Australia, days 4 and 5: Sleepless in Sydney

sydney opera house

I couldn’t resist. I got up at 5:00 am today and 6:00 am yesterday. Corny as it is, can you tell me it’s not an apt title?

So, as promised, I’m getting reeeeeeeal picture-y up in here, especially since I am combining two days of Sydney-ing into one. While Day 4 was largely a travel-slash-Queensland withdrawal day, Day 5 was a day that we got to enjoy an impressive number of Sydney’s highlights. We opted for a 2 hour morning cruise around the harbor, followed by lunch at the Opera Kitchen at the Sydney Opera House. While the afternoon left room for some solo exploring, we all reconvened later for dinner at Doyle’s, a restaurant about five times as old as I am with terrific seafood. Seafood which, I promise, is not five times as old as I am. It’s actually quite fresh, I assure you.

Behold, photographic evidence of the days!

Right before sunrise.
Right before sunrise.
sydney sunrise
During sunrise.
sydney sunrise
A little after sunrise. Captured the three stages, I did! I gotta be thorough with y’all.

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An interesting building in the city of Sydney. Anyone know what this is?
An interesting building in the city of Sydney. Anyone know what this is?
More pleasant city walking.
More pleasant city walking.

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Pretty fountain.
Pretty fountain. That’s all, really.
sydney opera house
A solid view of the Opera House. Because it wouldn’t be a post about Sydney without that, TBH.
boys in sydney
Brother’s friend, Ethan (23) and little brother (9). Little brother looks like he’s about to bungee jump off of the Opera House.
boys in sydney
Brother’s friend Grant, dad, brother’s friend Brandon, brother, brother’s friend Ethan, and tiny brother looking like an appendage of one of the older boys.
circular quay sydney
Another view of Circular Quay from the Opera House.
Some boy band I met in front of the Opera House. Heard they're bigger than One Direction.
Some boy band I met in front of the Opera House. Heard they’re bigger than One Direction. 
sydney opera house detail
Detail of the Sydney Opera House. Per an older gentleman on our cruise, “they could have done a better job”. Someone’s a shady lady!
This restaurant at the Opera House looks like it came out of my wildest design dreams.
This restaurant at the Opera House looks like it came out of my wildest design dreams.
bennelong restaurant
Another picture of this restaurant (which is called Bennelong, btw) because it’s just that amazing.
A picture my brother took of my other brother.
A picture my brother took of my other brother.
Da crew.
Da crew.
Seagulls in Sydney are cleaner, but meaner.
Seagulls in Sydney are cleaner, but meaner. Trust me on this.
for denison sydney
Fort Denison in the harbor. Fun fact: supposedly this is THE place to be to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Who’da thunk?
sydney skyline
More Sydney skyline.
manly beach
I…think this is Manly Beach? Don’t judge me guys – it was our first real day!
A view into the open ocean. AKA, the path the sharks use to get into the harbor.
A view into the open ocean. AKA, the path the sharks use to get into the harbor.
watsons bay
I WANT to say this is Watson’s Bay. Someone correct me if it’s not. All I know is that sharks are present here.
Quarantine Bay. Eery name, beautiful beach.
Near Quarantine Bay. Eery name, beautiful beach.
house in sydney harbor
We were utterly fascinated by this house. If you live here and are reading this, can we visit?
Gorgeous beach near the Taronga Zoo.
Gorgeous beach near the Taronga Zoo.

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sydney bridge
Another fun fact: these concrete pillars have NO structural value and were only built to assuage peoples’ worries about the integrity of the bridge. 
The Sydney Harbor Bridge. People spend ungodly amounts of money to climb this thing. I can only imagine.
The Sydney Harbor Bridge. People spend ungodly amounts of money to climb this thing. I can only imagine.
Gotta show you all the views of Sydney.
Gotta show you all the views of Sydney. I got you, fam.
circular quay sydney
Near Circular Quay at dusk. We are still pronouncing it “Kway”. Somebody correct us, PLEASE.
The man who made this whole trip possible: my dad.
The man who made this whole trip possible: my dad.

Sydney obviously has an extremely maritime feel, but it also is uncanny for how similar to the U.S. it seems. Little green hills remind me of Washington or Oregon. The clean, tall, stone buildings set against slightly chilly weather downtown remind me of Minneapolis. The people’s casual attire and friendly, “no worries” demeanor reminds me of Southern California. I’m convinced that Australia, or at least Sydney, might be the closest thing to Southern California you can get outside of my home region. At least that’s what I have heard and have seen myself so far.

Today marks the one day this week that I get to do that which nobody else in my group wants to do: museums. Maybe a zoo visit. I know, how could anyone possible not love zoos or museums? But alas, I respect their desire to go to the beach. That is, after all, kind of what Sydney is known for.

You guys will forgive me for using a picture of the Opera House as my featured pic, right? Catch you on the flip.

-H

Travel tip: If you are looking for a little more variety in your trip wardrobe but also need to buy souvenirs, buy cute clothes that you know your friends will also wear. Wear the stuff on the trip while you’re on it, then wash and give the stuff to your friends as souvenirs. They’ll love it, and you’ll look cute on the trip, too.

Not that I’m doing that or anything.

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