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Blogmas! Day 1 🎄

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Hey guys! I thought that if youtube can have vlogmas, why can’t we have blogmas?! Soooo i’ve decided that I’ll have a go at blogmas and post every second day on assorted topics. So let’s see how we go! Also, if you’re hoping for pictures of snow and Christmas jumpers….this will be the wrong blog!

Today was the first official day of summer for us Australians. Come back to check out what we get up to at Christmas in the southern hemisphere in summer!

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To get the ball of the ground, today’s lunch included this new recipe that I have tried recently. Rocket/spinach leaves, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, goats cheese, raspberries (frozen or fresh) and for the dressing:

– About 50g of raspberries mashed
– 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon of mustard (can omit)
– 2 teaspoons of honey (you may need to add more if the dressing is too sour)
– salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle abit of olive oil and voila! I will link the recipe in my next blog post.

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And who else loves these?! I remember eating them when I was younger and still love them now.

See you in the next blog!

– S.

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Pros and Cons about Sydney, Aus

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I’m always writing about places on the otherside of the world and saw a video of someone doing the pros and cons of Sydney so I thought that I would do my own! For those who don’t know, I am born and raised in Sydney so let me run you through the list about Sydney.

Pros

  • Weather: For one, we can see blue skies. We have a very mild winter (day temperature around the 16C mark and nights around 8C) so for most of the year, our temperature is generally around the 20C mark. Our summers stretch usually over 3 months and we do get the occasional +35C but luckily, there are not that many.
  • Multicultural: One thing I do miss when I go travelling is the multiculturism (is that even a word?) of the society that I have grown up in. Depending where you stay/visit in Sydney, there are ethnic groups dotted around in the suburbs but generally, you can find just about every cuisine from every culture in Sydney. It is safe to say that many Australians have grown up eating Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Lebanese and Greek food (plus many more).
  • Beaches: I have yet to go to a beach overseas and thought “Hey, this is better than the beaches back home”. Actual soft sand, clear waters and views of the infinite ocean is what Australia is all about. Bondi, Manly, Coogee, Maroubra…..take your pick!
  • Harbour: It’s not everyday that you can roll into a train station such as Circular Quay and get a view of the iconic Harbour Bridge with clear waters glistening under it, or take a ferry to the north side of the city or be sitting in an office near the harbour and looking out to see water (if you’re a lucky duck!).
  • Flora and Fauna: Being so far from other countries means that we’ve been able to keep our native animals and plants just to Australia. Kangaroos, Koalas, Echidnas, Kookaburras and our assorted deadly spiders and snakes are all a must see whilst you’re here.
  • Food and drinks: There are many bars, dessert places and restaurants to try all over the city and in the suburbs and of any cuisine you wish. Despite there not being many “real Australian” foods, there are many others you can enjoy.

Cons

  • Expensive: You will hear that Sydney is expensive again and again because guess what? it’s true! $4 aud for a cup of coffee, $10 for lunch, $20 for a movie ticket, $10 for one train ticket, the list goes on and on. Once you step outside your expensive house or expensively rented room, money will start to fly from your wallet you don’t know where it all went. Of course, there are cost saving ways but living in Sydney is expensive stuff.
  • Transport: Forget about the Paris, London and Hong Kong metro systems, we travel by train, buses, ferry or cars here. All transport run to a timetable so your journey is pretty much set. As Sydney’s metropolitan area is HUGE (spanning some 50km from the city centre), it takes ages to get anywhere. A train ride from Central to the Blue Mountains will take approximately 2 hours and buses from the beach to the city centre will be likely to take at least 30 minutes (if there is no traffic). ALSO, they are all slow.
  • Everything is so spread out: Following on from the previous point, most people live in houses so the Sydney area is huge. Forget about being able to walk 5-10 minutes to the grocery store (some exceptions of course), it is likely to be a 5-10 minutes drive instead. If you’re lucky to live near a train station, lucky you!, if not- a slow bus plus a slow train will make your journey exceed 1 hour easily.
  • Traffic: I guess this is a problem in every major city and it is not different here. If you fancy sitting on a motorway-turned-parking-lot, take your pick of any of the motorways in peak hour and you’ll find it. There is also human traffic. Go to any of the major festivals running in Sydney and you will know what I mean. Queuing up 1 hour to get some food at the Night Noodle Market? Done.
  • Lack of green: This is something that I wished our city would have more of. Greenery! More parks and trees in streets. More bike routes, more eco-friendly consumables, ban on plastic bags (Ok, this is getting too opinionated).

So that’s my list, if you have been to/live in Sydney, do you agree or disagree with my list? Linke me your pros and cons of your city!

-S.

 

12 Apostles

12 Apostles One of the ‘must see’ trips when in Victoria, Australia is to see the 12 Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. The 12 Apostles, for those who have never heard about them, are limestone structures off the coast of the Port Campbell National Park. As they had been formed naturally, the very elements that had created them are also eroding them. Currently there stands 7 left. I was looking for a city getaway and had decided that this trip would be so much more relaxing and a la naturel if I had done it as a road trip but things didn’t really work out and I took a 1 day tour with Melbourne Coastal Tours instead (which was excellent, you can find their website here*). It’s a long day, we were whisked away  in the 7th hour of the day and didn’t return until 9:30pm that same night. Between the towns, you are met with hills dotted with livestock as far as the eye can see, this was a welcoming sight and exactly what my soul needed. There is something about animals just grazing and greenery as far as the eye can see. Our tour also stopped off for the Maits Rest Rainforest Walk which offered a contrasting view of trees that are some thousands of years old. The Gibson Beach Walk was a highlight for me, climbing down (and unfortunately back up) the steps that offers breath taking views on every step down to have the cliffs towering over you, bringing you as close to natural wonders as close as you can get. The Apostles main viewing path and deck is well built to accommodate all the tourists and allows ample viewing space. Every picture turns out postcard perfect. Depending on when you visit, make sure you’ve adequately dressed for the wind chill/have protection from the great Australian sun as you spend most of your time outdoors. I get so upset about how our modern lifestyle is at the expense of nature so to be in a place that is as close to be untouched as it can be gives me the air to keep going. You are so marvellous Mother Nature. -S. Pictures t-b (personal photos): look out on the side of the road before Lorne, Maits Rest Rainforest Walk, Gibsons beach walk, some of the Apostles & Loch Ard Gorge. * post not sponsored or financially awarded for.