Australia day two! Woohoo! We have only been here a short time so far but I am completely in love with Sydney. Today we did a lot of walking, saw some incredible sights, and had a little beach adventure!
We started off the morning at Joe Black Cafe because it was so convenient and delicious. We got brekkie muffins and fancy cappuccinos which lasted about five minutes. Australia really knows how to make good coffee! After breakfast we headed back through Hyde park and over to George Street. There was a parade on George for returned service men and women from Afghanistan. We stopped to watch before continuing on up to The Rocks.
It started pouring rain so we had to make a pit stop to buy an umbrella. It has definitely been stormy but not very cold. The Rocks is a pretty cool area – there is a lot of history here. We wandered around the street market and peeked into art galleries and ended up stumbling across a tea room. It looked amazing from the street so we decided to stop in and have tea and scones. The inside was amazing – it was like we stepped into another world. We sat in an open air room and drank tea and ate scones while listening to the rain. It was a great little surprise. I find that the best places and experiences are usually stumbled upon. That is one reason why I love traveling spontaneously. The adventure lives in the unknown. We finished up our Irish breakfast tea and scones with berry jam (which I am now craving again) and made our way over to the Harbour Bridge.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is massive. We wanted to do the bridge climb but the $300 was the deal breaker. It was super windy but the rain had stopped so we decided to walk partway across the bridge instead. There was a lookout spot not too far down so we went up what seemed like a million stairs up to the top. What a view! You could see the city for miles and the harbour looked absolutely stunning. The sea was sparkling and sailboats were taking full advantage of the wind. We spent a few minutes soaking in the view before heading back down.
The view from the lookout.
By this time our legs were getting tired so we made the quick walk over to Circular Quay (which Brian nicknamed Circle K), grabbed a gelato, and hopped on a ferry to Manly Beach. If we would have gone a week or so earlier we would have been there for a major surf competition! That would have been amazing but it was also nice to have a quiet beach day. Once we arrived at the Manly Wharf I had some lollies (I seem to have a sweet tooth today haha) and we stopped into a visitors center to rent some bicycles.
We looked like total tourists with our maps, bikes, and confused looks hahaha. We were lost but having a great time. We biked over to the ocean which was spectacular. Manly beach is so gorgeous! It is lined with pine trees, the sand is so soft, and the water is warm and super blue. We biked up a giant hill and over to the national park. When I say we biked up a giant hill I mean we struggled up a giant hill. The ride through the park was really nice and pretty and we ended up at some pretty incredible lookouts. The lookout over the cliffs was probably the most amazing lookout I’ve ever seen. The icy light blue waters crashing against the cliffs made for a spectacular sight. You could see Sydney off in the distance as well. It was pure bliss. I stayed at that lookout for quite a while. I was feeling extra blessed and lucky to be able to take this trip and to have these experiences. It is something I will never forget.
The bike ride back was a breeze and we sped down the giant hill and back to the seaside. We biked all along the shore and stopped at the end for a rest. I had to run down to the water and stick my feet in. The sand was so glorious and the ocean was even better. There was a light breeze and it was overcast. It was the most perfect moment dipping my feet in the water. I felt so happy down there. I love breathing in the ocean air and just relaxing by the water. There is nothing more calming or refreshing in the world.
We biked back and returned our rentals then went on the search for a well deserved meal. I had the most delicious margarita pizza of my life at the cutest little restaurant right on the water. After pizza we were thoroughly exhausted from the days adventures so we headed back to the wharf. Everything was closing so we figured it was time to head home. We made it back to our hotel and fell asleep almost instantly. It was a great beach filled adventurous day and one that I will remember forever. I think Manly Beach may make my list of top 10 favorite places in the world. So happy to be here. Cheers!