I have a lot of posts to catch up on! Basically in the last few weeks, I went on vacation and ran a few races and in between frantically wrapped up the last requirements of my residency. It officially ends June 30th! Over the next few days I plan to catch up here :)
Anyway, at the end of April I wrote the CCFP, which is the final exam required by the College of Family Physicians to practice independently. A few days later, Jan and I went to Australia. He had a work trip to Sydney planned, so I went along and we added an extra week of R+R.
The trip started in Sydney, and we were able to take a direct flight from YVR. Honestly, I was a bit nervous about how long it would be! 16 hours in one spot is not my idea of comfortable or relaxing. We managed to snag the bulkhead, so there was a lot of legroom. It was actually totally fine – the flight left at midnight, so after we took off, I put on a movie to tire myself out. I also had a glass of wine (thanks Air Canada!) and by 130 AM I was totally asleep. I definitely woke a few times/only slept lightly, but I managed to stay that way for almost 8 hours. We left Vancouver Wednesday night and with the flight + time change, landed in Sydney in the morning, on Friday!
During the first week, while Jan was working, I mostly relaxed and explored the city. I was also trying to squeeze out a peak week before Sun Mountain, which sort of worked (more on that later). We stayed at a great hotel right in the CBD, or Central Business District, for the first 8 nights (thanks, Amazon!). After that, we moved to an AirBnB near Bondi, and spent a weekend with a really sweet couple: Mike and Georgia. Highly recommend!
The waterfront is beautiful and there is a path kind of like the seawall, so running was easy. I also loved the Botanical Gardens, Darling Harbour, and running over the Harbour Bridge to Kirribilli (such a similar vibe to North Van!). Jan and I both explored the Taronga zoo, downtown Sydney, Manly, and lots of other beaches! We did the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, which was absolutely gorgeous and sunny.
It wasn’t quite warm enough to lay on the beach in Sydney, so I think that helped me explore more on my feet. You can see some of my running routes on Strava, and I’m going to do a separate post on my trail running adventure. Public transit was really easy to navigate. We just got Opal Cards (pretty much the same thing as a Compass Card in Vancouver) which you can reload and use to tap on/off busses, trains and ferries. We also used Uber, which was so convenient!
For our 3rd night, Jan had made reservations at a restaurant called Quay. It’s right on the waterfront and we were lucky enough to get a table with views of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We had an 8 course (!!) tasting menu complete with wine pairings, and it was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life. Everything was based on local ingredients, and the dishes were so creative.
I think our favourite was the dessert, something called a Snowy Egg. It was so light but so good!
There is a lot of shopping in Sydney, and it seemed like there was a huge mall on every corner. I was really struck by how dressed up people seemed to be for work – sometimes I even felt a bit out of place wearing my running clothes on the street!
We also noticed (and were warned!) that Sydney is a really expensive city. We were easily spending 25$+ per person on meals, and neither of us is a really big eater. We went to the grocery store a few times to stock up on fruit, bars, and other easy things to have for breakfasts/snacks, but I really think that the food ended up costing more than our hotel stays!
We were in Sydney for 10 nights, which was more than enough to explore the city and a bit of the surrounding area. Next up we flew to Cairns. More on that soon!