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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Playing Tourist in My Own City

Oh it's been a while. I know. Complete slackness really...sometimes you have to leave your home time to get inspired, which is what I did a few weeks ago. I had a flight credit that needed to be used so off I went to see one of my favourite people Jacqui Simpson, who moved to Auckland about 7 years ago. For love. I haven't seen her in 5 years. Again, complete slackness.

We had a lovely time. There was champagne cocktails, which we both regretted the next morning. And red wine. Ditto. There was luxuriating at a day spa (mmmmm....relaxing) and girly shopping to try on things that were a stupid amount of money, and we both needed new boots. Of course. Then cocktails and a girly dinner at one of Auckland's hot restaurants Soul Bar followed by a drink we seriously didn't need in a very trashy bar-come-nightclub where some dancing was undertaken, surrounded by 18 year old males who really should invest in some regular showers and deodorant.

I got back to Sydney on Sunday night after 3 days away (Aiden and Charlie were SOO excited to see me) and Monday was the most beautiful Sydney winters day. I decided that if Tuesday looked to be the same I was going off to Bondi. Being unemployed and all. It's pretty nice to play tourist in your home town, when the weather is so gorgeous.

Most Sydneysiders detest Bondi Beach, preferring any of Sydney's other amazing beaches which are less crowded with tourists. Not me. I love Bondi Beach and the surrounding shops, bars and cafes. All the different people that visit, work and live at Bondi. If we decide to go to the beach, that's where we go. In summer we take Aiden there for a swim. We go late in the afternoon and then have fish and chips at Mongers. In winter, often on Sunday night we head out for an early dinner at The Italian, which I first visited during a work function at Bondi.

I had a really nice day playing tourist. I started with coffee and scrambled eggs at Trio Cafe. I sat outside in the winter sun and watched the world go by.

Campbell Parade
Then I wandered down and sat on the sand at Bondi Beach. This beach has the best people watching. While I was there taking a few shots, these two came down to the beach in front of me and started doing some yoga type stretching as well as some dance moves and acrobatics. I put on my zoom lens and indulged in some pap-style shots of Bondi's beautiful people!

I walked back to the car, along the beach and these two jogged past me about half way along. Such an obscene display of health and fitness!

Winter's day at Bondi Beach
Surfing with your mates, Bondi Beach
Out for a stroll...
Multi-million dollar properties
After Bondi I drove around to Coogee where I discovered a couple of Ocean Baths. These are dotted alongside many of Sydney's beaches and most have been around for generations. I'm a bit fascinated with them. On doing some research, there are apparently over 100 Ocean baths in NSW and there are 4 in Coogee!! If you would like to read more about Sydney's ocean's baths there is a good article here The day I went to Coogee I only found 2, my favourite being McIvers Baths, also known as the Coogee Women's Baths (Beach Street, Coogee). It's a women's and children only pool, the only one left in Australia. It's really beautiful and quite private and sheltered, which would explain the couple of topless women taking in the winter sun. Here is a short blog post about this pool.

Picture postcard taken from the change rooms
Honesty system entry fee. Flash sign!

Book swap going on in the change rooms.  Nice
 After checking out the pools I walked from the North end of Coogee beach around towards Maroubra for a km or so, and then back to the car. I slept well that night!

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