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Australia

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, Queensland, Travel By July 13, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

It was our last day in Australia and we were taking a direct flight from the Coolangatta airport to Changi. I was going to pick up Lia then fly back to Manila with her while Fabio was taking a connecting flight back to Turin. I went to the nearby shops to buy some make up that was requested by a friend, and for the first time, found the shop that is Typo, and subsequently fell in love with it. I will always love Typo and wish they would have shops in Europe.

We made plans to have dinner with a friend of mine from El Nido who married an Australian and living in the city. We did not make it in time for dinner though but managed to visit them at their home. We had good times over drinks and tapas. We also made a promise to come back and stay longer next time.

We had lunch and drinks by the beach the next day before packing, checking out of the hotel, and being picked up by our Uber driver in a Chrysler.

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Byron Bay and Coastal Road Trip, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 9, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

We decided to take a road trip from the cape down the coast all the way to Ballina. The coast was full of interesting beaches, some with expansive pure white sand while some were filled with boulders.

There were interesting lookouts and small seaside villages.

Lennox Head is a seaside village on the stretch of coast between Byron Bay and Ballina in Ballina Shire local government area with a population of 7,340 (2011 census) while Skennars Head is closer to Ballina, located at an elevation of approximately 33m above sea level.

Our last stop was East Ballina and what really stood out for me was the fact that it was a Saturday evening and this town was nearly empty.

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Lismore and Bangalow, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 7, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Bangalow is a small town with a population of 1,902. The town is 765 kilometres (475 mi) north of Sydney and 167 kilometres (104 mi) south of Brisbane, just off the Pacific Highway. With Nimbin to the west and Byron Bay to the east, Bangalow is in the centre of the counter culture.

“Bangalow is one of those country gems: a picturesque, largely nineteenth-century streetscape of tall verandahed buildings, shady trees and quiet parks. Bangalow’s historic buildings have been restored largely to their former style, retaining the wide verandahs that provide shady footpaths for al fresco dining. Restaurants, cafés, art galleries, oriental rug and antique shops now occupy the old banks and drapery stores. There is, however, still a remnant of the old country village in Bangalow, as evidenced by the CWA shop selling knitted teddies and lace doilies, the old pharmacy that retains its glass apothecary’s jars and wooden benches, and the old-fashioned hardware store.”

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Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 6, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Nothing prepared me for the strangeness of the village that is Nimbin, nestled in the middle of the mountains of northeastern New South Wales. In fact, I told Fabio that I wish he had told me where we were going so I could have looked it up beforehand and prepared myself for the shock of finding such a strange strip that is Nimbin.

The street starts in the middle of nowhere and ends abruptly. It is colorful, lined with emporiums, strange shops, and filled with people that in other places might have been shunned. One old man with unkempt long white hair and an equally long shaggy beard actually just dropped in the middle of the sidewalk after Fabio spoke to him, and some locals rushed to give him first aid. A father and two kids jumped out of their truck, all barefooted, and walked into a nearby shop. A lady with a nearly naked baby sat in a stool next to a shop door. A tattooed, emaciated-looking woman whispered almost to no one, “Cookies? Brownies?” as she walked by while a man sprawled on the pavement looked up to us and said, “You need anything mate?”

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Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By July 3, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

I wouldn’t say that Byron Bay in the northeast of New South Wales is a popular tourist destination. I have never heard of it before I found myself there. Still, Fabio said that’s where we were going because a friend of his told him it was where we should spend the longest time of our trip together and it is a wonderful place for surfing. He had only taken up surfing in Duli Beach in El Nido with my friends from Surf El Nido, and in La Union with my friends from Four A’ces Surf School, but he was already hooked.

Byron Bay is 772 kilometers north of Sydney and 165 kilometers south of Brisbane. To get there, there are three airports within 2 hours drive.

And why were we in Australia again? Because Fabio, ever since he was young had told himself he would never every get married, not even if he fathered a child. He did not believe in marriage. And yet, he wanted to complete his bucket list. Apparently he had a bucket list he wanted to complete before settling down, for this man whom I met in the middle of his travels and have been traveling for nearly half his life, was on his way home.

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Blue Mountains Three Sisters and Lincoln’s Rock, New South Wales, Australia

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 27, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

From the Botanic Gardens we drove to Blue Mountains to join the hordes of tourists at Three Sisters at Echo Point. Blue Mountains is approximately 50 kilometers NW of the Sydney CBD. Since it is a mountain range, several established towns are situated on its heights, including Katoomba, Blackheath, Mount Victoria, and Springwood.

The Three Sisters is the Blue Mountains’ most spectacular landmark and is essentially an unusual rock formation representing three sisters who according to Aboriginal legend were turned to stone.

From Blue Mountains, we drove to Lincoln’s Rock, a scenic lookout in Wentworth Falls. Sometimes it is closed and we were lucky to have been able to visit it. “As well as the all-encompassing views of Jamison Valley, which change colour throughout the day as the sun and clouds move overhead, the drawcard of Lincoln’s Rock is the impressive optical-illusion photo you can get as a memento, which makes it appear as though you’re sitting literally on the edge of a cliff.”

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Milano Torino Restaurant Sydney, Australia

Australia, Lifestyle, New South Wales, Travel By June 26, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

There is a restaurant in Torino called Milano Torino. According to its website, it is named after “a cocktail, first served in the 1860’s, made by equal parts Campari, the bitter liqueur, from Milan (Milano) and Cinzano, the vermouth, from Turin (Torino).” It is located mostly out of the way out there in Epsom Road in Rosebery.

Milano Torino serves “Northern Italian cuisine with a focus on regional food from Piedmont, and Vermouth Bar. Their philosophy is seasonal, organic and fresh food, using only the the best produce available on the market, including many goods imported directly from Italy.”

It is a fairly small and private restaurant good for couples, friends, and families with kids.

Although the restaurant has a regular menu, it also prides itself in having a dish or two that is dependent on what’s available on the market and the chef’s inspiration.

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Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 25, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Sydney is a beautiful city. Australia is amazing. But so are the prices! Prices of accommodations and food are nearly off the charts, and that’s coming from someone who has been to Denmark and Switzerland. Well, they’re all expensive but still, compared to these countries, and cities like Zurich or Singapore, Italy seems even affordable.

We took the ferry at the Manly Wharf to get to Sydney Harbour, getting off at Wharf #3 at the Circular Quay. The Fast Ferry takes one on this route from Manly to Circular Quay affording one beautiful views of the Sydney Opera House from nearly all angles.

We walked along the Circulay Quay to get to the Sydney Opera House, past numerous sitting areas, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

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Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia (March 2016)

Australia, New South Wales, Travel By June 21, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

From St Kilda Beach, we took the light rail back to the city center, back to the Melbourne Central station where we had stashed our bags in a locker, and took the bus to the airport. We flew from Melbourne to Sydney that day and arrived shortly before dinner. We were picked up at the airport by my sister’s entire family and we had dinner afterwards. It was the first time Fabio met my sister and her family and it was my first time to see them again after five years.

The next day, we decided to take an Uber car from our flat to bring us to Manly Beach. Manly Beach is a great Sydney beach for the whole family. The Manly Scenic Walkway meanders around the harbour foreshore from The Spit Bridge via Dobroyd Head to Manly through some of Sydney Harbour’s most stunning scenery and bushland. It takes about three to four hours to complete.

We could hear loud live music playing from the beach and I convinced Fabio to come check it out. We were lucky enough to watch one of my favorite Australian indie bands perform! I was so happy! Hahaha!

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