaside. I went to the place where Nina was supposed to wait for me, and I saw that she ordered two places, one for me and one for herself, so that we can sit on comfortable chairs and sunbathe. The beach was really beautiful and the sea, as well. It was a sandy beach, I actually prefer these to the beaches with pebbles or rocks. I just love the feeling of my bare feet walking through the hot sand. It was so hot, 35 degrees. I was looking forward to swimming, because I have always loved swimming, but first I wanted to sunbathe for a little while. I had to put on suntan lotion, because I always burn very easily and have to be careful with my skin in the sun. While we were sunbathing, Nina and I shared stories about school, love, interests and similar. After an hour or so, I went in the sea and started swimming. The water was just perfect. It was so nice, I loved it! Nina jumped into the water, too and started swimming, as well. We splashed water on each other, it was playful!