Wednesday, February 9, 2011
So You Come From A Land Downunder...
Good-bye New Zealand - It's been a blast and I love you!
And now I'd like to re-introduce my friend Tasha. Tasha was also on my trek to Macchu Piccu in Peru and she helped me when I got the awful infection on my legs from some crazy bugs on the trek. She is an Aussie and lives in Sydney. I arrived in Sydney around 2 p.m. and caught the train to the main Central Station where I made my way to her office. Her boyfriend, Matt, picked us up and we were off to her place in Ashfield. He made a great Salmon dinner, we chatted and they gave me tips on where to go the next day. Sydney is 2 hours behind New Zealand, so it felt much later than it actually was. I hit the sack and slept really hard - whew, long day!
The next morning, I hit the tourist trail. I took the train from Tasha's place to Town Hall and started exploring. I purchased a transportation day pass which would allow me to take all methods of transport for the day - train, bus and ferry. I took out my handy dandy street map and I was off. First I wandered over to Darling Harbor. To get there, I walked over a pedestrian bridge and on the other side I found a plethora of shops, restaurants, cinemas and bars. Until the arrival of Europeans, the Cadigal people, the original Aboriginal inhabitants of the area around Sydney Cove, called Darling Harbour Tumbalong (place where seafood is found). When Sydney was founded in 1788, the bay was called Long Cove because of its unusual length. The large shell middens left by generations of Cadigal people in the area soon saw the name Cockle Bay come into everyday use. In 1826 the bay was again renamed-this time becoming Darling Harbour in honour of Governor Ralph Darling-Sydney's Governor at the time. In the 1970s, the area transformed from "derelict docklands to a sparkling international playground".
From Darling Harbour, I had plans to meet my friend Karoline one last time. She was heading back home to Germany. We met at the Circular Quay (pronounced K-E-Y), the most popular train stop in the city as it takes you to the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. We sat by the water and chatted about our travels one last time. What a great person! We said good-bye and she was off to the airport - safe travels my friend!
From Circular Quay, I boarded a ferry and headed to Watson Bay. Watson Bay is the suburb on the outermost shores of the southern side of the Sydney harbor. I didn't really have a concrete reason for going to Watson Bay, other than there is a famous Fish and Chips restaurant there, Doyle's, and I wanted to get out on the water. I had my fish and chips lunch, wandered for a short while and hopped on a bus to the famous, Bondi Beach. It wasn't a super sunny beach day, but I had to go, it's iconic! There are boobies at Bondi - yes, some are topless - all my male compadres would appreciate it, I am sure! Bondi is a beach community located about 7km east of Sydney's CBD (Central Business District). Bondi or "Boondi" is an aboriginal word that means water or noise breaking over rocks. The Bondi Icebergs Swimmers Club which dates back to 1929 has a salt water pool at the north end of the beach. Speedos are the norm here - hmm. Bondi Beach is also the location of a reality show called Bondi Rescue which documents life guard rescues from the sometimes rough waters.
From Bondi, I took a bus to the train station and caught a train to Central, where I met Natasha. We took the train to Newtown which is an "alternative neighborhood". It actually reminds me of The Mission District in San Francisco. We went to Zanzibar hung out on their wonderful rooftop bar. It was a very cool environment. The really cool thing about this bar was the free manicures! Yes, free! A lady came around and said "Ladies, we have free manicures downstairs". I had to triple check my hearing - did she say free? Yes, free! Very cool. We left with our newly done nails and called it a night!
My first touring day in Sydney was a success! I like it here! It's a bay/harbor city, just like home!
Posted by Patricia Joanne at 1:35 PM