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It has been 2 weeks since I arrived in Sydney and I am feeling x10 times happier. I am enjoying having so much freedom and living in such a cool city. This week, I have met quite a few people and no longer the lonely Dora the explorer. I honestly don’t mind being in Sydney alone, I am quite comfortable and happy being by myself. The best thing about travelling by yourself is being able to make your own plans and not have to rely on anyone or worry whether they want to do something different. However, it is nice to have some company, for example going out for drinks or taking an excursion somewhere. Also to be able to share the experiences with others and meet new friends!

My highlights:

1. Seeing my Dad. He was in Sydney earlier this week, he travels a lot with work and visits Australia often. His scheudle is always a little cra-crazy but we arranged to meet up for dinner. I did think it would make me a little homesick after my up and down first week. But actually it was so nice! We went to a fabulous japanese restaurant near Sydney Harbour which did incredible sushi [Sake restaurant]. I had such a lovely evening and it felt rather surreal to see my Dad on the other side of the world!

#specialmemories

I forgot to take any photos of the actual sushi! But here are the chefs prepping

 

 [Japanese deserts can be hit or miss but they were to die for here]

[My desert: I am a sucker for a cholocate fondant]   

[Warning: sentimental moment coming… I know my father reads this blog, so just wanted to say thank you for this incredible opportunity. I am very lucky.]

2. Jazz bar: Wednesday evening – I was meant to go to a Bootcamp – but decided a jazz bar sounded like a far better option! Earlier this week, I met an English girl who is also based in North Sydney for her medical elective. She introduced me to a group of other elective students in Sydney who all come from a range of universities: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Boston, Vienna.  The majority, like me, came to Sydney for their elective by themselves so it is nice to form a group and socialise ensemble. One of the girls suggested trying out  ”Jazushi” which is a sushi place [can you see a food theme running here?!] with live jazz. It was BYO- a lot of restaurants out here have this, which I think is a great trend!! BYO makes it far more chilled and means your meal isnt necessarily expensive as you arent forced to have to pay a silly price for a small glass of mediocre wine. The food was delish, my favourite were the soft crab avocado sushi rolls [I could have ate about 20 more]. It was pretty good value- I shared with 2 other girls and we paid $25 each- and we ordered A LOT. In London, I would easily be paying triple. It was a great night with great company and lots of vino! Lets just say when i got back to my accom- I made the error of falling asleep in my clothes… sign of a good night!

  

3. Manly beach: Thursday was a beautiful day. 29 degrees. I immediately got up and packed my beach stuff and hopped on the bus to Manly beach. Everyone raves about this beach and I can see why.  It is stunnning.     

 [Following the trail round to Shelley Beach- which is a cute little beach tucked arond the side of Manly ]

   [Fresh sea pool- I want one of those cool towel hood beach dress things. I have a feeling they may only be available in children sizes boohoo]

[Shelley beach]  

   

 [soaking up some UV rays] 

I spent the afternoon chillaxing on the beach. It was rather bliss. I even swam in the sea, which is pretty impressive for me [it has to be boiling hot usually for me to get in]. The water was pretty chilly willy though.

I didnt have much time to explore, there is a national park just next to the beach which you can walk around and get amazing views of the coast. Apparantly it makes a great little run loop. Also I saw lots of people paddle boarding which is something on my bucket list, along with learning to surf! 

I was meeting some peeps in Central Sydney so decided to get the ferry across. What a journey. I had incredible views of the city as I came into the habrour. 

 

   

      

 4. Opera: This was a must on my Sydney bucket list. The opera Aida is currently being shown- which is a Verdi opera set in ancient Egypt. It wasn’t actually in the Opera House but in the Royal Botanical Gardens, the stage floating in the harbour with the backdrop of the city skyline, the floodlit sails of the Opera House and the silhouette of the Harbour bridge.  It was a pretty magical setting. 

Each evening, the ticket office release a small number of tickets for $45. My friend was queuing and mananged to get hold of some. We were SO lucky with our seats and got literally the best seats- if we actually had to pay they would have cost $300 each! This was my first ever opera and I loved it! Latonia Moore, an American soprano, as Aida had such a rich powerful voice, it was quite mesmerising. It was an amazing production with beautiful costumes, impressive orchestra, fireworks and even a baby camel! I dont think you need to be an opera lover to go, from the stunning setting and just the experience it is a truly special evening. It will definitely be one of my top nights in Sydney #specialmemories. 

 [I wasnt exactly dressed up for the opera … I had spent the whole day at the beach #lastminutedecision]  

      

 Speak soon! 

[Accom update: Through a friend of a friend of a friend … I met a lovely girl who is going to work in Melbourne for the next 6 weeks and is happy to sublet her room to me. Her place is a typical Sydney townhouse in Surry Hills- which is a trendy arty area of central Sydney- so I am going to totally love living there!]

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