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My travel lust compass tends to point me to foreign lands. But this January I am landing myself in a great and inexpensive holiday destination very close to home – our very own Sydney. I’m here doing Airbnb in Double Bay ($35 a night for a gorgeous 1920s apartment decorated with film memento and geeky action figures with cocktail parasols) only two minutes from Sydney Harbour.
Man, Sydney Harbour is amazing. The three-story-high Harbour Ferries juggernaut their way over to Manly indifferent to the tiny race boats hurtling past at full sail. Beautiful sandstone cliffs and little pockmark islands create the most interesting harbour. I’m tempted to borrow a dinghy and spend a week just exploring all the nooks and crannies, but too busy. Tonight I’m heading off to the Domain to the free Opera in the Park. No glass allowed, so I’m decanting my vino into a plastic sports bottle. Who cares? The line up kicks off with Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie Overture and finishes up with Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. I’m most looking forward to the William Tell Overture (Hi Ho Silver! Think theme song The Lone Ranger).
The Sydney Art Gallery was also on my list – the Pop to Populism exhibit was interesting although the Gallery Shop was busier than the Gallery itself which is ironic given that the Pop movement was premised on a rejection of mass consumerism!
But first I’m going for a swim at Coogee Beach, followed by coffee and gelato. My what a beautiful city this is. The Sydney Festival runs from 8 – 26 January and there is heaps of amazing free stuff. Not to mention just sightseeing – which is not my usual style but I still remember the feeling of awe I had when I first laid eyes on the Sydney Opera House. There is also plenty of eating and drinking – definitely my style always: just outside my apartment yesterday there was a little pop up market – the paella was packed with mussels and shrimp and very yum.
There is probably no better place in Australia to spend Australia Day than on Sydney Harbour or on Bondi Beach and so many free events to choose from. However this year I do have an invite from a very cute man to barbeque at his house at Bronte Beach which I believe I should not miss.