Sydney is a great and beautiful city with lots to see. I tend to compare every city I visit to San Francisco. To me San Francisco ranks number one, but of course this is a bias opinion since I grew up in the bay. However, every traveler that I’ve met who has visited the states ranks San Francisco as their favorite American city. Like any city SF has its flaws, but it is the cultivating cities that make up the bay area that make it a great place to live. Similar to home, one can escape Sydney and head over to Manly for a more relaxed vibe.
Walking through Sydney it’s tall buildings resembled those of the skyscrapers from back home. As I walked from the ferry station to Bondi beach I stumbled upon many different districts such as the gay district on Oxford street. I could have easily mistaken this area of the city with that of Castro in SF. As I escaped the financial district of the city I entered a posh district, once again on Oxford street. A series of suburban homes followed before I hit the infamous Bondi Beach. Bondi did not strike me as an impressive beach and had more of an industrial feel causing it to lose its charm. I suppose the hype over the beach also did not help, still this beach is better than anyone we have back home simply because you can enter the water without risking hyperthermia.
What I was looking for in Bondi I found in Manly. Manly beach in my opinion is greater than Bondi and delivered the beach town vibe that I was looking for. Regardless of what I say you should still visit both beaches and form your own opinion for I have encountered mixed reviews amongst fellow travelers. I visited Bondi against the advice given to me by my fellow mates who said the beach was filled with tourist and not worth my time. They forgot I was a tourist and wanted to do touristy things. My advice to you is to always visit the major touristy landmarks of any new city you are in. Don’t be that retard know it all hippy traveler that is to cool for that. In my previous travels I was advised against Oktoberfest in Munich by fellow travelers (the retard hippy) and locals because of the same reason, “it’s too touristy and crowded”, my response, “ummm, I’m a tourist and I fucking love crowds”. I had a great a time at Oktoberfest by the way.
In both places you’ll find several shops, eateries, and watering holes, but be warned Australia is not a cheap place to visit. Unlike my Europe excursion, I actually find myself in the kitchen prepping meals. I can definitely afford to eat out in Oz, but not if I want to make a year of traveling a reality. I do enjoy the curious eyes of my fellow backpackers as they assume I am cooking for two and are left surprised when I consume the entire meal. Typical American and his large servings. Actually it’s just me, I’m a fat ass.
There were many highlights to my Sydney trip such as attending Field day and watching Chance The Rapper and Childish Gambino perform sick sets, two artist who have rekindled my love affair with Hip Hop. I’m going to tell you about a personal highlight that might not be significant to you. As I walked through Sydney, carefully choosing busy streets for the sole purpose to stumble upon city landmarks, I stumbled upon one rarely visited by tourist and locals.
From the moment I saw it I knew this building was special but I had no clue what it was till I walked up the steps and asked the guard many his post. “It’s a memorial to the Australian soldiers who fought and died in World War 1”. The inside was small and circular with a statue of a fallen figure drenched over a sword. On the hollowed parts of the wall, battles the Australians were involved in were carved into the wall, with Gallipoli being one of the most famous. It’s easy to forget that such a small nation who was just formed in 1901 was involved in such a large war. Since then our Aussie mates have fought alongside us in every major conflict. Let us not forget these top blokes. Till Valhalla mates.
I was fortunate enough to be in Sydney for NYE. Entering the new year in a foreign city watching the fireworks from underneath the Harbour Bridge I stared at the Opera house with a smile on face knowing it was one of many to come.
Cheers! And safe travels friends.