neutral bay & cremorne [australia #3]

once we safely arrived in sydney, we settled in neutral bay, a quiet quarter in north sydney, and we stayed there for several days, before going to melbourne.

we were staying at carla’s, who rented a room in her apartment. not only that her place was super-cute, but there was an access to the small garden overlooking neutral bay. it was perfect spot for breakfast and our morning coffee.


in order to reach sydney, we had to take a ferry. even though the ferry rides followed rather strict timetable, we didn’t mind taking the ferry every day, since it would give us the view of lovely sights. i have to admit, even though sydney opera house is the landmark of sydney (and entire australia), harbor bridge managed to amuse me even more. it’s a great work of structural engineering (well, i’m an engineer after all!) & knowing how advanced was the project for its time (it was completed in 1932, after eight years of construction), i couldn’t help admiring it. it is truly inspiring piece of engineering.


one day we had to postpone our daily trip to the city center, since the airport people were finally delivering our luggage, which got lost on the trip from vienna – through paris & kuala lumpur – to sydney. since we spent a couple of days without our clothes, we definitely wanted to wait for its delivery (even though our hostess told us she could receive it for us).
of course, it was quite depressing to sit at home and wait for it, so we decided to take a walk in the neighborhood. then, carla suggested that we should go to the cremorne point, where the nature is splendid and views of sydney harbor are stunning.

once we entered the cremorne reserve, a wonderful loop walk around cremorne peninsula, we suddenly noticed the mix of formal gardens and random bush. the signs along the way helped us to discover something of its original aboriginal inhabitants, the architectural heritage, as well as the impact of development on the reserve’s flora and fauna and the work being done to bring back the bush.


we loved this part of sydney so much that we decided to come back tomorrow for a morning run (a bit slow and lazy one!). also, every now and then we would stop to take pictures.


finally, we arrived to the tip of cremorne point, to the lighthouse mounted on a rock and connected to shore by a footbridge. from cremorne point lighthouse, so-called robertson point light, we could see what carla was talking about. the view of sydney harbor was amazing.


we were already on the way back when carla called us, saying that our luggage has arrived. we rushed home & headed to the city center. our holiday was finally beginning!


sydney opera house, no. 166 [australia #2]

the sydney opera house has been on the unesco heritage sites list since 2007. the main criterion for its nomination was the fact that it brings together multiple strands of creativity and innovation in both its architectural form and structural design. it is often identified as one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centers in the world.

it was inaugurated in 1973, after being awarded by an international jury to danish architect jørn utzon in 1957. utzon’s original design concept boosted a collective creativity of architects, engineers and builders. ove arup’s engineering achievements helped make utzon’s vision a reality.

the sydney opera house comprises three groups of interlocking vaulted ‘shells’ which roof two main performance halls and a restaurant. these shell-structures are set upon a vast platform.

sydney opera 1

the sydney opera house was for us the first glimpse of australia. we arrived in sydney on december 8th around 10pm, after a 24h-flight. we were exhausted + our luggage got lost on the way there, so we had the feeling that our trip didn’t have the best start. however, one look at sydney harbor managed to change our feelings. we fell in love with it immediately.

sydney opera 2

it was raining right before we arrived (in fact, rainy weather would continue for the next couple of days) and it was still a bit foggy. since we were staying at neutral bay, which is on the other side of the harbor, we were to take a ferry from sydney harbor. while waiting for our ferry, we decided to go for a short walk..

we walked around like hypnotized. whether it was it for our long journey & general tiredness, or because of the rain, but everything seemed somehow surreal.. one thing was sure: it felt truly great to be on the other side of the world.

australia – not a moment too soon!

oh, december is finally here! – those were my exact thoughts several days ago when i realized that the time for a big trip has come. it’s been more than a year since we started planning this trip – and i cannot believe that in a couple of days we’ll be flying off to the land down under.


so, how did we get here..

it all started last year when our friends went for a 7-month trip to south america. we started talking how great it would be if we could go for a bit longer trip.. and somewhere as exciting as south america. just for fun, we started discussing the places where we would like to go. my top two were australia & south africa, while tarik talked about canada & australia. since it was in both the lists, we figured it would be australia. as simple as that..

then, of course, we had to figure when to go to there & for how long we can stay. okay, anything less than a month is definitely not worth it, for many reasons.. where do you want me to start – the price of tickets, the distance, or the size of a country.. and when would we want to go – well, in december. we already have plenty of holidays.. and it’s summer there!

so, we started preparing for our trip..
first, we opened a savings account and made a plan to put a certain amount of money every month, so that we don’t come back without a penny!

then, we purchased several guide books & downloaded a couple of documentaries so that we can decide where to go. well, australia is quite big and very soon it became clear to us that we’ll not be able to see all of it and that we would have to narrow it down to several points of interests.

i would like to recommend the documentaries we watched; the first one was “australia with simon reeve”, where we got to see his trip starting from the “red centre”, i.e. the ayers rock, continuing through the northern territories and the great barrier reef, and ending the journey in sydney and melbourne.

the other documentary i really liked was the one prepared by the coast team & neil oliver – “coast australia”. the team visited all the coastal regions of australia: the kimberley, coral coast, victoria, sydney region and of course, tasmania.

and finally, we made a plan: we’ll visit the east coast of australia, the cities of sydney and melbourne, go for a ride on the great ocean road, experience tasmanian wilderness, dive in the waters of the great barrier reef, hike in the blue mountains.. and finally, we’ll spend the new year’s eve looking at the fireworks in sydney.

so, yes.. that’s what we’ll do.. God willing, of course.