Categories: Travel

Where Even the Beach is "Manly:" Welcome to Sydney

“Land of sunshine and sharks,” as Monty Python once quipped in a sketch. But Sydney, Australia is a small city that thinks of itself – and acts – like a major metropolis. With great success, I might add.

One of the first things you notice about Sydney is that as cosmopolitan as it seems, the city is sparkling clean, no one seems out of shape, and everyone looks as though they’ve just stepped out of a recent catalog. Sydney isn’t just for 20-or-30-somethings, but it does have a very youthful outlook and there’s a real emphasis on staying fit by staying active.

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The nightlife is diverse and everything from stately (I mean, they do have perhaps the most recognized opera house in the world) to raucous nightclubs and discotheques. And the daylight hours? Those are meant for going to the beach (remember that since they’re on the other side of the planet, the seasons are reversed, so they’re having summer in January. It’s a great way to beat the harshest winters, but the prices of accommodations also soar accordingly).

Of course, Australia does have its drawbacks, like anyplace. It’s actually home to a wider variety of poisonous wildlife than anywhere else in the world, and then it’s also a favorite feeding ground of the great white shark. My advice: stay alert, be wary of the bland English cuisine (the Asian food is spectacular, from Indian to Thai and Japanese), show off your gym bod, and be friendly. Aussies are among the most gregarious peoples anywhere, and they love meeting new people.

Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.

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Edwin Santiago
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