Cant believe it is the the end of my third week, time is going so fast!
My week didnt start too great with a notsofriendly cyclone – a 72 hour stint of TORRENTIAL rain. The tropical cyclone hit on Monday in the early morning, with ridiculously heavy rain and winds up to 50mph. The met office announced that the cyclone had rapidly intensified to Category 5, which I interpreted as pretty bad and maybe my afternoon plan of surfing, wasn’t a too great of a plan! I kind of just thought oo a bit of rain will be fine … so on Monday morning I started on my usual stroll to hospital- within pretty much 1 minute, my umbrella was more harm than good and I was completey drenched. I had to change into scrubs when I finally arrived in hospital, and stand under the dryer. [My underwear was even wet #lowlowtimes].
I have never experienced weather like it, such heavy heavy rain. How can it rain SO MUCH and with the high speed winds, it pretty much made it impossible to leave the house. Apparently the rain fall on Monday, in Sydney, was nearly a month’s worth of rain! Parts of North Sydney were badly affected, some areas had to be evacuated due to severe flood warnings and power being cut off. Ferries and trains were stopped, beaches were closed. . . . just a casual storm.
My week highlights:
1. My best friend this week .. aka my rainjacket.
Waking up to this . . . not impressed
This was me on Tuesday morning #notexaggerating . . . I was about 50 metres away from hospital, waiting at the traffic lights to cross the road, a bus drove past and tidal wave followed soon after. [at least this time I learnt from Monday and packed an extra pair of clothes]
2. I MOVED! My new home is now in Surry Hills, an area I think I am quickly falling in love with. I am a lot happier in my new place. It is not even comparable to my old accomodation [which I left a harrowingly honest review on tripadvisor about.. it is still pending].
My little oasis
3. Coffee Tour. This weather only gave me more of a reason to pursue my coffee tour. I basically have made a list of numerous coffee places I have read about, seen, walked past, and each I want to try out before leaving Sydney. Luckily since moving to Surry Hills, most of the coffee places on my bucket list are only within a 500metre radius from my house, so the storm could NOT beat me.
This week I visited Bourke St Bakery [Surry Hills], Fouratefive [Surry Hills], Fika Swedish Kitchen [Manly], Central Baking Depot [CBD], M Deli Cafe [Bondi] and Devon Cafe [Surry Hills]. . .
[Moroccan style baked eggs with almonds, feta and sourdough at ‘Fouratefive’]
[Sitting outside @ M Deli Cafe]
[Feka Swedish Kitchen]
4. Watching the sunset. I discovered Observatory Hill, each time I get the train to my hospital and it is heading across the bridge, I always spot this tiny green park nestled right slap bang in the middle of the inner city. And what a hidden gem it is, with sweeping panoramic views of the harbour and up along the river. I saw 5 couples come and have professional engagement or wedding photos! [I didnt even know people did engagement photos, is that a thing now?]
Catching some rayyyys . . .
Watching the sunset…
Going . . .
Going . . .
. . . Gone
5. ANZAC Dawn memorial. ANZAC day [stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps] is the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand troops landing on the Gallipoli Penninsula, Turkey, in World War 1 on April 25th 1915. It is marked as a day of national remembrance and traditionally commemmorative services are held at dawn, followed by marches and parades by the servicemen. The dawn service has its origin from the military routine when the half light of the dawn was one of the most favoured times for the army to launch an attack. This year is the 100th anniversary and being one of the most special days in Australian’s history, I had no excuse to miss it. The service begins at 4am but I viewed it as serendipitous that I was in Sydney for this occasion. So i woke up at 2.45 am and headed towards Martin’s Place where the memorial was taking place [at the Cenotaph]. It was already heaving with people, by the time I got there at 3.30. Apparently, a record number of 30,00 people gathered for the memorial, the largest Sydney has seen since the days after World War 1. There were scouts, young children, old men and women, servicemen, Maoris in their feather capes [Indignous people of New Zealand]. It was very surreal, standing there in the hours before daylight, surrounded by 1000s of people. The hour long service started with readings, hymns, prays, choirs, laying of the wreaths and finished with the whole crowd singing the Australian and the New Zealand naional anthem. It was a truly special moment and I will never forget the occasion.
[Images of poppies and scenes of the Anzacs were projected onto buildings overlooking the Cenotaph]
6. Cool Bars. Syndey has some really quirky awesome bars. Two bars I discovered this week: Baxter’s Inn and Shady Pines Saloon. I was told by several Aussies that Baxters is a must. It isnt exactly a place, you would stumble across. It is down a nondescript dark tiny laneway, where you have to go through this back entrance heading underground . . . I thought we were heading into some methadone clinc as it looked so dodge. Despite its rather hidden location, it was packed full of Aussies. It is a candle lit basement bar with a retro American kinda feel. There is a long bar that stretches on one side with ladders, for the bartenders to climb up, to choose from their 300 whisky selection! We were really lucky, when we arrived, a table suddenly came free and I jumped on it [nearly literally]. I much prefer when you can sit down with drinks and chat, as it is so much more sociable and I can actually hear what the person is saying [such a grandma]! I am not a massive whisky aficionado but chose a whisky based cocktail with maple liqueur, cranberry juice and orange zest – i could have easily drank about 10 more! I can see why it is so popular, the service, drinks, barstaff and atmosphere are pretty hard to beat. Shady Pines Saloon, I learnt after going , is the sister establishment to Baxters [but slightly easier to find]. It is filled full of taxidermy and has a rather wild west theme, I half expected to see some cowboys and hillbillies to walk through the door! When you walk in, you are welcomed by a massive, rather disturbingly life like, long horn stag, who you need to edge your way past! Again, one of Sydney’s famous whisky bars and after my fab night there, I cant rate the place highly enough. The vibe was great- even if I am not a super fan of American country music!