Sydney is beautiful but I’ve been surprised by the size of the city – it is not very large. The harbours are incredible and the city feels kind of beachy despite being a major concrete city with skyscrapers. I keep thinking about Finding Nemo – yes, the movie 🐠😁 – because I remember how beautiful the Sydney Harbour seemed with birds, and water, and sun. Finding Nemo introduced me to Sydney. I think Pixar did quite well representing this place. There really are cute white seagull birds with orange beaks flying all over and looking for food from people. Remember “Mine! Mine! Mine!” anyone? There are also other more exotic looking birds here with super long beaks and long legs. I love how the plants and animals are distinctly different from those at home, it makes me feel like I’ve travelled to a whole new world… **puts on Aladdin soundtrack** … I’m getting a little out of hand with the Disney references, sorry! I don’t know what’s up with my mind today. Can you see why it’s taken me days to get this post together? I keep having to stop to listen to Disney songs! Ah, back to reality, the air is fresh here and kinda smells like salt water, in a good way, adding to that beachy feeling and relaxing all the Sydneysiders, as they call the residents here.
I’m staying in the Kings Cross neighborhood. I like it here and it reminds me of London with curvey streets and older white buildings and tons of shops along the main road. My friend told me this was the red light district, which made me wonder if it was going to be, um, a terrible atrocious place to stay for 8 nights. Turns out it’s not terrible now but just a year ago it was filled with raving drunks and druggies. When you talk to people about the Sydney vs. Melbourne rivalry, one thing everyone knocks Sydney for is the “lockouts.” The lockout is an ordinance that prevents bars from letting patrons inside after 1:30am despite the bars staying open until 3am. The rules are strict and the bars are not allowed to serve shots or double shots after midnight and never triple shots (triple shots tho? I mean that’s a bit excessive, even for my standards). There are other rules as well that I don’t fully understand yet so I won’t even try to write about them here, but just suffice it to say I have discovered that Sydney is highly regulating the party scene. Also, I forgot to to mention that in the state of Victoria (where Melbourne is located) if you’re belligerent and get kicked out for being too intoxicated and you refuse to leave, the police will come and you will be fined $7,000AUD. I do not know this from experience!! In Sydney I am told that it’s only $5,5000AUD. Supposedly you also get a temporary restraining order and cannot go within like 50 meters of the bar. There are also heavy penalties against the bar and even bartender for serving people who are too intoxicated. The bartender is held personally liable and can be fined thousands well. Australia has their shit on lock! Anyway this is all good because I only drink a few beers and I’m on my best behavior repin’ the U-S-of-A. Oh, also one of the guys at the hostel received a $3,000 speeding ticket on the Great Ocean Road when he was driving a rental car and going 30kms above the speed limit. I mean, $3,000? He needs a prayer. That’s ridiculous.
Back to the point… So, Kings Cross was apparently party and drug central until a year ago when they instituted these lockout regulations. Nice when a plan works. It’s also walkable to everything I need to see, the Opera House, Oxford Street, Darling Harbour and the CBD. It is also walking distance to Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Woolloomooloo. They are famous for their meat pies and I’m so obsessed with these little creations that I will have a seperate post dedicated to them later. Disclaimer: I walk a lot so maybe it’s not waking distance for all, but for me it’s great. It’s also on the subway line.
And finally, it’s really cold AF here. It says 60 degrees and sunny but I swear that’s a lie. There’s a conspiracy going on here. You can tell there’s a deeply engrained beach culture here because despite the fact that it’s FREEZING and windy every shop and bar leaves the doors open and I’m in here trying to stay warm. You can tell people are cold but they aren’t really phased by the door being open.
Ta-ta for now! Here are some pics:
SYDNEY IS COLD!
In case you’ve been wondering about the texture of the Opera House…
My new friend, working hard at the Vivid art installation. More on this later in a seperate post.
Funky bird needs to eat too!
We all have our place in Sydney, including seals who have these steps reserved for them next to the Opera House.
MINE! MINE! Cute birds.