Christmas Time in Sydney – Beach, Sun and Heat?

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Christmas Day on Bondi Beach. I’m thinking of a blazing summer sun, white sand, Father Christmas surfing the waves, and plenty of food and drink. Or not…

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it can’t be cold, grey and rainy. Apparently.

Christmas Eve we were full of big plans. Collecting our money together for a Christmas feast, packing towels and sun block into our bags and donning our swim suits under our clothes. We celebrated the night before Christmas with a little party and a late night swim in the apartment building’s basement pool, which turned into me racing Christian in Butterfly across the pool (I still have perfect form even if I’m not the fastest thank you very much!) before a sing-along of all the cheesiest songs we could think of. After all, what’s Christmas without a sing-song!

Then it arrived! Christmas morning! I woke up to the beautiful….grey, cold, wet and windy Sydney?! Okay, not exactly what I expected. But it’s not every day you’re in Australia for Christmas, so we weren’t going to let a little weather deter us. After all, it was pretty much like every day of my life in the UK. We’re used to this kind of stuff.

I headed to Bondi Beach which was noticeably less packed than predicted thanks to that chilly wind. We gathered under one of the few wooden pavilions and huddled together to enjoy our Christmas feast. At least the weather couldn’t stop us eating good food. Roast chicken, smoked salmon, pasta salads and plenty of wine. Yummm…  I felt like a real flashpacker at that point, even if I was freezing with my towel wrapped around me for warmth.

A few people decided to grab tickets for Sunburnt Christmas – the ‘official’ Bondi Christmas party. I did without, although the shelter of the pavilion did look appealing…  Apparently our food was a lot better than theirs anyway, so I feel pretty good about my decision.

So in general – Christmas was fun, although not exactly what I pictured. This is my second Christmas away from home. Last year I was in Thailand, this year Australia. Next year… who knows! Perhaps I’ll make it back to the family, although there’s no telling what continent they’ll be on come next year either, so you’ll just have to keep reading!

Now it’s that strange time in between Christmas and New Years when not much makes sense. I posted this last year, but it’s still my favourite skit about this strange week from Michael McIntyre. And finally, thanks to everyone who sent Christmas cards from around the world to me here in Sydney. It means a lot to know you guys are still thinking of me, and please know I’m thinking of you too! I promise, postcards are slowly but surely on their way. There’s a very long list of you, so patience please!

I have high hopes for my Sydney New Years Eve and New Years Day, so watch this space for the story of what should be an epic welcome to the new decade!

Marianne McPhee
Marianne McPhee was born in London and has been a traveler throughout her life. She spent her summers in France and Spain on a boat, her teenage years living in the USA, and months backpacking through Europe and Morocco. She has spent eight months traveling through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia where she also taught English and then ventured to Australia for more exploration. She is a graduate from Boston University and currently works in the travel industry in London.
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