My last internal flight was a quick hop from Balina (the Byron Bay airport) back down to Sydney. When I arrived, I checked into the Big Hostel near the Central railway station for a bit, to sort out plans with some friends and to enjoy my last few days of backpacker bliss.
For various reasons, Sydney really reminded me of Toronto – one of my favourite cities in the world. It has lots of water around, a nice downtown core with nearby areas that area home to more interesting characters and its population represent a real multicultural tapestry. The city was also home to friends. So, when I was there, I managed to meet up with several of the group I met at Peter’s wedding. I spent an afternoon exploring Sydney with Indy, joined Reena, Chris and Angela for birthday drinks and took in the fun Quantum of Solace film with Reena. Good times.
For a couple of days, I also stayed with my friend Erin, who I first met in Tallinn. She lives in Bondi with her housemate, Erin (a UK transplant). It was really nice to be close to the sea and to be able to stroll all along the coast from Bondi, past beaches like Tamarama (a.k.a. Glamarama), Bronte and Coogee. While out for my walk, I was passed by many fit runners, some of whom were nearly sprinting along the rolling, serpentine path. It was inspiring to watch.
After a few days relaxing in Bondi with Aasa and Erin, I retired to the luxury of the Marriott. On the roof was a small pool that was pretty useless for swimming, but made a nice place to rest for a bit in the warm morning sun. And, a good place to recover after a run – something I was able to enjoy a few times in Sydney.
After I checked out of the Marriott, I begrudgingly made my way to the airport in preparation for my flight home. It was the end of my trip, and while I was looking forward to visiting with my friends and family at home, leaving Australia was a bit sad. I’d had a lot of fun, really enjoyed the weather and left so much of the country unexplored. I’ll have to come back again…perhaps sooner than later.