Here are three pictures from our time in Sydney, see if you can spot the theme of our time here.
Mr Beet at Manly Beach
The Mardi Gras parade
Mr Beet in the Blue Mountains
As you can see the weather for more or less the entire fortnight has been absolutely filthy. Sydney is not really a city that is shown to its best effect during grey and wet weather, so it has been fairly underwhelming. But we’ve still found plenty of fun things to do.
The weather on the first day was actually not too bad. This was the view from the roof of our hostel. There would normally be a better view of the Opera House, but someone had parked a huge boat in the way.
Our hostel is in a place called the Rocks. Sydney is the oldest city in Australia and the Rocks is the oldest part of Sydney. Therefore the walking tour that we took in the area was very heavy on the historical buildings. It was all “behold ye olde house”
“Behold ye olde street”
“Behold ye olde pub”
Of course, the problem is that to European eyes none of it looks particularly old, let alone olde. Still it’s a very nice area, it reminded me of a slightly fancier Nottingham.
After the Rocks, we wander into the city centre to see the big-hitting tourist attractions; the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, and we get a closer look at that big boat that’s in the harbour at the moment.
Then we stroll round the botanic gardens in the rain, and we see lots of ibises, cockatoos and enormous bats.
On our second day we attempt a bit of exploration in the main business and shopping district. But Sydney is so expensive that shopping is not really an option. We head to the Art Museum, but since it will cost $50 for us to go into the Picasso exhibition, we have to settle for a look round the free permanent collection. We can barely afford to eat in Sydney!
On day three we go to the wildlife park and the aquarium and see kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, crocodiles, emus, cassowaries, sharks, penguins, spiders and snakes galore.
It’s lovely to see a friendly face on our travels, and Sydney scores very highly in that respect. I meet up with a old tkd friend Clare and an old breaking buddy Mark.
Mark lives in Manly, a ferry ride away from Sydney. The Manly Ferry is a good opportunity to get a good view of the harbour, and there are lots of yachts braving the dismal weather.
Manly is a beach town and there are still plenty of surfers despite the rain.
We take a coastal walk; nice views and lots and lots of spiders.
In the evening we head into town and try to get a sheltered spot on the route of the Mardi Gras parade. We prioritise shelter over view, so we don’t see much except the tops of the floats, but at least we stay dry and it’s a really good atmosphere.
After a few days in the Blue Mountains we return to Sydney, hoping for better weather. And we’re in luck. A ferry over to Taronga Zoo is much more picturesque in the sunshine, and the animals have some great views back across to the city.
Our luck with the weather holds for another day and so we waste no time in heading to Bondi Beach; too rough for swimming but we could watch the surfers to our hearts’ content.
Our final day was another sunny one and we headed up to the top of the Sydney Tower for some views over the city, followed by an afternoon picnicking lazily in the Botanical Gardens.
More photos from Sydney are on Mr Beet’s flickr page.