After coming back from a road trip to Woodside with a group of friends, Tony and I decided to take a week off in December to fly interstate and explore a city that I (personally) had not visited in almost a decade.
Even though it’s one of our closest neighbouring cities, I must admit that I knew less about Sydney than I did of a foreign city like Barcelona or Los Angeles. And that’s when I figured that it was time to get re-acquainted again with this iconic city.
The last time that I visited Sydney was at the beginning of high school when I tagged along on a road trip with my uncle and cousins. Needless to say, I don’t remember much from the trip. I didn’t know how the public transport system worked. I didn’t know where the good eateries were. And most importantly, I knew nothing about how the city was laid out.
After travelling to so many places over the past two years, my eyes have really opened up to the unique geography of each individual city. When I took my first trip internationally with some friends to Phuket in 2014 – I didn’t even know where Thailand was on the world map. I hadn’t even bothered to look it up.
Fast forward to my first visit to a European city and I surprisingly found myself in the navigator’s seat. And so I quickly came to learn how to read a map, how to work out the different transport systems available, and learnt to appreciate the way in which a city is uniquely laid out. And I think that’s one of the biggest skills that I’m glad to have acquired from my few years of travelling. Nowadays, you can ask me about any city that I have been to and I can roughly map out the geography and directions on how to get from one hotspot to the next 😉
However I digress. Getting back on topic: so what were my first impressions of visiting Sydney again after nearly a decade? First of all, let’s talk about their train system. Not only do their trains go to and from the airport – but their carriages are double-decker, have customisable seating arrangements, and feels to be light years ahead of the ones that we have back home. Sorry Melbourne.
Museum Station. Complete with vintage ads and an old timey feel 🚇
However we noticed that it just seemed to be us tourists that were amazed by the transport system here. When we tried to express this enthusiasm to the locals, our reactions were surprisingly met with a bunch of low level groans and slight eye rolls haha. I guess as tourists, we aren’t as bothered by the idea of infrequent train services, disruptive track works, and overcrowded carriages as much as if we were to actually live there.
Second of all: the food. There has been this long standing debate on whether the food scene in Melbourne or Sydney is better, and I couldn’t wait to compare it for myself to see. And if you followed me on Snapchat @mishl.t, you would’ve been aware of how much eating we did on this trip. And yes, I know that I still have many food posts that I need to get around to writing for Sydney. Bear with me please! 😅
Art Gallery of New South Wales
And thirdly, what touristy activities did we get up to? Well not much actually since eating had pretty much taken up most of our time hehe! We did however get to check out the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo for their DC Comics exhibit (open until May so get on down there you guys!), the Art Gallery of NSW, and of course how could you go past the iconic views of Bondi Beach and Circular Quay?
The Art of the Brick: DC Comics Exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum
Even though most of our time was spent in and around the city – we made full use of our Opal cards by venturing all the way out to Macquarie, Burwood and Kogarah (for the food, of course). If we had more time, we probably would’ve looked at renting a car nice in order to check out the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas outside of metropolitan Sydney.
Overall though, it was a good trip away complete with over 40ºC days, strolls by Bondi and getting attacked by seagulls at the fish markets. 10/10 would be happy to come back again.
More follow-up posts about this Sydney trip coming soon! x