Bondi Beach/sunburnPosted: February 20, 2011
When people say the sun is strong here, they mean it.
Today I went to Bondi Beach, the most famous beach in Sydney. It was everything I expected: fairly crowded with locals and tourists of all ages, hot, and absolutely wonderful. My friends and I put on lots of sunscreen and ran out into the waves. Being sure to stay between the red and yellow flags, we spent a few hours splashing around, swimming out and letting the marvelous surf carry us back in again. We managed to avoid rips, sharks, and jellyfish: three of the most common Australian beach perils. We did spot a few jellyfish, looking like little pieces of plastic floating on top of the waves. Once you see them, it’s easy to steer clear. In between waves, we walked to the surfers’ end of the beach to watch, um, the amateurs fall off their boards into the water. It was pretty funny, but I’ll definitely be one of those people at some point before I leave.
Getting to and from Bondi was an interesting experience. On a good day, getting from Macquarie University (the nearest train station to my college) to Bondi Beach requires two trains and a bus. Today, though, a combination of weekend train schedules and work on the train tracks made the journey a little more complicated. The part that would normally require two train rides turned into rides on three separate trains and a bus. We decided to forgo the final bus ride from Bondi Junction to the beach, and walked the 2 miles instead. It was a good decision. The path was all downhill, and we got to stop and sample treats at bakeries, fruit markets, and meat shops. On the way back, we were tired and sunburned and not interested in walking 2 miles uphill, so we caught the bus to Bondi Junction. The track work was still going on, but we were lucky enough to catch each train as it was pulling into the station, so the return journey was much smoother.
Overall, I had a great day at Bondi Beach. It was a classic Australian experience, and one I felt like I couldn’t leave without doing. Will I be back? Probably not. There are many other less crowded, less touristy beaches in Sydney that I’d love to visit. But Bondi was a lovely introduction to Australian beach culture, and a few hours there was all it took to rekindle my ongoing love affair with the ocean.