So this week started off with Spring Break plans. What is really nice about studying in Australia is they have a mid-semester break, which gives you a well needed break from lectures and reading and gives you time to explore Australia! Myself and Tiz decided on a trip to Melbourne for a few days on the second week to see Great Ocean Road…the first week is still undecided!
As I am a stay at home student in Southampton, this is my first experience of living in halls accommodation. Let me tell you, it’s the best decision I’ve made, and its SO random! As a flat, us girls decided to slap on the facemasks and run downstairs to Chloe & Lindsays flat where they were making cookies…naturally we stole what was left of the cookies and digged into the giant cookie dough slab they had made!
A semester abroad isn’t all fun and games, and today I was back at uni and lectures (part of my reeaaaaaaallllly hard 3 day uni week!) but this gave me a chance to work on campus with unlimited wifi and to facetime my mum! I also booked a very last minute trip to Sydney…for the next day! In the evening Phoebe and the girls attempted to teach me Poker..it didn’t end well. I just don’t understand card games and have accepted I never will, so I definitely won’t be taking my money into the casino across the road from us!
On Friday we took a trip into Harbour Town; the girls wanted me to show them how to get there…who can say no to a trip to an outlet mall?! I rushed back early to last minute (literally) pack, run to the bus stop and take the bus to the airport! Having family who work for Qantas definitely has its benefits; an upgrade to business class for my 2-hour Sydney flight meant I had probably the best tasting meal since I arrived in Australia!
I arrived in Sydney to double-decker trains (what?!) and a familiar face! I stayed with Emma, another Southampton student on exchange in Sydney. We attempted a night out but ended up coming home very early, laying in bed and talking about our past few weeks in Australia!
The next 3 days in Sydney…
On Saturday, we walked to the Paddy Markets, which were definitely an experience, imagine all the typical, tacky Australian gifts…Koala and Kangaroo keyrings everywhere! A short walk to Darling Harbour and China Town (more like China Street..) and onto the Chinese Friendship Gardens (only $3 entry for concessions – students) and you were transported from busy Sydney into a place of peace and serenity, it really was beautiful! More walking took us to Circular Quay; the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge for sunset! I was in awe of how amazing both were and had to pinch myself that I was in SYDNEY! After sunset we walked our weary feet to the best Mexican food I’ve tasted in a while, where they served you chips & dips from the boot of a Cadillac!
Sunday we took the bus to Coogee to start the coastal walk to Bondi beach! It took us waaay longer than it should have, probably due to the fact a group of us stopped at a rock for around an hour taking pictures (it also took us a really long time to be brave enough to dangle our feet over the rock into the water below!). It was quite incredible to walk the coastal path and see just how many beaches there are in Australia, its crazy! They’re all so beautiful! When we finally made it to Bondi (it really did take ages!) Emma and I treated ourselves to fish & chips on the beach and enjoyed the remainder of the sun!
A rushed trip back to Emma’s with the 200,000 people that were taking part in a 14K run that same day and I was back out the door within 10 minutes to meet my brother in-law, Ross, for dinner! Ross, who works for Qantas, was on the Sydney part of his 8-day trip! We were treated to the most incredible food I’ve ever tasted, we drank and ate far too much, but it was just too delicious to leave! Dessert was crisp potato (WHAT?!) brown butter mousse and salted caramel. If I could be a food, I would choose to be that! (If you ever find yourself in Sydney, take a trip to Bar Brose for dinner and ask for their recommendations, you won’t be disappointed!)
Monday morning and I met Ross at his crew hotel to unload the ridiculous amount of treats and things I had left at home that my mum packed up for me, and Ross very kindly transported to the other side of the world for me! Hello Percy Pigs, Cadbury Fingers and Robinsons Squash (one very happy girl!). We walked to the Botanical Gardens, up to circular quay and enjoyed a late morning coffee with views of the harbour bridge, how amazing?! We then took the ferry to Manly beach (this is the best way to get photos of the bridge and opera house, and the skyline as you leave!) We enjoyed a sunny day filled with food, coffee and a sunset drink in the most peaceful bar ever!
Sadly, it was time for Ross to go home, but it was so lovely to see family for a few days after such a long time away! Today, my last day in Sydney was my solo exploration day, after I walked to the University of Sydney with Emma (basically Hogwarts). My tired legs (there’s so many hills in Sydney, I didn’t realise how flat Adelaide was!) took me to Broadway, China Town and back to Circular Quay one more time. I sat and ate my lunch with quite possibly the best lunch views ever, and listening to a man from Liverpool busking! Note to self: don’t forget your selfie stick on solo exploration days…taking selfies without a selfie stick is actually more socially awkward than taking selfies with a selfie stick!