Well. That went fast. It seems like no time at all has passed since I folded down the tray table in front of me to write a blog post on the airplane as I jetted off to Sydney for a month. And now, here I am, sitting in Kilkenny, wearing a jumper with not an ounce of suncream in sight. It’s a cruel world, but I tell you what, for those 4 weeks it was a very nice one.
It was my first time in Australia so I knew it was going to be action packed. It helped having my very own tour guide in the form of Dee, who is an Aussie citizen. So even though Dee had seen and done it all before, having four weeks meant we could take our time do as much or as little as we wanted.
I’ll try not to bore you all too much but for those that are interested our stay consisted of us staying in Paddington for the first few nights with Dee’s friend and downright funny man Tag. Being funny helps him out greatly as he’s a standup comedian. So that’s lucky for him – and his audience. Paddington is superb and super cool. Lots of cool cafe’s, bars and boutique shops mean you could spend the day there just pottering around taking it all in. Later in this post you see a lot of street photography with graffiti and so on, that’s all from the Paddington area.
After a few days we then went off with Dee’s family to Patonga for the Christmas week and is about an hour and half north of Sydney. What’s in Patonga? Pretty much nothing. You go there to get away from it all. There’s a beach, a cafe and a pub. What more do you need? (a phone signal would have been nice but hey ho, we’re on holiday). Dee’s sister Gráinne who is a stickler for her details (and runs the amazing Splendid Days) did a great job in finding us this really beautiful little beach house to stay at. You know that whole Shabby Chic look that girls love? Well yeah… it had all that. And a pool.
Our stay in Patonga consisted of stocking up on vast quantities of food and wine to then consume it while lazing around on the porch, building up food sweats and with it the courage to take a dip in the pool. And plenty of dips did we take. Aside from eating and drinking we spent some time in Avoca (not that fancypants shop that we all know and love back home) but the beach town a bit further up the coast. Beautiful place and home to the best burger I’ve ever had. Thank you Burger Girls! We also spent an evening with Dee’s long time friend Jayne and Ryan and their two super cool little boys Nate and Fletcher. While Dee caught up with the adults I built a scalextric track with the two boys and kept Fletcher entertained with the go pro. (More on that later) Fun times!
When we returned to Sydney after what was truly a lovely week the rest of our stay was centered around Sydney. We put on our tourist hats and did it all! The Bridge Climb (Awesome!), the Harbour Jet boat (Soaked!!), Para Sailing (Seriously soaked!), Sydney Tower (amazing views!) the Imax (Holy molly my eyes!), Bondi – where I kid you not after walking about 30 seconds down the main street there is Jason Donovan right in front of me waiting to cross the road. Mental. We took in the Bondi to Bronte walk which leaves you just gobsmacked at it’s beauty. We also spent a ton of time out in Manly which when you have skin like mine that hasn’t seen the sun in it’s lifetime and reflects more light than it absorbs, is not as an embarrassing place to lie and sunbath as somewhere like Tamarama (nick named Glamorama for obvious reasons). Aside from touristy things I managed to meet up with a old friend Gretta who I used to work with but hadn’t seen in 8 years and it was as if those 8 years didn’t exist. Two great nights with her and her mates in Newtown and we can’t wait to see her when she’s back in Ireland later this year.
I even managed to meet up with two couples who’s weddings I’m shooting this year here in Ireland. I did my best to convince them that they should get married in Sydney and fly me over to shoot their day but unfortunately no matter how many pints I bought them they just weren’t having it. Must try harder next time.
Highlight of the trip for me had to be New Years Eve. I have never seen anything like it. Totally and utterly unbelievable. Dee and I along with two of Dee’s mates, Tom and Eimear got tickets for a boat on the harbor for the evening and we couldn’t have picked a better place to witness it all from. These fireworks just take the biscuit. It’s utterly insane. 15 solid minutes of exploding color and glitter in the skies. And not just off the bridge either, from the shore line and off the top the skyscrapers too! Utterly bonkers and leaves you feeling strangely quite emotional and over awed. Thinking back gives me goosebumps it really does.
All in all, it was one almighty trip. Before I set off on this trip I went to dinner with a bunch of wedding photographers for our Christmas night out. (You miss out on these Christmas parties when you don’t work in an office so we just created our own). I had asked them what camera should I bring when I’m away. I didn’t want to bring too much equipment as I didn’t want to spend my time taking photos. Everyone told me to bring the 5D (the camera I use for my weddings). So, I did. Along with my Panasonic G2 and my latest and great toy – the Go Pro 2 HD. It’s utterly the business! Recently I’ve become a stickler for video and before I set off on the trip I had an idea to record this journey from my own perspective and to make a real snappy video. Short clips that would detail our trip in the order that they were taken. Almost like a storybook of the full four weeks. I stuck to my guns and with the help of the Go-Pro and some video from the amazing 5D and GF2 I created this video when I got back.
So…This is over 200 gigs (or 8 hours) of raw footage condensed into 4 and half minutes for your viewing pleasure.
Sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy. Oh and I hope you like the photos too.
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