My Favourite Sydney Cafe Right Now

My Favourite Sydney Cafe Right Now

I’ve blogged about their Masala Lattes, and now I’m going to blog about their food.

The Shack in Newtown is one of my favourite cafe’s in Sydney right now.

I mean check out the feature image of my incredible green smoothie bowl I ordered – yum!

I thought I’d better mention, this blog is not sponsored by The Shack in anyway – I just really love the food, people and atmosphere there, so wanted to share that with you all.

For those who know me really well, I love my brunch mornings, so dining out during the day, at some of the best cafes Sydney has to offer is one of my favourite things to do.

Being allergic to many foods and having specific dietary requirements, means I often prefer to cook my own dinners, rather than trying to find the right restaurant in Sydney, that will cater for what I need. But brunch, is a whole different story. Especially in Sydney.

Brunch at The Shack does a brilliant job catering for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and so many other peeps like myself with special dietary requirements. I absolutely love it.

The staff are always friendly and are super helpful when you can’t decide on what you want. They are always full of helpful tips to help you change any meal too, in case you want some changes – they are always happy to accommodate.

Now, they do have a few different locations around Sydney, but Newtown was their first and is definitely my fave spot. I mean, it’s Newtown. One of the best people watching locations in Sydney, where a WIDE variety of different personalities wander past on a regular basis.

So, if you’re looking for a good place to eat, in a trendy and hip area – definitely check out The Shack – you won’t be disappointed.

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This image is c/ The Shack. I did take a photo of the beautiful Chicken Kebabs and Couscous salad I ordered, however as it was a very overcast day, the lighting was terrible and I hated the photo I took. So, I have borrowed one from The Shack to give you an idea of what the food is like. I did take the photo of my yummy green smoothie bowl though – which was taken on a different day I went.

The Shack Newtown, 415 King Street.

Exploring the inside of the Titanic

Exploring the inside of the Titanic

Okay, so it wasn’t the actual Titanic – but it was still interesting to explore what it would have been like inside the Titanic.

In case you hadn’t heard, there is an exhibition running in Sydney at the moment called ‘Titanic The Exhibition’. I won’t go on about it, because, well we all know the story of the Titanic. And if you don’t know the story – then where the hell have you been for the last 100 years or more LOL.

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The exhibition mostly has items (in perfect condition) that were inside the sister ship of the Titanic, called the Olympic. So, nothing that was actually recovered from the shipwreck itself (not that there was overally that much to recover anyway) is on display here. Most of the items which were discovered floating around after the ship went down, are actually at the Titanic Museum in Belfast. None the less, the exhibition was still really interesting to see.

With many rooms set up to show you what it would have been like in the First Class cabins bedrooms, hallways and of course the very famous staircase in the main foyer of the ship. From start to finish, the exhibition gives you a story of how the concept of the ship came about, to its final moments, when it sunk down to the bottom of the sea.

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Even though we all know the story, the saddest part was seeing the long (very long) list of people who perished on the ship. Especially the Third Class list of people’s who were trapped, with no way of getting out. Appalling really.

I would definitely recommend a visit to the exhibition, as the items on display which include, original antique chairs, plates and clothes is pretty cool to see; even if they are from the Olympic, not the Titanic.

And as a special treat (whether you liked the movie or not), at the end of the exhibition, there is a display of some of the outfits used in the famous James Cameron film adaption of the terrible event.

A ticket will cost you around $35. You can pay at the door, but if you go on a weekend, definitely book online here, as it gets pretty busy.

(This post is not sponsored by the Exhibition)

Swimming in the Red Sea

Swimming in the Red Sea

What’s better than drinking coffee to wake up in the morning? Swimming in the Red Sea of course.

If you have been following my blogs, then last week you would have read all about our crazy day trip to Petra from Dahab in Egypt – where we got stranded in the Jordanian Desert.

Well, to follow on from the craziness; and after finally getting back to the hotel to sleep at 1am in the morning (after being awake since 3am the previous morning – long day, phew!), we had scheduled ourselves another crazy morning the following day. Or rather the same day, seeing as we got back at 1am… The alarm went off at 7am – eek! Why, because we were leaving at 8am to go for a snorkel in the Red Sea. And, you know what, it was the best thing to do of a morning – better than coffee! Yes you heard that right, andย  from a coffee addict. Swimming in the Red Sea was seriously the best way to recover from the previous long adventure, and the most amazing way to wake up in the morning.

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Oh, did I mention that straight after our swim, we then had a 12pm flight back to Cairo – why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

This was seriously one of the best Egyptian Experiences we did. And, please excuse my ignorance when I say this, but I had no idea that there was such an incredible tropical plant and sea life in the Red Sea. The snorkelling was amazing and exactly what we needed to start our day. Not only was the fresh air, and salty water invigorating in the morning, it was an educational experience to see what The Red Sea was really like. I literally had no idea how blue the water was, how clean the water was and how amazing the life was there. If you are looking for unique travel experience, in a part of the world I had no idea existed – then Sharm-el-sheik and the little seaside town of Dahab, is definitely the place to go to. As our time there was so last minute and incredibly rushed, I do plan to get back there one day, hopefully soon.

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Selfie in the water

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The stunning Red Sea

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We got stranded in the Jordanian Desert

We got stranded in the Jordanian Desert

So, our Arabian day trip to Jordan turned into a nightmare adventure in the desert.

When holidaying in the Middle East (even in their winter), most of your days start really early in the morning. This is to accommodate for travel time through the desert to get to an awesome location, or to beat the intense heat of the day; which generally starts firing up around 12pm. Our day to Petra started at 3am! This was because we were staying in Dahab of Egypt, not in Jordan. So, we had to travel by bus from Dahab to a place called Taba, where you then catch a fancy Jordanian ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Aqaba, before getting on a bus, which takes you through the Jordanian desert to Petra. Altogether it’s around a 7hr trip – one way, with stops.

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Before you ask “why on earth would you do that to yourself.” Our visit to Petra was a last minute decision, so, we didn’t have time to get visas or book any accommodation.

All in all, it’s an amazing experience to go through, even thought you’re a zombie for the first few hours of the trip. And by the time the buses are ready to leave Petra; anywhere between 2-3pm, you are definitely dreaming of how good it will feel to have your head on a pillow right about now.

I managed to snag a good seat at the front of the bus, all too myself, where I can lay down and try to get some zz’s before we get to the Ferry. Before I drift off, dad mentions he can smell fuel and is concerned. I shake it off and tell him it’s probably a diesel bus. I’m asleep for almost an hour, when dad wakes me to tell me we have broken down. So, he did smell fuel. The bus had sprung a leak. It’s still driveable, but the drive is concerned it will catch fire, especially in the horrible afternoon heat of the desert.

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The driver calls a few other bus drivers, who were part of the tour, to check if any one has available seats to take his now stranded 50 passengers. No such like – all the buses are full. We wait 30 minutes on the side of the road (in the heat, as it’s difficult to stay on the bus when it stinks of fuel), for a bus driver who says he will stop and take a look at the engine. Unfortunately, there is nothing he can do – so he tells our driver to continue 30 minutes down the road to a fuel stop, where we can all at least get out of the head, and get something to eat and drink.

It’s now around 5pm, and with the sun setting behind the rocky mountains of the Jordanian desert the bus driver makes an executive decision to continue driving the bus, to see if we can make it to the ferry port. Which is around 1 and a half hours away and the ferry have stated they will wait for us. The question is, how long will they wait. Especially when all the other bus loads of tourists have already arrived and are now sitting on the ferry.

By 6pm (or maybe it’s 7pm) we are now stranded in the desert. The bus overheated and broke down. The sun has gone (along with the eat) and we are surrounded by darkness, save for the stars in the sky, and the small campfires scatters across the desert from the Bedouin campsites. Our poor bus driver is in such a state, we should have been back at the ferry by 5pm and back into Egypt at around 6pm. But instead, we are sitting by the side of the road in Jordan, waiting in the dark for help.

Than, at around 8pm – our saviour arrives, in the form of a Jordanian Truck Driver. He saw the bus and stopped to check if everything was okay. He works some magic on the bus, and gets her going again – but warns the bus drive not to stop – just go and head straight to the ferry.

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It’s freezing now. None of us were equipped to for a desert night and the temp has fallen from a hot 35 to a now freezing 10 degrees. But we finally make it to the ferry – 3 hours late. The ferry actually waited for us, for 3 long hours – along with all it’s passengers, who have been sitting there for 3 hours. There’s a small cheer as we pile onto the ferry and away we go – speeding across the gulf.

It’s 1am by the time we get back to the hotel. Exhausted and over the whole day, we don’t even eat. We don’t even shower, we don’t have the energy.

 

 

My Arabian Adventure through Jordan

My Arabian Adventure through Jordan

I travelled from the Red Sea, across the Gulf of Aqaba and into Jordan to explore the ancient city of Petra.

If you have never heard of Petra, then no offense, but you have been living under a rock. This place is seriously incredible and super amazing to experience for yourself. Ever since I was nine years old, when I watched Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I’ve always wanted to visit the ancient Roman city of Petra in Jordan.

Forgotten through time and hidden in history, Petra remained unknown to the Western world until around 1812, when it was introduced to a Swiss Explorer Joann Ludwig Burckhardt. It’s been estimated the ancient city of Petra was built by the Romans as early as 312BC, and was the capital city of the Roman Arabia.

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Hidden deep in those mountains, is the Ancient Roman City of Petra.

I’ve actually never been to Rome, but spending a whole day wandering though the incredible natural rock formations of the Jordanian mountains and exploring this amazing ancient Roman city, makes me want to buy a ticket right away. But what makes Petra way more unique and completely different to anything in Italy, is that this entire ancient Roman city, consisting of temples, bath houses, market places, ancient city walks, houses and amphitheatres has been hidden from the world’s eyes for centuries.

True to the nature of ancient Roman construction, the entire ancient city has been built to perfection and I can’t believe how well preserved it is today. Possible due to the radical shift in our climate over many centuries, with little no rain falling over the Petra region for many years, from the stone paths to the temples carved right into the mountain, it’s no wonder Petra has become a symbol of Jordan. As well as being Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction.

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My tired eyes, having been up since 3am to make the trek from Egypt to Jordan.

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The ancient rock pathways on route to Petra

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The Ancient Petra Temple used in Indian Jones.
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Roman Ruins of Petra

I’d also like to shout out to all the Jordanian people, who are super hospitable, warm and friendly and a lot of fun to hang around. Thanks for letting me visit your amazing country.

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