Before setting foot in Sydney, I’ve spent an incredible 5 days and 4 nights in Cairns with my friend Maiko. Together, we flew down to Sydney where we spent another 4 days and 3 nights exploring the city. We looked something like this every day – Maiko was the stylish one while I had my giant camera hanging down my neck *Asian tourist*:
Day 6: My Sydney grand arrival – and we marched to the city’s iconic Opera House and bridge. Walking through the city, Sydney reminded me of San Francisco; it has a harbor, a large park and skyscrapers that looked like the financial district. I don’t think it hit me that I’m in Sydney until I saw this:
And we decided to take a break and have this:
After the first one, this happened #lowtolerance:
But we also got really artsy and had enough patience to capture this:
We ventured on and saw some great city sites at night. I’m a sucker for night time landscape photography, so of course the geek in me had to teach Maiko the technical side of how to capture the night ambiance without using flash.
We found an alleyway that was described to me as Angel Place, where birdcages hung from above. I did my best capturing it at night, although daylight would’ve been easier…
Day 7: DOWNPOUR RAIN… and bad movie day… We borrowed umbrellas from our hotel to venture out to grab lunch, but the rain and wind didn’t make it easy. I’m used to the light, sprinkle that LA calls “rain”, but no, Sydney rain doesn’t mess around. Not only did our umbrellas flip inside out, but the entire cloth part of the umbrella RIPPED off and we both ran after it… What a sight… We both returned unusable, broken umbrellas to our hotel…
But there’s always sunshine after the rain. We spent the early afternoon exploring the Chinese Friendship Garden, located in the middle of the city which was actually quite lovely!
We got a little creative with the angles:
This is what Maiko likes to call my “silky waterfall” shot. Basically, I placed the camera on a steady surface (i.e. fence, rocks, etc.), adjusted to ISO 100, high F-stop (around F22), and left the shutter speed open to about 5 seconds. This captures the flow of the water, making it look very silky 🙂
We took the rest of the afternoon pretty easy, by eating a tub of rum and raisin ice cream after dumping a bottle of booze that resembled Kahlua in it, and watching bad movies. It was wonderful.
Day 8: Day trip to Bondi… also known as a very expensive part of Australia, I’ve learned. And it’s not hard to see why – this area is BEAUTIFUL! Bondi is located along the coastline so there were plenty of photo opps. It’s like the Malibu of Australia; beautiful scenery and houses. There was also a surprising amount of graffiti. Not the bad kind of graffiti with random spray paint, but the artistic, clean, wow-that-looks-amazing kind:
We went on a stroll along the coast of the ocean, but frequently stopped for photo opps:
This was a pool that had ocean water splashing into it. Essentially, it was a pool with ocean water – so awesome!
Of course, we stopped for a drink overlooking the water. Talking to Maiko, I noticed how beautifully the light was hitting her and how the position of her hat was so perfectly placed. I had to interrupt her to take a photo:
Day 9: The last day and goodbyes… never come easy. Okay – in all honesty, we were both hungover from the night before #age. Due to our lack of energy and headaches, all we did was grab some brunch and literally go sleep in the park (like hobos) as we had to check out of our hotel fairly early in the morning.
Even though we were low on energy, Maiko accompanied me to the airport where we said our goodbyes. It’s always sad to leave a good friend behind; but lucky for us, we were able to say “see you soon!” as she’ll be venturing out MY way in October for my Bachelorette party 😉
Looking back, my time in Australia came and went very fast. I absolutely loved being in a part of the world that was foreign to me, and being away from everything and everyone I know back home (although it was nice to come back to LA). Australia is a beautiful country, and I’m so glad that I was able to experience two very different parts of it. I feel that my trip was nicely divided into nature and city adventures, which helped me get a good feel of what this country has to offer. I wish I had the time to visit Melbourne, or perhaps to Whitsundays, as I hear they’re both beautiful and different in its own way. A HUGE thank you to Maiko for crafting such a great itinerary and accompanying me around the country. My trip likely wouldn’t have been as lovely and wonderful if I had to do it on my own.
Can’t wait for my next adventure!