I can’t remember exactly how many times I have previously been to Sydney, but such visits had typically been road-rage fueled drives on the way back from family holidays with no actual stopping to see the sites. I also stayed for two nights at the end of 2013 for a conference, but I didn’t see anything other than the King St, Parliament House and the University of Sydney where I was staying.
We arrived Monday afternoon, so with the remaining couple of hours of daylight we walked from our hostel in Glebe Point to the CBD for dinner. Afterwards we wandered down to the opera house, and to our surprise fireworks began as soon as it came into view!
I met up for lunch with Chris at the Sydney Fish Markets. We weren’t really sure what to expect, other than what I had seen online recommending it for a picnic lunch. It turned out to be the perfect place for food, if you like seafood!
You could choose your fish fresh and take it home, or have it cooked up for you. Alternatively all the fish mongers also had a restaurant addition that sold seafood precooked, mainly deep fried, or covered in cheese. I didn’t realise how expensive some seafood could be, half a small lobster covered in melted cheese would set you back between 20 and 30 dollars. Needless to say we didn’t get that!
In the end we purchased a ‘BBQ plate’ from one of the restaurants (‘It only serves one’ said the lady who served us. Yes, one superhuman) and some fresh seafood sushi. The tables outside seemed to have a liquor license, as the bottle shop inside sold plastic cups when you purchased a drink. It was such a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy our delicious lunch in the bustling atmosphere.
After eating our fill we headed into the CBD for a free walking tour. They are the same company as the tour Chris and I took in Melbourne a couple of months back. It is always a great way to see the city and learn about the history of a place. Plus, you get to learn about quirky little things you probably wouldn’t otherwise, such as this statue of a dog (modeled after one of the Queen’s old pets) that talks, asking you to throw money in the fountain!
The weather was perfect again, though it began to fade later in the afternoon.
I loved this little laneway full of bird cages. Recordings of the songs of various native birds that used to live in the area prior to the building of the city are played, changing from day to nocturnal birds in the evening. The names of all the birds were also engraved in the concrete path. It was a beautiful, but also a reminder of what we have lost through our growth as humans.
The last part of the tour ventured down the Rocks, the historic precinct of the city. It was a funky little area of old style buildings, laneways and pubs, with a great view across the bay. Quite a contrast to the convicts that used to live in the area during the days of early settlement.
For dinner we caught the train out to King Street, which feels like Sydney’s attempted answer to Brunswick (don’t worry, Brunswick still wins in the hipster/alternative games). We had planned to check out the local Lentil as Anything, but we found a massive line waiting at the door! Our hunger was a bit stronger than our curiosity, so we settled for one of the other numerous eateries in the area.
On our way back home we checked out an enormous second hand book shop I remember looking at when I was in town for a conference. We didn’t buy anything, but it is amazing just to look at the sheer amount of books in the building.
Today we have one more full day in town, before hitting the road again tomorrow!