Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

in this age of facebook and instagram, everybody seems to be enjoying ‘foodtography’ as much as i do. most of the time, i’m guilty of not saying the graces before meals and instead…i take pictures of the food i eat. oh well. 😐 so here’s a yummy photo entry for this week’s photo challengepenne al pesto and salmon, which i ate when i traveled to sydney, australia. i’m not good at cooking pasta and i wish i can cook something as delicious as this one.


Travel: Sydney Beach and Theme Park

i almost forgot to write a follow-up post on my 2nd day at sydney. it’s been a crazy busy week as usual — project release left and right and me working on a 1-man testing team. spell k-a-l-o-r-k-e-y!

anyhoo, as part of my oz ‘bucket list’ trip…can i miss out on the bondi beach trip? haha. you know that show ‘bondi rescue’ where they feature the yummy looking lifeguards? haha. so hayun, kelangan maka tour sa bondi beach para makapag sightings ng pogi! ❤ haha!

i rode the train (yes marunong na ako mag train on the 2nd day) bound for bondi junction then after that, rode a bus directly going to the beach.

sydney railway system

since sydney is 3-hrs advance compared to singapore, i always wake up late everyday. i normally wake up around 7-ish and so do the math…that’s almost 10am there. wala na tanghali na!

totoo nga ang “the early bird catches the worm” and since i’m late, i didn’t get to see much of the good-looking papeys and instead, i ended up seeing only thundercats. #fail

hi bondi!

it’s a happy experience strolling along the beach coast. the white sandy beach with blue crystal waters and surfer dudes pa, beach bumming sight-seeing was a success!

sun, sea and sand

…and walking along the streets in bikini is normal. 🙂

beach mode

after my bondi beach tour, i went back to circular quay area and had my late lunch while waiting for reg. i chose the place because of the wi-fi connection. hahaha!

creamy salmon pesto 

fast forward around 5pm, at last! reg finally arrived. our itinerary for that day is to go to luna park, which is an old school theme park. the sydney harbour bridge has a very nice view from that side. it’s late afternoon too, almost sunset time.

luna park

before sunset

hahaha! there’s this crazy ride called ‘wild mouse’ which we really enjoyed. sobrang exciting kasi parang matatapon ka sa tubigan any time! hehehe. tignan nyo naman, scaffolding lang ang support! LOL

wild mouse (-_-‘)

good night sydney! kapagod tumawa sa wild mouse, buwis buhay experience yung roller coaster! i super enjoyed the day with mader, feeling bagets sa rides. pati sa ferry’s wheel kabado pa. haha! 🙂

good night! 🙂

Travel: Sydney City Adventure

my short and sweet 5-day vacation at sydney was a success. i enjoyed every single day of my stay there with my friends and even sometimes just walking around the city on my own. i always feel exhausted upon reaching the hostel every night because of the endless walks but then it’s all part of the traveling experience. most of the time, i prefer walking around than riding the train or bus since this allows me to explore more the hidden places. most days, i do my city tour-ing then just contact my friends by afternoon to meet them.

i stayed at alfred park budget hostel in surry hills area. it is very close to the city business district and just a walking distance to the central railway station. most of the houses in that area are old style houses just like the hostel where i stayed. i’m lucky because this place is located at central sydney which is close to the airport as well as the major tourist attractions.

everyday, i walk for almost 20 minutes from the hostel going to central railway station. then from central railway station, i find my way out going to george street, which is the main avenue for commercial and retail establishments. hmm, reminds me of makati’s ayala avenue.

central railway station

 george street

passing by queen victoria building, a romanesque styled shopping mall where i mostly hang out while waiting for reg. this is one of my favorite places because of the free wi-fi! hahaha.

queen victoria building

inside qvb

then walking again along main street passing through shops, buildings and offices.

stroll along downtown sydney

i walked the entire 3km stretch and finally ended up at circular quay. i spotted a rappelling activity at one of the buildings there. i also asked for a photo souvenir with one of the local guys there. haha. this guy knows manny pacquiao!

circular quay

…and finally i saw the sydney opera house and harbour bridge. my legs are so tired after walking all the way from the hostel to this part. 2-3 hours of 3km alay lakad lang naman.

sydney opera house

i walked up the stairs going to the opera house and from there, you will see the beautiful view of the sydney harbor bridge and the city skyline.

view from the opera house

walking for a few more minutes brought me to the royal botanic garden and entrance is free of charge. and since i’m very tired from the long walkathon, i rode the tourist shuttle along with the other oldie tourists. a few minutes of sitting inside the shuttle is just priceless. here you can see the beautiful view of the opera house and the city skyline. i could just sit here all day enjoying the view while listening to the sound of the waves…ahhhhhh perfect!

city business district

sydney harbor from macquarie’s point at royal botanic gardens

later in the afternoon, i met up with reg for our dinner date. i always look forward seeing her after work since that’s the only chika time we have. she also brought flaire along with her whom i met on a few lakwatsa trips back in the ph. we had dinner at pancakes on the rocks at the rocks. i had the best walking tour here at the rocks dahil best in lost and found lang kami ni mader. lamon mode after maligaw. hehehe. 🙂

the rocks (photo credits to mader)

despite getting lost and feeling very tired, i enjoyed every single moment of that day — sights, stories, friends and food. lastly, walking under the sydney harbour bridge on a sunset feeling the cool spring breeze on your face is just ❤. lakas maka senti ehhhhh. hahaha. tsarlot!

sunset is ❤

Travel: Sydney on Arrival

last week, i went to sydney for a 5-day vacation. i’ve been thinking of going to this place for some time now but didn’t expect it to be this soon. flyscoot airfare was too tempting to be ignored! i wish i could have stayed longer but i’m already short of vacation leaves. 😦

visa application is a breeze. as long as you give the complete documents (complete application form, round trip ticket itinerary, certificate of employment, approved leave, bank statement and payment), you will get the visa within 5 working days. too sad that australia now follows a visa free label policy so i wasn’t able to get a new visa stamp in my passport. they just gave me a print out of my visa number in a bond paper which you could throw away by mistake. it’s just a happy sight to see many colorful things inside your passport. a colorful passport is a colorful life. 🙂

it was a 7.5 hr long tiring flight going to oz. i’m asleep most of the time during the flight. i arrived sydney past noon their local time. after passing immigration, i searched for the shuttle transport provided by the hostel. the cold spring breeze welcomed me as i stepped out of the airport. i thought i came unprepared since my college friend reg, told me to bring sleeveless and shorts for clothing. it’s weather crazy everyday after all.

i stayed at alfred park budget hostel, which is a 20-minute walk from central railway station. it is a bit shabby looking from the outside but is actually ok inside. i booked a bed in a 4-bed female dormitory room and to be honest, i did not like the room assigned to me. i was sharing a room with two other girls (mother-daughter to be specific) and seems like they were living in that room … f-o-r-e-v-e-r. when i stepped inside the room, i saw clothes strewn all over, soiled clothes under the bunk beds, left over foods on top of bed, unkept bed, make-up/curling iron/knickers scattered on the floor and luggage bags open for the world to see, major disappointment. ok, maybe i was expecting for an immaculately clean room similar to one in tokyo few months back. good thing, the staff accommodated my request to switch rooms so i then transferred to a bigger and cleaner room sharing it with two other french girls. how i love ze accent!

after check-in and few hours of rest, i went to central railway station to meet my friends. i first met with xave, as he just came out from school/work (?) within that area. he was my first official tour guide and he showed me around the city while waiting for reg who’s already on her way. thank you seat mate for the welcome drink! 🙂

later, we finally saw reg and we continue walking around the city. a few hours of endless walking with stories in between made us all hungry so we ended up going to the sydney food festival at hyde park.

of course, eating adventure won’t be complete if there are no drinks after that. we stayed further for a couple of drinks, not to the point of being drunk though. just a few heart-to-heart moments and we’re good.

we ended the day by walking back towards central railway station where we first came from…

…and this is just the first day.

[to be continued]