Sydney’s Symphony

71 comments
Australia, Oceania

The Sydney Skyline Viewed from Cremorne Point

One Thursday night during rush hour in Jakarta, the city’s notorious traffic became an even bigger nightmare as construction sites all over the metropolis forced all sorts of vehicles to crawl even more slowly than a snail would. The city’s streets were practically one big parking lot – imagine the amount of noxious gases choking the city that night. Fortunately the flight that would take us to Sydney was scheduled to depart an hour before midnight, giving our taxi driver ample time to navigate the gridlock of Indonesia’s burgeoning capital. In the end it took me a good 3.5 hours to get to the airport compared to 45 minutes without traffic. Thankfully once James and I were on the plane, warm chicken curry-stuffed pastries and cool juices welcomed us before we closed our eyes tens of thousands feet in the night sky.

Four hours later, I woke up to a breathtaking view. The sun was rising on the horizon, bathing the landscape below in a dramatic reddish hue. We were flying over the Outback, the vast desert that makes up the heart of Australia. After a much-needed breakfast and a refreshing guava juice, my exhaustion from the night before slowly dissipated, supplanted by a growing excitement as we were just a few hours away from our destination, purportedly one of the most beautiful and livable cities on the planet.

As the plane made its final approach to Kingsford Smith International Airport, my excitement was slightly dampened by the thick clouds that stretched as far as the eye could see. However, when the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and Sydney’s skyscrapers came into view, I couldn’t help but think, finally I’m here! At the airport, James, who is Canadian, only had to head to one of the machines that would validate his passport. Meanwhile, I still had to face the immigration counter with a long line of visitors waiting for clearance to enter the country. Luckily the officer was very friendly, unlike the typical immigration staff I encountered in many countries. After grabbing our baggage, we walked toward customs and handed the staff the customs declaration forms we filled in earlier. “Thank you, buddy!” another officer casually replied to my hello, a brief introduction to that famous Aussie laid back nature.

Taking a double-decker train to the city, we hopped off at Kings Cross, an inner-city suburb known for its nightlife, and one that has changed for the better in recent years. A report by Monocle in 2016 described how life was like for Kings Cross’ residents which involved more weekend housework than those in other neighborhoods. “Locals were having to wash down their steps to get rid of vomit and urine left there by revelers” and “the streets were littered with broken glass and people felt like prisoners in their apartments as they feared being assaulted by groups of drunken people” were how a convener of the local residents’ association described Kings Cross. However, thanks to new regulations by the New South Wales government, “the noise ceased – calm and a sense of safety returned. People can once again walk the streets without fear of harm and Kings Cross is a more pleasant place to be,” as claimed by the same convener. This was the Kings Cross we experienced as we left the metro station and walked a little uphill to Potts Point, a quiet and leafy neighborhood where we would spend four nights in Australia’s biggest city.

St Mary’s Cathedral on A Beautiful Sunny Day

The Statues of Cardinal Moran (left) and Archbishop Kelly at the Southern Entrance of the Cathedral

An Australian White Ibis Strolling around Spring Blooms

The 19th-Century Customs House

The Chief Secretary’s Building of New South Wales

St Andrew’s Cathedral Tucked amid Steel-and-Glass Skyscrapers

The Cathedral Viewed from the Town Hall

Sydney’s Late 19th-Century Town Hall

After checking in at our hotel, we walked down Victoria Street where pretty terraced houses, each embellished with ornate wrought iron decorations, stood in the shades of maple trees. Deciding to have a big brunch, we had a feast at Ms. G’s whose fusion dishes satiated our hunger and provided us with enough energy to explore the city for the rest of the day. From the balcony of the restaurant, I could see clouds over downtown Sydney slowly clearing up, giving way for sunshine to bathe the city with warmth. After filling up our stomachs with dishes like cheeseburger spring rolls, kingfish sashimi with aged ponzu sauce, Vietnamese-inspired steak tartare, burrata with an Asian twist, and tom yum fried rice, we headed to Hyde Park, the oldest public park in Australia.

Before I came to Sydney, I always thought the city was built on flat land. But the walk to Hyde Park proved how I couldn’t be more wrong – the city’s hilly streets at one point even reminded James of Vancouver. A short time later, we were already at the park, tucked right at the heart of the central business district with rows of high-rise buildings on its western fringes, and a collection of old structures to its north and east. The park was divided into two sections by Park Street. In the north part, the beautiful Greek- and Roman-inspired Archibald Fountain stood as a centerpiece, surrounded by colorful spring blooms. Visitors, joggers, and birds roamed the park, including Australian white ibises with their distinctive long curved beak. To the east, the towering spires of St Mary’s Cathedral glowed in the sun – it was only completed in 2000 almost a century and a half after its builders broke ground in 1868.

To the north of the park, a number of old buildings still survive to this day, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hyde Park Barracks, St James’ Church, the old mint, and the early 19th-century Sydney Hospital. Beaming from the northern end of Hyde Park toward the harbor is Macquarie Street with the statues of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert standing on both sides of the beginning of the long street. We took this as an invitation to walk down the avenue, overlooked by modern and quirky office buildings on one side, and stately British-era edifices on the other. The latter sported soft, warm tones as most of them were made from limestone quarried from places around Sydney.

After walking for a few minutes, we arrived at the two-century-old Royal Botanic Gardens where locals and tourists alike strolled around its expansive grounds with a view of Sydney’s modern skyscrapers in the background. The botanical garden is also home to Government House, a 19th-century Gothic revival residence of the Governor of New South Wales which once also served as the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia. On the sloping lawns looking out to the scenic harbor, lovers and loners bathed in the warm afternoon sun as the Southern Hemisphere began embracing the joy of spring. Walking further north on leafy pathways eventually brought us to the most iconic landmark of the city: the Sydney Opera House.

Old Warehouses at the Rocks

Wandering around the Rocks

An Old Terraced House with Wrought Iron Balcony, Potts Point

Towering Monuments from the Past

The Mitchell Wing of the State Library of New South Wales, Australia’s Oldest Library

An Intersection Near Central Station and Belmore Park

Between Lee Street and George Street where Asian Restaurants Abound

Old and New Buildings on Bridge Street

Darlinghurst Fire Station at Kings Cross

Busy Waters around Fort Denison

Downtown Sydney Viewed from Kings Cross

Enjoying the Breeze around the Opera House

An Afternoon Stroll at the Royal Botanic Gardens

Despite the Beautiful Harbor View, They Prefer This Big Tree

A City of Sail Boats

The CBD Viewed from the Iconic Harbour Bridge

Designed by a rather unknown Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, in the late 1950s, the futuristic-looking structure was inspired by shells. However cost overruns and other problems – given the project’s ambitious scale – forced its completion to be repeatedly delayed. Finally, in 1973 the giant shells at Sydney Harbor was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II herself, marking a new era for the aspiring city. As we approached the Opera House from the garden, the smooth curves of the white shells glistened in the sun. Tourists circumambulated its base both marveling at the ingenious architectural wonder and taking selfies and wefies for their social media posts. The equally impressive Harbour Bridge stood proudly behind us, straddling the highly-indented coasts of Port Jackson, the natural inlet where the First Fleet arrived centuries earlier to claim ownership of this land.

The sun was still high, so we decided to walk along the promenade of a small cove to reach Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair before sunset. Elizabeth Macquarie, the wife of Lachlan Macquarie – New South Wales’ early 19th-century emancipist governor – was said to frequent this area, watching ships from Great Britain entering the harbor. She loved the spot so much a chair was carved into a sandstone outcrop for her to sit and enjoy the view. As the strategically-located chair is situated on the tip of a peninsula with a sweeping view of Potts Point to the east and the Opera House to the west, today it provides visitors with a good vantage point to admire the night skyline of downtown Sydney. We found ourselves a bench to sit and wait for the sunset, while watching some locals running or walking their dogs, as well as tourists brimming with smiles upon seeing the beautiful scenery before their eyes.

As the sun slowly went down on the western horizon, we got up and moved to a viewing platform where a dozen other sunset enthusiasts had already waited. A small table was curiously placed under a tree near the platform, with candles and a few other paraphernalia placed on its top. A few Aussie blokes, probably in their 20’s with some holding SLR cameras, were chatting jovially. Then moments later one of them lit the candles and spread rose petals in the shape of a heart behind the table. Soon afterward they all hid behind trees or stones or whatever was big enough to keep them unseen. A song was then played, Symphony by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson. But after probably a minute, no one was coming. Then a strong gust of wind almost blew away all of the rose petals. Puzzled by the mishaps, they laughed and worried at the same time, and so did the people around them who were waiting for something special to happen. Moments later, the song was played again, only this time I saw a young couple walking slowly toward the table as their friends were still hiding nearby. After a while it became obvious that the couple were in fact Muslims, with the girl donning a fashionable white head scarf and the man in a neatly tucked white shirt. That moment I was pleasantly struck by Sydney’s embrace of multiculturalism, proving that it lived up to its reputation as a very livable city as it welcomed people from different backgrounds, regardless of their race and religion.

Much to the girl’s surprise, her boyfriend took a small, velvety container in his hands and dropped to one knee. The girl (fortunately) said yes, bringing happiness not only to her boyfriend, but also to their friends and heartened onlookers who clapped, including me. Meanwhile, Sydney’s high-rise buildings were gradually turning on their lights, and so were the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

And now your song is on repeat

And I’m dancing on to your heartbeat

And when you’re gone, I feel incomplete

So if you want the truth

I just wanna be part of your symphony

Symphony, Clean Bandit feat. Zara Larsson

I didn’t have the chance to watch the symphony beneath the lofty ceilings of the Opera House, but Sydney’s own beautiful symphony will forever stay in my mind.

Crossing Paths at One of the World’s Most Beautiful Harbors

Love is in the Air

Sirius Building, A Brutalist Apartment Built in the Late 1970s

Reflections of the Afternoon Sun at Darling Harbour

World Rice Festival at Tumbalong Park

An Australian Magpie Basking in the Sun

Walking Down the Stairs toward Woolloomooloo from Potts Point

St Mary’s Cathedral Dwarfed by Sydney Tower

A Romantic Sunset with A Great View

Sydney’s CBD Illuminated

A Sight to Remember

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Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

71 thoughts on “Sydney’s Symphony”

    • Thanks Jon! Either Sydney is always that interesting or I happened to be in the city during the most pleasant time of the year, it’s something I still need to figure out. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I often wonder how much of Sydney tourists really see outside of Bondi and Circular Quay but judging from your photos you seem to have gotten around almost everywhere! Did you also go head to the Newtown area? It’s not far from the CBD and it’s the trendiest part of Sydney.

    Also I’m so glad you had a positive experience regarding multiculturalism. Sadly the Australia’s dark history of mistreating Aboriginal people and non-white foreigners alike does continue to the present day, albeit less prominently.

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    • With such limited time my friend and I had in Sydney, we really tried our best to visit some of the highlights of the city — those that helped us understand more about its history as well as places where daily lives unfold. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go to Newtown, but from the way you described it I know it’s a place we should visit the next time we go back. We were also thinking of going to the Olympic Park and tried Afghan food in a neighborhood somewhere between the CBD and the stadium. But again, we only had so much time.

      There will always be people who incline toward racial supremacy. But from what I saw and learned during my week-long trip to Sydney and Melbourne, I’m convinced that Australia is moving to the right direction. Thanks for reading, Zac!

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      • You still squeezed a lot in so good on ya! Also I read your other posts and I’m so glad you have an awareness of our history which far too few Australians have

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      • Both my friend and I love history and we usually make an effort to visit some local museums whenever we travel. The ones we went to in Australia are definitely among the best and most thought-provoking museums we’ve ever been.

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  2. No words can describe how much I love your English! Sentences are perfectly put in order with some rhythmical messages in line. And yes, I miss Sydney too! I was there a few months ago with my family and I can tell you it’s one of the cities that stole my heart.

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    • Really appreciate your encouraging words, Aqashah! Sydney is one of those few cities which left a deep impression on me. The only thing I wasn’t really fond of was the price! I don’t know if it’s just me, but I found in general the food price in Sydney was higher than in Melbourne. Or maybe I simply went to the ‘wrong’ places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melbourne is more expensive? Ok this is news to me as I’ll be travelling to Melbourne next March! Maybe you can advise on some things to do before taking off 😀

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      • No no, Sydney was. But again, that’s based on my experience. I don’t have any particular advice about Melbourne, but I highly recommend the Immigration Museum and the Melbourne Museum. They’re so good and thought-provoking!

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  3. Your flight over Central Australia brings back memories when I flew from Sydney and left Australia for the first time. I couldn’t help stare down at that vast expanse of red soil either. But I was headed to Indonesia (Bali) in the opposite direction from you.

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    • It’s hard not to be impressed and feel enthralled by Australia’s deep interior. I remember we were flying several kilometers away from Uluru, which made me think how much more impressive it must have been down there. Glad you made that trip to Bali when Mt Agung was dormant!

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  4. Your beautiful post highlighting the city of Djakarta is also call for better public transportation in all the cities of the world, which suffer from congested streets, smog and pollution. Thank you!

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    • Fortunately the much-needed metro line and light rail lines are being constructed all over the city, in addition to new flyovers and tunnels. We’re going to host the Asian Games next year, so hopefully those athletes from all over Asia won’t need to get stuck in traffic on their way to the venues — that would be ridiculous! Thanks for reading, Peter.

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  5. Refreshing to see the streets and buildings of Sydney from your perspective and beyond the opera house, which tends to dominate the city as its iconic image. Clearly there’s lots more to explore!

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    • Glad you enjoyed this post, Kelly. I’ll write a separate post on the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, because they’re so iconic they helped improve Sydney’s image worldwide. That and the fact that I took too many photos of both landmarks! 🙂

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  6. Setiap kali melihat foto-foto siapapun dari Sidney, aku selalu teringat sama opera sabun tahun 80an, judulnya: Return to Eden. Jangan ditanya gimana aku tau film ini, pastinya ini gara-gara keracunan tontonan ortu di rumah dulu 😀

    Ngomong-ngomong kalau membaca dari tulisanmu ini, kesannya Sidney bisa dieksplor cukup dengan jalan kaki aja ya Bam. Gak perlu naik kereta atau kendaraan umum lainnya. Wah menyenangkan sekali, dan pastinya kamera akan ‘menjerit-jerit’ karena banyaknya objek yang bisa direkam. Beberapa penamaan yang ada juga sepertinya mirip dengan yang ada di London, semacam Kings Cross, Hyde Park dan sebagainya.

    Dan sama seperti dirimu, aku pikir selama ini pun Sidney adalah kota yang berada di tanah datar, ternyata ada kontur berbukitnya juga. O iya, itu kebun rayanya bebas tiket ya?

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    • Wah aku udah lahir belum ya pas ada opera sabun itu … 😀 (ketauan deh siapa yang lebih uzur)

      Mengenai Sydney (khususnya wilayah pusat kota) yang bisa dieksplorasi dengan berjalan kaki, ya dan enggak sih. Aku sama James emang seneng jalan aja, dan kebetulan kami memang kalo jalan lebih cepat dari rata-rata kebanyakan orang, jadi selain hitung-hitung olahraga kami juga gak merasa hilang waktu banyak karena hampir selalu jalan kaki kemana-mana. Sesekali naik kereta juga sih, tapi bisa dihitung dengan jari frekuensi kami naik kereta selama di Sydney. Soal penamaan, yes bener banget. Hyde Park memang dinamai seperti taman yang ada di Inggris.

      Sydney memang tanahnya gak datar sih, soalnya Tanah Datar adanya di Ranah Minang. (sorry, I can’t help it! :))
      Kebun Rayanya gratis tis tis, dan luasss. Jadi puas jalan-jalan di sana sambil sesekali nemu tanaman langka. Yang paling mencuri perhatianku tuh dragon blood tree yang asalnya dari Pulau Socotra dan pulau-pulau kecil di sekitarnya di lepas pantai Yaman sana.

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      • Setelah aku hitung-hitung sih, harusnya kamu udah lahir pas opera sabun itu tayang. Cuma yang belum ngeh aja. Ish bahas-bahas uzur! 😀

        Iya aku harus akui kalian jalannya cepat. Aku aja sampai ‘menggos-menggos’ ngejar kalian pas nanjak Gunung Prau. Ruarr biasa!

        Tanah datar di ranah minang? Masya Allah Bam, beneran kamu jayus! 😀

        Wah koleksi kebun raya mereka lumayan juga ya sepertinya. Di sana bisa gratis juga mungkin karena kesadaran masyarakatnya bisa diandalkan.

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      • Itu belum seberapa dibanding waktu aku pertama kali ke Hong Kong dan diajak James keliling kota. Aku bener-bener harus setengah berlari supaya gak ketinggalan dia. 😀

        Aku barusan buka websitenya kebun raya di Sydney ini, dan ternyata 50% pendanaan mereka didapat dari masyarakat. Mungkin karena ini kesadaran penduduk Sydney untuk menjaga kebun raya mereka pun tinggi.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Luar biasa memang kecepatan jalannya James. Ampun deh, kalau trekking di gunung barengan, kayanya aku bakal ketinggalan jauh. Soalnya aku tipe ‘alon-alon tapi kelakon’ kalau udah urusan jalan 😀

        Nah itu yang aku maksud. Di sini memang masih harus ditingkatkan soal kesadaran menjaga flora dan fauna. Banyak orang yang berpikir bahwa tanaman ya sekedar tanaman saja, tanpa mengetahui fungsi atau jenisnya yang sudah langka. Btw, kalau main ke KRB lagi nanti harus main ke Bank Biji deh. Menarik itu …

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      • Untungnya sejak pindah ke Jakarta dia mulai bisa melambat sedikit (penekanan pada kata sedikit :D).

        Eh ngomong-ngomong KRB, jadi keingetan biji terbang yang kamu pernah bilang itu. Ternyata itu bijinya dipterocarp, pohon tinggi yang banyak mengisi hutan-hutan di Asia Tenggara.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sedikitnya dia, kita masih lari-lari kayanya ya. Gak papa deh, tandanya dia gesit 😀

        Iya betul Bam, dan kalau dirimu main ke Bank Biji di KRB akan lihat beberapa biji terbang lainnya yang mirip. Ternyata variasinya banyak. Ada yang mirip ‘kitiran’ jadi kalau melayang turun itu mirip mainan baling-baling jaman anak-anak.

        O iya satu lagi yang menarik, di Bank Biji ini ada satu kelapa langka yang unik. Di Indonesia, kelapa ini cuma ada di KRB, satu-satunya, dan berjenis kelamin jantan. Sedangkan betinanya ada di Kebun Raya Singapore. Jadi kalau mereka mau dikawinkan, kedua kebun raya ini akan bekerjasama. Ternyata kelapa bisa LDR-an juga 😀

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      • Ya ampun, kelapa pun ikutan LDR. Gak salah jadi logo Pramuka… #lho 🙂

        Bank Biji, well noted. Next time ke KRB mesti disambangin nih.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha apa hubungannya Pramuka dan LDR?

        Yup harus, satu jalur ke arah Museum Zoologi aja ancer-ancernya.

        O iya, kalau kelapa yang tadi ditanam di dekat kolam teratai yang waktu itu kita kopdaran pertama. Dikasih pagar. Sengaja, biar dia gak kabur ke Singapura 😀 #ketularanjayus

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  7. Mas Bamaaa…
    Ada kalanya saya jadi kepengen pergi ke suatu kota gara-gara baca postingan mas Bama lhoo 😀 termasuk post ini hahaha, walaupun engga tau prioritasnya. Abis gambarannya enak, bagus-bagus semua dan nyaman.
    Dan yang pasti siiii, pos ini bikin saya kesemsem deh…. hihihi… berasa romantis banget kali ini, kayaknya kalo saya berada disitu juga saat menyaksikan propose itu hwaaaaaa…. bisa-bisa berlinang terus karena ikut bahagia 😛
    Tapi benerannn… post kali ini romantis tis tis bangetttt…

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    • Mbak Riyantiii…
      Maaf lho kalo jadinya meracuni, hehe. Tapi saya juga sering kok jadi pengen ke suatu tempat gara-gara Mbak Riyanti nulis tentang tempat itu. Satu hal yang bikin gak nyaman buat saya selama di Sydney itu harga makanannya itu lho, muahaalll.. bener-bener gak nyaman di kantong. Selain dari itu sih nyaman banget! 🙂

      Coba bayangin propose pujaan hati dengan latar belakang Opera House nan elegan, Harbour Bridge yang gagah, dan suasana sunset yang romantis… duh hati mana yang gak akan meleleh.

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      • Nah soal harga dicatat banget-banget deh. Penting tuh😀
        Soal propose itu… mas Bama kan menggambarkan sedemikian detil sehingga ngebayangin aja saya sudah klepek-klepek, seandainya duluuuuuu begitu hahaha…
        BTW *kebayang giliran mas Bama nanti heuheuheu… dimana ya kira-kira???

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      • Habis ngetrip dari Australia langsung makan super irit. 😀

        Hahaha… kalau saya di mana ya? Ngikutin jawaban kekinian: “di hatinyaaa”. 😀

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  8. James is Canadian???!!!! I had no idea.
    I lived in both Kings Cross and Potts Point fifty years ago 🙂
    Did you see the bats in the trees in the Botanic Gardens?
    Wonderful post Bama, and great photos. That last one is iconic! I lived in Sydney for all of 1968 – it’s changed a lot of course, but much remains the same. And of course I’ve visited many times since then. It’s a great city.
    Alison

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    • He was born in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong, went to college in England, spent nine months in Spain, and now calls Indonesia home. He’s truly a citizen of the world.

      Was Kings Cross like how it’s described on Monocle when you were still living there?
      I actually don’t remember seeing any bats in the Botanic Gardens. Maybe it was too cold for them?

      Thanks Alison! I can imagine how much Sydney has changed since you left the city. The first time I became really interested in Sydney was back in 2000 during the Olympics. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to go to the Olympic Park, but that is one of many reasons for me to go back one day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kings Cross was definitely one of the livelier parts of Sydney back then – open all night, lots of bars, clubs, theatres, etc, and the main area for “working girls”, but not at all like that description in Monocle. I liked it because the streets were so busy and alive I felt save walking home alone from the bus stop to my flat even quite late at night.
        There are some trees in the Botanic Gardens where thousands of fruit bats hang out in up in some pretty huge trees. I guess you have to know to look up.

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      • If only there were a machine to bring us back in time! For some reason I’m always curious about how places looked and felt like in the past — exactly why I have a penchant for ancient temples and buildings.

        I guess those bats were hanging somewhere out of my sight. Do you remember the dragon blood tree? Seeing that ancient tree up close was really something. It brought my imagination all the way to its native Socotra.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading! The traffic is unbearable! But I certainly hope the new metro line and light rail lines will help alleviate the congestion when they’re completed.

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    • Thanks! That’s what’s so great about travel blogging — we inspire each other to explore more places in the world!

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  9. Wow, that was epic! Only been once. There was a new film showing at the cinema. It was called ‘Back to the Future’ so you can guess how long ago that was. Anyways glad you enjoyed it.

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    • That movie came out in the same year when I was born. 😀 I believe back then Sydney had already been a nice place to visit. Thanks for reading, Kelvin!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The things you mentioned are some of the reasons why I love Sydney so much! I wonder how the city feels like in other seasons — maybe not the winter though. Thanks for reading!

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    • Thanks Veena! I really enjoyed your post on that food market in the Rocks. When I was there, I only saw stalls selling clothing apparels, though. I guess I went there on the wrong day.

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  10. Thank you for the tour. I think I will never visit Australia, because it is so far from Europe. But, at least, I can read about it and even see it through your lens.

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    • Today there’s no place in the world too far to reach, Victor. So never say never! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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  11. Your post brought back wonderful memories of spending a summer Christmas in Sydney 18 years ago. We had plenty of time, but I’m still not sure we covered as much ground as you did! (Then again, you were not dragging 11, 9, and 6 year olds around with you …) I’d love to go back and see how things have changed and eat some of the amazing dishes you did!

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    • I heard that Sydney can be really hot in the summer (even hotter than Jakarta!). Was it also the case when you were there? Maybe your kids can tag along when you go back to Sydney — some sort of a reunion trip far away from home. Speaking of the food, since you’re a vegetarian you should try saltbush when in Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was quite hot in Australia in summer, especially farther north near Cairns and Port Douglas. I remember it being sweltering there! I would LOVE to have a family reunion in Oz, and I’d add the family we went to visit, who have now moved back to the U.S. (Might be hard to organize 10 people, though! 🙂 )

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      • Since you went to Cairns, I wonder if you also visited the Great Barrier Reef? This reminds me that have a friend there whom I met in the Banda Islands (the Spice Islands) two years ago. A future trip to Cairns (and maybe flying to Papua New Guinea from there!) is on my mind now. Organizing 10 people to go all the way to Oz should still be manageable, I guess. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. My hands were sweating reading about your drive to the airport.
    We were in Sydney two years ago and loved the city. It looks like you saw a great deal in your time there. Beautiful photos!

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    • Believe it or not, as I’m writing this from my apartment, the traffic in Jakarta at the moment is like hell since tomorrow is the start of a long weekend plus it’s been raining several times today. Rain + long weekend = traffic nightmare.

      Tonight is one of those moments when I wish I were in places like Sydney. Thanks for reading, Sue!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lily! Makasih lho sudah mampir di blog ini. Kencur kan enak, apalagi diulek sama bawang putih, bawang merah, dan bumbu-bumbu lainnya. 😀 Anyway, keep writing ya!

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  13. Your photos and descriptions are quite enjoyable, as always! I was glad to see these because I did not get to this part of Australia on my visit last spring. I was in Brisbane and north of there and would certainly recommend those areas also. In Gladstone I saw the fruit bats mentioned in one of the comments, as well as kangaroos and koalas in the campground on Stradbroke Island. The first noticeable thing about Australia was how impeccably clean and well taken care of every place that I visited was!

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