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    Fab North America Travel

    Nashville For First Timers

    What a Fabulous City

    Location: Nashville Tennessee USA

    Nashville for first timers

    Breakfast at Bisquit Love

    Nashville for first timers. Not what I was expecting. What a wild place – crazy, historic, loud, interesting and delicious. Nashville for first timers can be a bit of a surprise though. At least it was for me!

    Nashville for first timers

    Famous Jacks BBQ on Broadway

    My high school girl friends and I went a bit rogue this time in choosing our destination for our (almost) annual girls get away.  Nashville made the cut and eight of us put on our mud kickers and headed out for a country music weekend.

    We stayed at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Unfortunately we didn’t realize how spread out this city is. So my first bit of advice is be prepared to need to Uber and cab it all over town. We spent a ton of money on that – big surprise there. So if you are a Nashville for first timers virgin be prepared!

    Nashville for first timers

    Visiting Antique Archeology

    The Old Town Hop On Hop Off  Trolley was a good investment though when you are doing Nashville for first timers. We bought the first day ticket for $35 and added the second day for an additional $10.  I really loved the drivers of these trolleys who gave us great history, interesting stories all served up with southern charm and humor.

    One of my favorite things we did from the Hop On Hop Off was visit the famous and historic Ryman Theatre where The Grand Ole Opry performed from for many decades. The theatre is really amazing and the tour was was interesting.

    Nashville for first timers

    Historic Ryman Theatre

    Nashville for first timers

    Nelson Greenbrier Distillery

    Also I loved our visit to the historic Marathon Motor Company building. Today it’s filled with funky shops including the Antique Archeology of American Pickers fame. Also on this same block is the Nelson Greenbrier Whiskey Distillery.  The $11 tour was really fascinating and included a tasting of four different spirits they distill.

    From the Hop on Hop Off we also found Music Row fascinating and surprising how these famous recording studios are mostly in tiny houses and not in huge skyscrapers.

    Blake Shelton’s brand new Ole Red bar on Broadway

    The Honky Tonk scene on Broadway in downtown Nashville is way crazier than I imagined. It was Las Vegas with the volumn turned up to eleven. Wild. Thousands and thousands of people, hundreds and hundreds of bars and restaurants and every single one has live music blasting all day long.

    Apparently Nashville is the number one destination in the USA for bachelorette parties. Young scantily clad brides and bridesmaid groups are whooping it up on the sidewalks, in the back of rented flatbeds and open top busses and on the cycle beer trucks. Loud and ready to party. Wow.

    Nashville for first timers

    With my friends at The Grand Ole Opry Hotel

    We took an Uber 20 minutes out to the Gaylord
    Grand Ole Opry Hotel. This is also the place where the Grand Ole  Opry now has its home. But the 3000 room hotel is a destination in itself. Again I was reminded of Vegas – ornate and over the top with waterfalls, jungles, orchids and a riverboat cruise.

    Nashville for first timers

    Country Music Hall Of Fame

    Nashville knows it’s audience and country music fans are very loyal to this town. Fans can spend hours or days at the Country Music Hall Of Fame as well as many other museums including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Jones and others. Tennessee was also home to three US Presidents (Jackson, Johnson, Polk)and the area around Nashville is full of history relevant to our country.

    Nashville for first timers

    Corn Cakes at the historic Woolworth’s

    I ate a ton – everything from corn cakes to steak, hot chicken, biscuits and macaroni and cheese. Southern comfort food as well as delicious alternatives are in abundance in this town of abundance.

    You can spend a weekend or stay a week and still never see and do everything here.  It’s a great town – alive! Nashville for first timers or do it again? So much fun!

    Y’all should come now ya hear?

    Everything Else Fabulous

    What’s in My Suitcase? My Travel Favorites

    What I Won’t Leave Home Without

    Location: In My Suitcase

    When we head off again in August for another year of travel our suitcase will not look the same as when we left the first time 18 months ago.  We have learned what works, what doesn’t and what are our favorite things.  So here are some of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Battery Power Pack – possibly our most used and most valuable item. Mophie is the brand we have and we spent $40 on it. We use it everyday  it fits in a purse or pocket and holds a charge for several days. Definitely one of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Packing cubes – not sure how I traveled all those years without packing cubes because they are now my best friend.  Especially as a fulltime traveler it’s so great to keep kinds of clothes and other items categorized in my suitcase.

    Cooler – our collapsible portable lunchbox size Igloo cooler was a gift from our niece and it is just perfect for our travel life, picnics and beach days.   We have even used it to keep things (Mayo, cheese, eggs) cold as we traveled by car from one lodging to the next. A very handy item and portable and one of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Ice pack – purchased for $2 this ice pack fits perfect in our little cooler and really changed the way we travel.  Such a simple item with a big impact.

    Freezer Bags and trash bags – with endless uses for storage and packing we have used gallon size freezer bags and kitchen size trash bags to keep things dry, to keep things wet, to organize, to protect and to store. From wet shoes to dirty clothes and olive oil to medicines plastic bags make our life easier.

    Notecards and post it notes – having a package of notecards with envelopes and post-it notes has come in handy. I like to leave notes for our Airbnb hosts or tuck notes in a package I’m mailing or a multitude of other uses these small and simple items are one of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Packing tape – our roll of packing tape has done a lot more than wrap up boxes.  We used it to fix a splintered iPhone cord and to make a cardboard sleeve for our butcher knife. We repaired a book binding and even a hat.

    Clothes pens – I initially packed these to use on the Camino but they have come in handy in so many ways.  As hangers when we don’t have any, to secure and close bags, to hold back mosquito netting on beds and to of course hang our laundry.

    Manicure kit – it’s not always easy to find a place to have a manicure, and I’ve learned over the years I need to care frequently for my nails or they get cracked and nasty.  So I carry a small manicure kit that serves my needs while on the road.  It takes no room at all and is one of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Scrabble – since leaving the USA in November 2016 we have played more than 400 games of Scrabble. Wow that sounds crazy!  But we love the game and the only problem is we are now both really good at it and we find ourselves occasionally in a bit of a stalemate!

    Noise cancelling headphones – this is Arne’s Favorite item on this list.  We both have Bose headphones we use on the plane. Arne also uses his sometimes to listen to music off his iPad or watch movies.  He votes this as his travel favorite in his suitcase.

    French Press – we added a French Press about half way and it recently broke BUT we love having one and will be getting another.  Almost all the places we stay have a hot water pot and we love to make French Press each morning instead of drinking the usual Nescafé.  Traveling with a French Press is one of my travel favorites in my suitcase.

    Foldaway daypack – A few months into our journey we added this item and have used it a ton. It folds up into a little square but when open it is perfect for hikes or city walks when we want to carry a sweater, beach towels, water or just about anything for the day.

    There are things we have been carrying that we don’t plan to include any longer. This includes our kitchen knives, chess board, hiking poles, chamois towel and our giant toilette bag.  I plan to buy a smaller toilette bag and force myself to carry less.

    I’ll hold on to a few tried and true clothing items but plan to throw out many things and replace them with new, Comfy, loose-fitting clothes in mix and match colors.  I clearly know what works and what doesn’t now,  and I think I can bring fewer items while feeling like I have more.  It’s a challenge I am looking forward to.

    What’s in my suitcase? My travel favorites, the bare necessities and the tried and true.

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    Everything Else Fabulous

    When Are You Coming Home and Other Hard to Answer Questions of a Travel Nomad

    On The Grand Adventure

    Location: Planet Earth

    We constantly are dealing with hard to answer questions to a travel nomad life. Always well-meaning, but often difficult to respond, we swim around for a truthful answer that will satisfy the queries.

    After 18 months out of the United States our next stop has us spending two and a half months in our birthplace country.  But it’s not our home.  Even though my passport says United States of

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Camino

    America, my home is wherever I am today.

    So answering the often asked question “When are you coming home?” is a tricky one for us.  This question and a handful of others like it, often make us pause.  How to explain this nomad life to non-nomads is difficult.  Putting into words why we are mostly content being vagabonds in our fabulous

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Maldives

    fifties is a challenge.  We of course are polite, but when you get asked for the one hundredth time one of the hard to answer questions to a travel nomad, you try being clever and witty.  Try.

    When are you coming home?  Someday we will again have a home in the traditional sense of the word.  But home for us is wherever we are each and every day.  Yes our family and most of our friends are back in the great state of Washington, where we will visit and enjoy ourselves this

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    India

    summer.  But it’s not our home.  Being homeless is not for everyone.  But for now it works for us. My friend Marty recently gave us a wonderful complement.  She observed that many people talk about doing what we do, but few can pull the trigger and make it happen.  A most flattering thing to say to us.

    It’s also difficult to answer the question “what is your favorite place?’.  We get asked this one ALOT! I think it’s the most often asked question – but most of the time people ask it because they feel a need to ask SOMETHING – even if they really aren’t interested. And we know many people aren’t interested.  We are cognizant of the fact a lot of people don’t actually care about our grand adventure.  If they care they are probably following the blog. If they ask we answer.  Otherwise we don’t share – we understand everyone has their own life.

    When we tell people we don’t have a favorite place we

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Vietnam

    often get an eyeball roll.  But we don’t.  We have liked certain places more than others, but there really isn’t anywhere we disliked and everywhere we have been there has been good and bad.

    How can you afford to travel full-time?  We dread this question because the underlying question

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Seychelles

    really is “are you rich?”.  No we are not rich.  But what we are is frugal.  Very frugal.  As well as organized and careful and committed to staying within our budget.  Remember we sold everything we own before we left the USA.  We have zero debt, zero bills and live a simple life on a simple budget.  We spend considerably less now than we did living in the USA.  Anyone who is willing to give up their mortgage, car payment, car insurance, boat, house repairs and maintenance, clothing purchases, hair and beauty expenses, gym membership, theatre Hard to answer questions to a travel nomadseason tickets, daily Starbucks visit, clubs and societies, extravagant evenings out and a host of other expenses some American’s often cling to – anyone willing to give that all up, can join us as nomads extremely affordably.  And in our case, be happier than ever before.

    Yet that said, we do get travel fatigue.  I actually avoid mentioning travel fatigue, because there are some people on my Facebook page (masquerading as friends) who are snarky when I mention something like the fact that a life of full-time travel is sometimes, exhausting.  Those are the

    5

    Australia

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Sri Lanka

    people who do the eye roll thing and say things like “Oh poor you.  Traveling around the world is so tough”.  You know the type, jealous maybe or unhappy in their own life situation  – I’m sure you have those same people on Facebook.  I don’t want to sound whiney, so I don’t talk about the fatigue very often. But yes it’s tiring.  A few things in particular cause travel fatigue. For instance wishing for a perfect cozy chair to read in.  The constant hunt for ingredients.  Why isn’t there ever toilet paper? Packing and unpacking.  So when I get the question “what is the most

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Koh Samui Thailand

    difficult?” I will always say, living out of a suitcase causes me fatigue.

    People often ask us if Arne and I get tired of spending so much time together.  I think this is a funny question because it could really backfire.  This hard to answer question to a travel nomad

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Portugal

    might end up with the answer “Yes! We are sick of each other! We are getting divorced”.  Lol.  Of course the answer is the opposite, we get along better now than we ever have in our 35 years of marriage. And we believe that is partly from lack of stress, lack of financial  burden and lack of RAIN!

    Another question we often get is “Aren’t you afraid?”.  Of what exactly?  Living?  No I am not afraid to live.  I am not afraid to die.  I have never felt in danger anywhere, any more than I do in the USA.  I believe this question comes from people

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Angor Wat Cambodia

    who believe, naively, that they are safer in the USA than they are traveling outside of it.  When the reality is the opposite.  Ask any high school teacher in the USA how safe they feel?  Really.

    Several people have asked if I plan to write a book. That is not something I’ve given any thought to.  There are many travel nomads before us who have written books but my blog serves as a journal of sorts and for now that’s enough for me.

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    The family last Christmas in Thailand

    Even though I’ve written this blog I fully expect the need to answer these questions from family and friends while we are in the USA this summer.  And that’s okay.  We are happy to answer any and all questions, particularly if we can encourage and inspire other people to step out of their comfort zone, stop hiding behind the American flag, and go learn and experience the incredible and amazing cultures of the world.  You will be a better person, and the world will be a

    Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

    Doha Qatar

    better place if you do.

    So ask me anything – including the hard to answer questions to a travel nomad. I will give you the truth.  Nomad life is amazing.  Absolutely fabulous.  Join us.

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    Everything Else Fabulous

    Things I’m Looking Forward to in the USA

    On Our Way

    Location: Royal Caribbean

    Today we board Voyager of the Seas, a beautiful Royal Carribean ship for the 8500 mile journey from Sydney to Seattle. This will be the longest cruise we have ever taken – 23 days. Plenty of time to think about the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    I am looking forward to a slow decompression and a slow and easy re-entry to the culture of the United States.

    No matter how long you are out of the United States I now realize there are some things you just long for.  It’s not a big list for me, but it’s made up

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Time together as a family

    of the things I find comforting;

    The numbwr one things I’m looking forward to in the USA is My Kids – my grown children are my pride and joy and I really look forward to a lot of time together this summer.  We also look forward to seeing all the rest of our family as well.  Many things have happened in 18 months and we all have a lot of catching up to do.

    Tacos – Good ole American Tacos.  I need one right now.  I’ve been on the search for tacos everywhere we travel and it is definitely one of the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    French press – the world is ruled by Nescafé

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Fish Tacos

     

    instant coffee and I miss my morning French Press.

    Cycling – one of the simplest and best exercise routines I’ve ever had – riding my bike several times a week and I just can’t wait to be back on my bike.

    Having all food orders arrive at the table at the

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Cycling

    same time – last night I finished my dinner before Arne’s even arrived. This is common in many countries, but almost unheard of in the states and definitely one of the things now I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    Washer and Dryer – I think American’s take these appliances for granted more than any other and I certainly look forward to that convenience again for a while.

    Not needing to carry a roll of toilet paper in my

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Driving

    purse- ‘nuff said.

    Going to the Movie – I have only seen a movie a couple of times on an airplane in the past 18 months and I have not watched TV at all.  I do enjoy a movie on the big screen and I’m looking forward to that.

    Driving- I’ve only driven once in the past 18 months.  It will be great being behind the wheel and driving with relatively sane drivers again.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Crab!

    Alaskan Salmon and Dungeness Crab – growing up on these foods my mouth waters at the thought of them.  I NEVER order salmon anywhere because I know it is likely farmed and crab isn’t crab unless it’s Dungeness in my book so I can’t wait to taste these favs again – I’ve been spoiled by Pacific Northwest seafood and it is certainly one of the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    My Book Club, My Cooking Club, My High School Girls, The Martini Mamas and all my other friends – I look forward to those moments of loud joyful

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Friends

     

    laughter, funny stories, reminiscing and sharing.  And although I will only have a few opportunities to catch up this summer it is something I’m excited to do.

    Safeway – I miss my favorite grocery store and my tried and true staple items and ingredients.  It will be great fun to have a fully stocked American kitchen and I can’t wait to cook for my family just like the old days.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    More crab

    Ten varieties of lettuce, a dozen varieties of apples, eight different kinds of potatoes – I look forward to the gluttony of produce we have at our fingertips in the USA.

    My Hairdresser and my Manicurist – although I have had pretty good luck with both haircuts and manicures out here in the big wide world, it will be wonderful being back with my very own who I know and trust.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    My hairdresser and friend Michael

    Fourth of July – growing up this day was as anticipated as Christmas and I’m looking forward to a good ole summer family Fourth of July American BBQ – even if I have to plan it myself!  How American is that?  A patriot at heart and one of the summertime things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    Arne is looking forward to running everyday on familiar territory as well as baseball and good craft beer!

    So get ready USA we are on my way!!

    NOTE – WiFi will be infrequent if at all on the cruise. I hope to post when I can.

    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Fab Asia Travel

    500 Days of Summer

    A Sunny Travel Life

    Location: Lombok Indonesia

    Today marks 500 days on the road – and our grand adventure living 500 days of summer.  Coming from the often grey and misty state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, 500 Days of Summer was the goal.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Australia

    When we started planning our grand adventure, we set an itinerary

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Tunisia

    that kept us away from cold and rainy places.  And not just because we love the sun – but also because it’s easier to pack for these climates.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Guam

    And so it has gone along this way now, for 500 days.  Waking each morning and opening my eyes and saying “hey, it’s still summer.”  Nice.

    Now we can’t say we haven’t seen some cool, even cold days.  We were in New Zealand as

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Morocco

    summer turned to fall and we had some pretty chilly nights.  Even in North Vietnam the nights were cool and in Halong Bay the mist hung low and we never saw the sun. In Morocco the wind was brisk and our night in the Sahara Desert camp was downright nippy. Here in Indonesia, our time in the

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Maldives

    mountains brought thankfully cooler temps, but certainly not cold.

    500 days of aummer

    Sunny Portugal

    But mostly it’s been warm to hot to REALLY hot as we have navigated this summer life.  More than 16 months on the road and I’m on my third (and a half) swimsuit and needing a fourth.  I’m on my

    500 days of summer

    Sunny New Zealand

    third sun hat, second pair of sunglasses, second set of beach towels  and second pair of flip-flops. I’m on my third selfie stick, my tenth bottle of sunscreen and my fifth water bottle – misplacing

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Bulgaria

    four somewhere along the way. My sundresses are tired and faded from sun and sweat and constant washing.  I will retire all of these soon and go on a big shopping trip for fresh and new when

    500 days of summer

    Sunny India

    we get back to the states.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Namibia

    Because after our visit to the USA (May 14-Aug 7),where we hope it will be summer, we head off on the next phase of the grand adventure, at least

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Spain

    another 500 days of summer.

    But until then, summer continues here in Indonesia.

     

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Seychelles

    And life is sunny and fabulous!

     

    This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated if you make a purchase.  All money earned goes back to the cost of maintaining this blog.  Thank you.

     

     

     


    Fab Asia Travel

    Finding an Oasis at Puri Lumbung Cottages

    Munduk Bali Indonesia

    Location: Munduk, Bali, Indonesia

    We veered off our normal routine of staying in Airbnb’s these past few days. I am so glad we did, taking a chance on a little resort I read about in Lonely Planet, and finding an oasis in Puri Lumbung Cottages.

    Finding an oasis

    Mount Batur on our wat

    I could spend a month here.

    We are high (800 meters or 2500 feet) in the Bali mountains north and west of Ubud. We had a wonderful (but steep and winding) drive from

    Finding an oasis

    Temple Pura Ulun Danu

    Ubud to Munduk and saw many beautiful views in lush green terraced rice fields, lakes, volcanoes and temples.

    The weather here is cool and comfortable. Mornings are sunny and afternoons usually bring a

    Finding an oasis

    The view

    shower.

    This hotel has been a wonderful experience. We have a spectacular view overlooking the valley with the Java Sea (Pacific Ocean) in the distance about 7 miles away.  I love sitting on our balcony and watching the changing colors and cloud formations throughout the day – fabulous.

    Finding an oasis

    Beautiful gardens

    Finding an oasis at the Puri  Lumbung cottages was our lucky break.  With our friends John and Carole we paid $650 USD and here is what we got;

    • 2 beautiful cottages with bedroom, bath and balcony set in the rice fields overlooking the valley.  The cottages are historic rice barns
      Finding an oasis

      Our cottage

      that have been converted into cottages. The price included three nights.

    • Breakfast served in the restaurant each morning. Sometimes a buffet and sometimes ala carte, we enjoyed American style as well as Indonesian and Balinese style breakfast.
    • Guided trek to the local waterfall. We enjoyed this on our first morning and it was a tough
      Finding an oasis

      Waterfall trek

      and steep three mile hike. Very invigorating and boy did we work up a sweat.

    • Massage in the spa.  Our price included one massage for each of us, but since Arne doesn’t like massages I got two! Boy did that feel good after the hike!
    • Afternoon tea served on our balcony each
      Finding an oasis

      The village market

      day at three o’clock.

    • Guided trip to the local market followed by a cooking class for the four of us.  Here we learned to make a feast of local dishes using local ingredients. We then ate everything we
      Finding an oasis

      Our cooking class

      cooked and were so stuffed we didnt even need dinner.

    All of this included in the price.  Dinner was not included, but we ate dinner in the restaurant only one night and only spent $25 including drinks.

    So finding an oasis in Puri Lumbung cottages has been a special treat.  The staff is so friendly.

    Finding an oasis

    A “road” in the village

    Always smiling and happy. The hotel was started back in the 1940’s as a way to give the local people jobs.  Still today the friendly locals from the tiny village of Munduk work here.  Everyone from the receptionist to our trek guides.  The gardeners keep the grounds pristine.  The chef creates delicious food.  The housekeepers are excellent.  The massage therapist amazing. We have no complaints.

    Oh and the view. Bonus.

    Finding an oasis

    Afternoon tea

    Our Bali experience has been wonderful overall, but we will always remember our special time at the hidden Puri Lumbung (translation Rice Palace) where we relaxed and found some of the Bali of old – a bit lost in time where hospitality is king. It was our lucky day finding an oasis in Puri

    Finding an oasis

    Beautiful gardens

    Lumbung cottages.

    Matur Suksma (thank you very much)!

     

    Fab Oceania Travel

    Six Amazing Things Not to Miss in Sydney Australia

    My New Favorite City

    Location: Sydney Australia

    I usually prefer our more rural destinations more than our city destinations.  And yet – Suddenly Sydney.  I’m gobsmacked.  I wish I had the time to stay longer, but we used our time well, and discovered six amazing things not to miss in Sydney Australia.

    The Sydney Opera House – When visiting Sydney the Opera House will always top any list, as it does in our six Amazing Things not to miss in Sydney Australia.  At first glance I thought, “Huh – it’s not as white as I was expecting.”  At second blush I was enamored.  Wow.  When you are inside, you realize what a marvel of architecture and engineering is.  You don’t need to know anything about architecture or engineering to see clearly what an impressive

    Sydney Australia

    Sydney Opera House

    specimen it is.

    We booked a tour ahead on line, although we could have walked up that day and got on a tour.  We are here in the “shoulder” season, so at other times of

    Sydney Australia

    Interior of the Opera House

    the year these two-hour tours fill fast.  Our tour guide Lyn was incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the history, construction and current state of one of the most iconic buildings in the world.  I loved the tour and would do it again in a heart beat.

    We learned that the multiple theaters within the building are home to several resident companies, as well as an ever revolving schedule of visiting shows and artists.  While in Sydney we actually saw an outdoor opera, just across the bay looking back at the Opera House.  This seasonal show happens each March and April and it was a beautiful location to watch La Boheme outdoors with the lights of Sydney in the background.

    Sydney Australia

    The view from the outdoor opera

    We also got tickets to attend a dance/circus performance (think Cirque de Soleil on a small-scale) inside one of the theaters.  The multiple theaters in the opera house can seat anywhere from 200 to 2000 people, depending on the theatre, the show and the configuration.

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge – built in 1932 this bridge towers over the harbour with it’s beautiful

    Sydney Australia

    Sydney Harbour Bridge

    arched structure.  The bridge is the worlds largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge with 6 million hand driven rivets.  You can drive across, walk across, cycle across or take a boat and look at it from underneath.  There is also a museum in the top of one of the Pylons.  Although there is no lift, it’s worth the 200 steps and the $8.50 to see the view.

    But – the most amazing thing about the Sydney

    Sydney Australia

    On top of the bridge

    Harbour Bridge is you can walk to the top as part of the Sydney Bridge Clilmb.

    First let me tell you, it’s very EXPENSIVE.  Choke.  But I talked my husband into it, even though this is the kind of tourist activity he despises.  But, in hindsight, he loved it.  And once you spend the

    Sydney Australia

    Our tour group

    nearly four hours it takes from start to finish doing the bridge climb, the price no longer seems so high.  You are completely outfitted (remove all your clothing and wear the gear they provide), you are connected at all times to the bridge with a tether guide cable, you have a radio and headset that you use to listen to your guide.  You learn about construction, history, people – but most of all, you have the most amazing view you will ever see.  Particularly if you are lucky enough to enjoy the climb on a sunny and calm day like the day we went.  They climb rain or shine, and only stop the tours if the wind is 80km per hour.  You also get one heck of a work out.

    It’s difficult to describe this experience, but I sure am glad we did it.  Once in a lifetime.

    The Rocks and Circular Quay – the hub of

    Sydney Australia

    The view from Circular Quay

    Sydney’s tourism activity is The Rocks and Circular Quay.  Here is where you find the Sydney Opera House, the Cruise Ship Terminal, The Ferry Terminals, the Harbor Tour Boat Terminal, the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as many restaurants, bars and shops.  It’s a very hopping place with outdoor seating, views that go for miles and a happening vibe.

    Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk – we had exceptional weather the day we did this four mile one way walk along the Pacific Coast, but honestly it would be spectacular no matter the weather.  We

    Sydney Australia

    Coogee to Bondi

    took an Uber from our condo in Rushcutter’s Bay to Coogee (mid-day $17) and after a lovely cappuccino at Little Jack Horner we started the walk.  This meandering, paved and well-marked path is very popular with locals and visitors alike.  It is often touted as one of the most beautiful shoreline walks in the world.  And I have to agree.  I took so many photos – the turquoise blue water, the crashing waves, the cliffs and sandstone outcroppings.  Beautiful.  Easy.  A must do.

    Manly Ferry and Manly Beach – on our last day in Sydney we rode one of the many Sydney City Ferry boats to the popular destination of Manly – a small suburb of Sydney.  Manly now is a tourist destination with many shops and restaurants, but we headed straight to Manly Beach for a bit of

    Sydney Australia

    Sydney City Ferry

    R&R.  Manly is a surfer’s beach and much of the beach is off-limits to swimming due to high surf and strong undertow.  But areas on both ends of the beach are safe for swimming and lifeguards are on duty making sure everyone has a good time. A beautiful spot and a great place to work on your tan, watch the surfers and enjoy the Pacific views.

    Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney – Last but not least in our list of six Amazing Things not to miss in SYdney Australia. During our time in Sydney we were staying in an Airbnb in Rushcutter’s Bay, about two miles from Circular

    Sydney Australia

    Royal Botanic Gardens

    Quay.  There is metro and bus service, Uber and cabs, but since we really enjoy walking, we walked into town each day.  And each day we took a different path through Sydney’s stunning Botanical Gardens.  First let me say, this city is awash in green space.  Lovely pocket parks and grand expansive parks seem to be around every corner. But the 200-year-old Royal Botanic Gardens was my favorite.  We have visited many botanical gardens around the world.  I don’t believe we have visited any that were both FREE and so well manicured and presented.  Clearly a favorite for locals for the beautiful lawns to play and relax, the forested hills, the blooming flowers, the abundant bird life and

    Sydney Australia

    Royal Botanic Gardens

    the waterfront views.  All of this, a public park, free for the taking.  One of my most favorite things we discovered in Sydney.

    So there are my six amazing things not to miss in Sydney Australia.  I know I will need to return to this beautiful place, and find six, 12 or a hundred more amazing things.  And hopefully, it won’t be too long until I do.

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