This year Christmas couldn't have been further than the traditional Christmas we are used to. Not only was it 40 degrees but the absence of our close family and friends just didn't make it feel like Christmas Christmas Eve We treated ourselves to a nice meal at Olivo in Darling Harbour before moving on to the waters edge to watch the 9pm fireworks. Sarah, a friend from university currently living in NZ was over for a week, so she joined us and we moved on to the Opera Bar to sip cocktails overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. It was a great start to the festive period because since we had moved to Australia we hadn't had much city life nor enough cocktails in our life!
Sarah and I at Opera Bar
Christmas at Bondi Beach For years we have heard 'Christmas at Bondi', whether it be from tv or friends. So it was a given that this is where we were going to spend our 25th! Starting the day off eating Churros dipped in chocolate and sipping on fruit smoothies at Chocolateria San Churros was perfect. The beach was very busy, hearing music being played here and there, surfers in Santa hats, bagpipes being played attracting all the Scottish visitors. It was definitely a good day in good spirits. The only down fall was the absence of alcohol on beaches and public areas which we were not used to. For obvious reasons this was prohibited but come on everybody likes a cheeky cold beverage during the holidays! The beach bars held events and entry was only allowed if you planned to dine so we gave this a miss.
To be fair even though it was busy I had expected it to be uncomfortably packed and we didn't even have to wait that long for a bus back to the train station.
Boxing Day weekend Having prearranged accomodation at Manly via AirBnB we met up with Sarah again and spent the day at Manly Wharf Bar overlooking the bay. Manly is a great place, good vibes, great surf shops and cool bars. Guzman y Gomez, a tasty mexican taqueria, was the last treat of the day. Serving delicious burritos and enchiladas it was an easy decsion! The following day we ventured out to Dee Why, a small coastal town 20 minutes north of Manly, with a nice long beach lined with restaurants. Unfortunately it was quite windy the day we visited but we had a snack and drinks at Sea Bar Cafe which served great sweet potato wedges!
New Years Eve The day we had been waiting for finally approached us! Due to the time difference the Sydney NYE Fireworks has always been shown on tv around our lunch time in Gibraltar. Being able to watch these live was quite amazing. Expectedly masses of people fled to the harbours surrounding in order to get a good spot for the fireworks. Having various good spots around the city Mrs Macquarie Steps was one of the best free locations with the Opera House viewed right in front of the Harbour Bridge. Having spent almost three hours queuing up to get inside the designated area, we spent the entire day as from when we entered at 1pm to midnight waiting for this spectacular show. Thankfully time went faster than we anticipated. Two of Sarah's good friends, Rachel and Dani, that were also in my class joined us and a German couple, Camille and Lori, whom we met during our travels in Australia.
We lay on our blankets drinking in the sun. After being quite worried about not getting a good viewing spot we shuffled around for hours searching for the right one and luckily, even though we split up just at the last minute, we were all able to find the perfect location for the 15 minute firework display. It was absolutely stunning! It was everything we had been waiting for!
On New Years Day an event was being held at Manly Wharf Bay so we prebooked tickets and enjoyed the day drinking bubbly and coronas (the two types of drinks that were free with the ticket for a two hour period). Annoyingly we were only allowed two drinks at a time but we managed to get quite a few drinks in us before it ended. We finished the night returning to Guzman y Gomez mexican taqueria seeing as we had enjoyed it so much the last time.