Day 8 was quite uneventful but incredibly relaxing after the first 7 days full of various events and exploration. I stayed in bed till 3 pm on Day 8 and it was a wonderful decision as I felt rejuvenated to enjoy the rest of my trip! Around 4 o’clock I went to scrounge for food a block away. Because of my lack of cash and a minimum limit on debit cards, I ended up at a traditional Chinese tea house in the suburb of Surry Hills. I haven’t had dim sum too many times in the past, but once I tasted the ones here I thought they were quite authentic and lacking in unhealthy oils, which was perfect. I was craving some iced tea too, so the server brought me a special hibiscus tea in a teapot with unlimited free refills!
My next stop was Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets, a huge marketplace that sells souvenirs and other products three days out of the week. I bought some souvenirs for family and friends back home and went to Gloria Jean’s coffee to buy an Irish nut creme drink for my daily dose of coffee. Dinner was later served at a nearby Thai restaurant, which was as good as some of my favorite Thai restaurants back in the States.
The next day I decided to be the epitome of a tourist (unlike me) and I explored some of Sydney’s authentic/historic outdoor markets called The Rocks Markets. The Rocks is an area near the Sydney Opera House and the famous tourist area of Circular Quay (pronounced “key”) that is known for its old architecture and artistic stores and cafes. The Rocks Market sold everything from food to designer-wear to arts and crafts: similar to Farmer’s Markets back home but with less produce!
Up next was a ferry ride to one of Sydney’s most popular beaches: Manly beach. I enjoyed my hefty scoop of Midnight Brownie from the Copenhagen Gelato company as we sailed towards Manly. For a cold and cloudy day, there were still heaps of surfers riding the waves on Manly beach. Many trails surrounded the area. So far I had learned that Aussies were huge fans of hiking and of staying fit, so you could find pathways/trails everywhere! I took the Cabbage Tree trail to a smaller beach known as Shelley. Had more beer-battered fish and ships at a popular Italian joint called Fiasco and a cup of latte at the Manly Beach Coffee Guild.
After my tummy was happy, I took another scenic walk near Manly’s ferry wharf and again, had a hard time leaving the gorgeous views of the sunset and the boats drifting slowly on the lively waters. My feet were tired from walking around all day, but the sunset view in front of me more than made up for the soreness. Back in Surry Hills, my friend and I dined at an Indian restaurant that had one of the best restaurant-made Indian cuisines I have had anywhere I have traveled so far. The food was so great that I could compare it to the authentic food served on my regular trips to India. Maya da Dhaba needs to open a restaurant in the States!
We ended the night by going to a popular bar for backpackers in Sydney. When it got too hot to continue dancing, we took a 1 am walk near the Opera House, me in disbelief that I only had one day left in such a wonderful place…