Merry Christmas from down under!
Today is finally Christmas, and while you people at home might have enjoyed a bit of warm temperatures, Slou and I worked on stealing all the sun rays in the sky. They aren't kidding when they say the sun is stronger down here.
We knew we wanted to spend the day at the beach, and after two days of non-stop action, we welcomed a day of lounging.
Bondi beach is quite the place. Think the energy of South Beach in Miami mixed with Southern California's laid back charm. Somehow, the two meld together to form one incredible atmosphere.
We dipped our toes into the water while watching hundreds of people in Santa hats and bikinis sun themselves. The beach was crowded, but somehow still felt incredibly spacious. Maybe it's the wide open ocean in front of you or the sweeping hills surounding you, but the beach still felt isolated and secretive.
There are shops along the edge of town and then a large green lawn, where more people were throwing the frisbee, tanning, and picnicking. Slou and I picnicked on the beach while our skin turned to fried chicken. Then, we walked the southern edge to see the view along the bluffs. The wind and dramatic cuts of sandstone made me feel like I was on the edge of the world, which I guess technically I was.
We bussed back to town that afternoon and hopped a ferry up to Manly Beach. The ferry ride was really beautiful because you get to see the other end of the harbour and feel the waves coming in from the open sea. Manly Beach had a completely different vibe from Bondi, and I can see why the locals like it better. Fewer people, giant surfing waves, and a calmer atmosphere. We sat for a bit while the sun lowered behind us and the surfers caught the waves.
There are small hints of Christmas around, such as these decorations in front of this governtment building. It's a very subtle and very strange sight, though.
That night, we made ourselves some ravioli and cheered to a very merry Christmas!
Sydney has been truely lovely and I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to get a taste of Australia. It has all the big city attractions and accomodations. They cater to tourists very well and were very welcoming. Our hostel was also really wonderful--clean, quiet, and easy to base from. We've had a blast getting to know the city and are now look forward to seeing New Zealand!