I’m going to go out on a limb and say Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is the best zoo in the world. Or at least, the best zoo I’ve ever been to. When I visited my friend Sasha and her hubby Chase in Sydney, we visited the zoo on a Sunday and spent a few hours there but we could have easily spent a few more or even the whole day.
On my last day in Sydney, my friend Sasha and I took the ferry to Manly Beach. We quickly walked past the touristy shops to get to the sand and the ocean and then started to peel off clothes as the hot sun beat down on us as we took a walk along the water. We refueled at a cafe overlooking the strand and the water, indulging in enormous burgers.
I went on a gorgeous hike down to Empress Falls in the Blue Mountains. It’s in the town of Wentworth Falls to be exact and the trail starts at the Conservation Hut. My friend Sasha and I were pretty much the only ones on the trail when we started hiking at 10am or so. The way down closer to the forest floor was easy even though the paths weren’t so clear cut and there were a lot of rocks and steep steps but once we were down by the falls it was just absolutely beautiful.
One of my favorite memories of Sydney was waking up at the Valley of the Waters Bed & Breakfast (you must go here!) in the Blue Mountains. It was just the ideal morning. I had never stayed at a B&B before but after staying at this one I would do it a hundred times more. My friend Sasha and I splurged on this particular one and our room was on the bottom floor and had a wooden patio that overlooked the backyard and mountains beyond. We arrived the night before and were in awe the next morning when we could take in the view in the sunlight.
Sometimes things don’t turn out the way you hoped they would when you travel. My anticipation was high to see the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains but when I reached the lookout point, all I could see was a thick white mist that showed no signs of clearing to reveal one of the most famous rock formations in the world. Sasha and I debated whether we should just come back tomorrow but first we decided to walk down a trail to a lower lookout, hoping we would be able to see just one part of the Three Sisters.
The Sydney Writer’s Festival just so happened to be going on while I was in town and I’m glad I went. Working full time and going to grad school didn’t leave me much energy to write so it was refreshing to be among writers and get some inspiration at a time when I could refocus on anything I wanted.
When I moved to London, I was determined to see all the museums and all parts of the museums. It was unthinkable to miss anything because then I would feel guilty that I wasn’t taking advantage of attractions that I wouldn’t be able to see all the time. When I was in Sydney in May, I went to just one museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and was there for only two hours.
I have a big sweet tooth – like big. It’s hereditary so I’ve accepted it. In San Francisco, I am always updating a list of patisseries or bakeries that I need to try and when I travel I rarely window shop for clothes – I window shop for sweets and indulge myself whenever I feel like it. When I was researching places to eat in Sydney beforehand, there were a couple treats I had to try and a couple I discovered while in town and they were all amazing: