I had my share of doubts when my boyfriend came to me with two plane tickets and a booked hotel room in Sydney, Australia. It was my birthday, and he meant it as a surprise, but I thought to myself “a pair of diamond earrings would be nice too.” It seemed that he had put much thought into it, and I simply could not break his heart.
Why I was not pleased you are wandering? Well, there were a couple of reasons, but the two biggest problems were that I am not that fond of flying, and this is a long trip, and the second one is related to all those horror stories I heard about Australia’s wildlife. And I mean WILD life. I longed for a romantic trip, but did not want to get killed. Seriously, Romeo and Juliet poisoning story is so last year, I am more of a “happily ever after” girl.
But you know what else, I am also a girl that will admit that she was wrong. The moment we sat in that taxi, I knew everything was going to be fine. I kept looking through the window the whole ride to the hotel, and loved what I saw. The driver left us in front of a beautiful little boutique hotel in Sydney, and I recognized the surroundings from the pictures I saw on the internet, we were definitely in Randwick. This lovely neighborhood has many different cafes and restaurants, where you can eat food from all over the world – Italy, Morocco, China, Mexico, India, and the best of all is – every restaurant overlooks the beach. This area is also Sydney’s most popular entertainment district because of all the cinemas, theatres, and shopping centers. We also went to one of the world’s most famous zoos, Tarong, where they recreated natural habitat of Australian walkabout, where we saw different species of animals living in an environment close to their original ones.
The very next day we sat on a city bus and started a tour of Sydney. I take back everything I said about this place. There are no wild animals and kangaroos jumping around, just regular traffic jams, crowds of people moving fast and tall skyscrapers, a bit like the American ones. The architecture is beautiful, especially when it comes to the famous Opera House, the jewel of the harbor. On the other side of the river, there were numerous beaches, with such waves that even I had to try riding them. I found a surfing instructor, that had patience to work with me, and in just one afternoon I managed to get in the water once, without falling. He said it is very good, and I want to believe him. On our way back, we strolled down the long Harbor Bridge, just as the sun was setting. We thought that there is no better view in this world.
People we met kept telling us to go to a North Head Lookout, but I must admit that I was scared to leave the town because of all the stories I heard about Australia. I mean, when you are told that there are hundreds of dangerous species of spiders and snakes in nature, you do not really care how beautiful it is, but you think about safety first. And I honestly did not want to get killed by Aragog or one of his children while enjoying the view, as I simply did not think it was worth it. But when the two of us finally spent all our money, we had no other place to go but to hike up the hill and see what others talk about so much. And you know what – I was wrong. After I got to the mouth of the Sidney harbor and had one look at the skyscrapers and beautiful water that surrounded them I said “now I can die in peace.” As the whole thing was not enough, at one moment I saw a whale! I was so taken by the moment that it did not even occur to me to get my camera and take its picture. I will never forgive myself, but it was still an amazing experience. I mean, how many people can say that they saw a whale – at least where I come from. There is truly something about that place, something magical that I am not able to describe with words. You really had to be there, stay until the evening, when the sun descends into the horizon, until it completely disappears and the city lights get their turn.
I was so sad when we had to pack our bags, I even shed a tear. As we were looking through the plane window we promised ourselves that we will come back one day. We still have not seen everything, especially those spiders people keep telling me about. One day, not so long from now, I will face them and my fear.
This article was shared by Kimberly Lawrence, a guest author of our blog and an avid traveler.