Our Sydney Apartment
First, I want to quickly mention where we stayed in Sydney - The Meriton Apartments on Campbell Street in Chinatown. These apartments were great - spacious, fully-equipped and right around the corner from Sydney's main thoroughfare, George Street. There is a free bus that runs up and down George Street during the day, which we used daily to get around to some of the main attractions. Being in Chinatown (and Thai Town), it's also located near tons of great restaurants. We ate Thai food twice while we were there!
One day we joined up with the Sydney Free Walking Tour. This is a great way to get an orientation to the city (and it's free). The guides work for tips, so it's up to you how much to leave. We met our guide downtown at 10:30am and spent the next 3 hours seeing most of the major sights in the downtown area and learning about the city's history. Here are a few things we learned about this city:
One evening we got together with my friend from Chicago, Maureen, and her husband Doug. These two used to live in Chicago but didn't meet until they both lived in Sydney. They now live in an adorable house near Bondi Beach and are loving life in Sydney. Maureen and Doug showed us around Bondi where we had drinks by the beach at a colorful little open air bar. Then we went to The Hill for margaritas and a variety of awesome food. The service was great as was the food and we ended up closing down the restaurant that night. Thank you Maureen & Doug for a great night out in Bondi!
On our last day, we explored Manly Beach, which is a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay (near the Opera House). The ferry ride was great because of the fabulous views of the bridge and the Opera House. We arrived in Manly around lunch time so we at a couple of burgers right across the street from the beach. Once our bellies were full, we sauntered over to the beach and snoozed for a couple of hours. It was spring break in Sydney so all the high school kids were at the beach sporting their neon-colored bikinis, oddly shaped cut-offs, and insanely large tank tops. I even spotted a few pairs of overall jean shorts. I felt like I was on the set of an early episode of 90210, except everyone had Australian accents and regularly attacked each other with the footy (what they call a rugby ball).