Sunny Busy Sydney

After two days off “seeing stuff” I was really looking forward to go into Sydney on Thursday. Stretching the old legs and walking some of the excellent food off. So we caught 9am train from Turramurra into Sydney getting off at Milsons Point. 40mins direct connection. Easy. This got us straight to the foot of Sydney Bridge. Quick picture post card look towards the Opera House from Bradfield Park underneath the bridge, ticking off the first thing off a very long to-do list.

Then we walked across the bridge with even more fantastic views over the river, the CBD to our right and the Opera House and more neighbourhoods to the left on the North shore.

Down into the Rocks afterwards. The Rocks is the oldest part of the city and there are still houses from the 19th century which gives this area quite a European feel and is an interesting contrast to the towering skyscrapers behind those original buildings.

Walked along a super busy Circular Quay, then around the Opera House and over to the Shangri-la Hotel for High Tea with Rich’s brother in law’s brother Stuart, his wife and two daughters. Once more it was great to meet new people and we had an amazing three story tray of sweet and savoury nibbles along with pretty darn good Earl Grey.

Top notch!

Had a quick look at the start of the Sydney-Hobart race start from the 36th floor, but could only see the many black sails dotted in the water in the distance. Sadi goodbye to Stuart and his family before heading West towards the water again.

Marvelled at some more old building in The Rocks and even found a brewery. Half 1. time for a drink. It happened to be the oldest hotel in Sydney even and we just sat outside with our beverages enjoying the atmosphere… and the shade, it was hot!

Historic buildings in The Rocks
Lord Nelson Hotel and Brewery

We could’ve stayed longer, but wanted to make the most of the day, so onwards we walked through Barangaroo Reserve which is a little nice park by the river, into Barangaroo South and King St. Wharf full of restaurants, bars and some funky skyscrapers.

Barangaroo Reserve
Full of Skyscrapers
With the odd one thrown in here and there
Looking back along the river front of King St. Wharf

Had gelato at Rivareno which was lush. Non of their flavours was box standard. I had chocolate and pistachio which was as thick as melted chocolate, but ice cream at the same time. Rich’s scoop had caramelised pecans in it and was just as yummy.

We kept walking along Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. It got ever more busy, but we still quite enjoyed it. There were some nice old ships outside the Maritime Museum.

Looking back at where we walked along. Darling Harbour/Cockle Bay
One of two replicas of HMS Endeavour, the bark commanded by Lieutenant James Cook when he charted New Zealand and discovered the eastern coast of Australia

Then headed over to Paddy’s Markets ticking another thing off our list. It was full of tack, not really a place for Rich, I actually enjoyed walking along the isles full of cheap tourist shirts, (very likely) counterfeit clothing from know brands, jewellery, Aussie leather hats, boomerangs and more tack.

Paddys Markets

Back towards the harbour through the small China Town and a qick beer back at one of the bars in Darling Harbour for Rich. I wasn’t really in the mood. It was 17:30 now and we had enough of walking after like 14k or so.

So back onto the train from Town Hall which was a large underground station nesteled seamlessly into a mall. Reminded me very much of a few central underground stations in Singapore.

Got off at Pymble half 6pm, got picked up by Gary and spent the evening at Jess’ mom’s house with left over food and the best beer battered fish made by Jess’ sister. Once more we were so grateful for being invited and the guys sharing such a lovely meal with us. Drinks back at the house and a bit of chinwag before it was time for bed.

So day one in Sydney done. What did I think of it? It’s big, it’s busy. It’s different than Brisbane. Different vibe and feel, but still an Aussie city of course. We only did the very touristy bits today, so can’t really make up my mind yet. I really liked The Rocks though and if time permits we’ll explore more of it. We’ve ticked off quite a few things from our list, but there is still so much more to do. We’ll explore some of the neighbourhoods away from the tourist drags to really get a feel. But first, a nice coastal walk on Friday.

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