My sister arrived in Australia on the 3rd of January, and instantly we launched into the frenzied, rapid type of sightseeing I’d been told to avoid.
I started off showing her around Sydney, able to see a familiar city through the fresh eyes of my little sister. We stayed at a friend’s apartment in Bondi the first couple of days, proudly flaunting to a jet-lagged Beth the beautiful blue-green water and golden sands of the Eastern Beaches of Sydney. The weather had come out in force, rising up to the 80s and pressing into us with its humidity. We soldiered through it on the Coastal Walk to Bronte, catching a light sunburn by staying on the sand a little longer than we knew we should. It was fun to play host to a family member again, since the only other relatives to come visit had been my parents over two years ago. We capped off our weekend with an ocean view BBQ on the deck and a visit to the famous Gelato Messina on Hall St.
As the clouds blew into Bondi, we blew out of it, back to Paddington to see some of the city the following day.
And see it we did, walking from the peaceful Botanic Gardens to the Opera House and refreshing ourselves with a quick white wine at the Opera Bar. From there we waded through the tourist throng in Circular Quay, through the Rocks, and onto the Harbor Bridge. We’d been told about a way to see great views from the first pylon of the bridge, getting essentially the same experience as the pricy Bridge Climb for a fraction of the cost. So we walked toward North Sydney, and sure enough there was an inconspicuous sign announcing the Pylon Lookout</acceptancn.
After a butt-burning 200 stairs, Beth and I were high above Sydney Harbour, with an incredible view of the Opera House just as the last of the clouds blew away. We enjoyed the breeze 87 meters above the water for about an hour, trying to recover from all of the walking we had done already that day, and starting to feel the pressures of our old lives slip away.
It was the first day back to work for most of my former coworkers after the Christmas holiday, and here I was, stretching in the sunshine and getting more exercise than I had in the last several months combined. The acceptance that I had shed the life I’ve always known was slowly seeping into my consciousness, and trepidation was slowly being replaced by the delicious feeling of freedom.
Not a bad start to this adventure at all.
Up next – the Cockatoo Island Glamping adventure!