26.06.2017 - 26.06.2017
How is everyone? I will mention again that I will be thrilled to receive pictures of people's pets while I'm gone.
Okay, so, when I left off I was about to head out and do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. I did in fact do that, except I decided to take the bus to Coogee first and do the walk in the opposite direction. I was a bit unsure about where to get off this bus, so as soon as I spotted the ocean I stopped and walked directly towards it. This strategy was actually very successful, as the road I went down led right to the official "end", or beginning in my case, of this walk. I got to this point at approximately 9:45am. I of course had to immediately go and touch the water, as per my personal tradition. Coogee beach is absolutely gorgeous, and I took a ton of photos and video right off the bat. I am really happy with how one picture from there turned out - I posted it on Facebook and Instagram. Anyway, this walk went along the cliffs, up and down wooden stairs, around several smaller coves, and on pavement, sand, grass, and gravel. One part of the wooden structure that would normally be a part of this path was damaged in a storm last year apparently, so the walk was diverted through Waverly Cemetary, which is gigantic and very picturesque. I took a few photos there as well. My walk ended, of course, at Bondi Beach. I took my shoes off and walked along the edge of the water about halfway across. I got there at about noon, so it was a substantial walk, even accounting for my photo time along the way. I had lunch at a cafe across the street from Bondi, wandered through the tourist shops and had some chocolate chai gelato. I took the bus back to the train station and was back at the hostel at about 4:00. It was a full day.
The next day, Saturday, I went to Taronga Zoo, with about every other tourist currently in Australia. It was extremely busy, but I love zoos so all was well. You have to take the ferry to get there, and then the zoo has its own gondola system that takes you up to the actual entrance. Theoretically, you walk all the way down the hill through the exhibits and then exit right by the ferry stop, but they put the main gift shop at the top! So after I had seen everything, I walked all the way back up to go purchase a stuffed platypus. (I've now seen a platypus! So thrilling!) I cheated and just took the gondola back down at that point. My super exciting first Friday night in Australia consisted of Thai noodle salad from the grocery store, and a couple of episodes of Outlander. (Has anyone else watched this? I'm really enjoying it.) I have now mostly adjusted to the time zone, but clearly not to the amount of walking Travel Jenna likes to do daily.
On Sunday, I spent most of the day in the hostel, as I was hoping to meet up with a friend, and so needed to stay connected to wifi in order to figure out where and when we were going to meet up. It turned out she was not able to make that work, which was too bad. I took off in the afternoon and went and explored Paddy's Market. Again, potentially with every other tourist in Australia. There is quite a diverse and random selection of items for sale in there! It was entertaining, although a bit claustrophobic.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, was epic. If you followed along with my Europe trip, you will know how much I love Rome. At any point, anytime, I would be thrilled to go back there. I wouldn't necessarily describe where I went today as quite to that level, but that should give you some idea. Today I took the ferry to Manly! The little town there is adorable, and the beach is magnificent. It was a gorgeous day, for one thing, but Manly beach is incredible all on its own. And I have been to many beaches in my 21 years. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with the ocean. I sat in the sand and read my book for about an hour, until I got too warm. Then I walked in the shallow water from one end of the beach to the other, which is quite a ways. It was at this point I decided I was in love with Manly. I was walking along through clear, cool water, and listening to a song that was going the perfect walking pace. I'm pretty sure many people on the beach were thinking "who is this girl holding her running shoes, letting waves splash over her knees, grinning, and singing??" Yes, that would be me. When I got to the end of the beach, I sat in the shade and read my book some more. When I got hungry, I walked all the way back, still smiling and singing in the shallow water. Then I went and got a steak and cheese pie, which was delicious. Obviously, I had to get some kind of souvenir from my new favourite beach, to go with my platypus from the zoo. I got a t-shirt, which is highly unoriginal, but I love it. If I had taken the ferry back about 45 minutes later, I think I would have come into the harbour as the sun was setting, which would have been amazing, but alas I went too early. It is still a fantastic view, of course. Today was a very good day.
I have now washed off the sand and packed up my bag, as I leave for Melbourne tomorrow! When I booked my flight, I was thinking "oh awesome, I will get there first thing in the morning, so I can see Harry right away" (he's picking me up from the airport). What I neglected to consider was how early I need to get to the airport, and therefore how early I need to wake up in order to catch a 7am flight. Whoops. I have an alarm set for 4:45am. This would have been easier if I hadn't adjusted to the time zone! I woke up at 3am and was ready to go on Thursday and Friday. Oh well.
I would definitely consider Sydney to be a success. I have remembered how to be Travel Jenna. And I definitely know some people that would love Sydney, so if anyone wants a buddy when they go, I'm ready. And I am very excited for Melbourne! Stay tuned.