Monday, October 20, 2008
The Rocks is one of the oldest parts of the city. We visited Cadman's Cottage, the oldest private house still standing in Sydney. Mind you, this is less than 200 hundred years old! It is situated on the western side of Circular Quay.
We then walked along The Rocks markets to the base of Sydney Harbour Bridge. This offered great views of Syndey Harbour and the Opera House. We then climbed up to the Observatory Park which gave us views out over the western part of the harbour.
We had Turkish food for lunch at The Rocks, and then walked back towards Circular Quay. There was a Turkish festival taking place at the Quay, with a live band playing foot tapping music, and food stalls all around. We had some great Turkish sweets and tea with the music playing in the background.
There was plenty of action at the Quay. There was a street performer who somehow squeezed herself into a tiny glass box. There was a musician strumming away on his guitar. There were also 2 aborigines playing the didgeridoo.
We then made our way (yet again!) to the Opera House. After the customary lap of the building, we headed back home.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
We headed south from Coogee, along the coastal walkway. We really appreciate the concern for the environment that the city exhibits. This walkway is yet another example of that. The authorities are trying to recreate and preserve the original coastal habitation of this area. Along the way are boards that describe the local flora, and exhorting the citizens (and tourists) to preserve it.
In addition to the flora and fauna, this walk provided yet more stunning views of the sandstone cliffs that surround Sydney, protruding into the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, and creating beautiful coves and sandy beaches. We are, frankly, still to come to terms with the amazing blue colour of the waters, and just how clean and clear it can be, so close to such a large city.
The next day, Sunday, turned out to be an even better day, simply because the cold winds of the previous day were absent. We decided to head north along the coastal walkway to Bondi beach. Because of the pleasant day, there were many others who had decided to do the walk, mostly in the opposite direction. Along the way, we passed small, but delightful, Gordon's Bay, the cliffside cemetery of Waverley, before reaching the upmarket suburb of Bronte. We had a light lunch on the grass at Bronte's park, overlooking Bronte Beach and the sea, before catching a bus back to Coogee.
P.S:While I had written this post concurrently with my previous one, it took me more than a month to post it!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Our first stop was at Mrs. Macquaries Chair. This is a bench carved out of the sandstone overlooking Sydney Harbour. On the way to the chair is Mrs. Macquaries Point, which offers stunning views of those two iconic Sydney structures - The Harbour Bridge, and Opera House. On this day, the view was picturesque indeed, with the sunlight glittering off the white exteriors of Opera House, framed against a clear blue sky, and lapped all around by the clean blue waters of Sydney Harbour. However, the wind was blowing strong, and the cold wind was making things a
tad uncomfortable. So we were not too unhappy to make our way back to the comfort of the air conditioned bus.
We then crossed the Harbour Bridge, and made our way across North Sydney to Manly Beach. North Syndey has its own CBD (Central Business District), which felt more relaxed than the city one across the bridge. This is where many
electronic and insurance companies have their offices.
We encountered bad traffic on the way to Manly (and on the way back too). If there is one thing that I do not like about Sydney, it has to be the amount of cars on the road. I am surprised why so many people would take their cars out given the difficult traffic and parking conditions, and given that the public transport system is quite efficient. But I guess I will learn along the way...
Manly Beach was given its name by Captain Arthur Phillip, who, when he made his way here, found the local aboriginal people to be in a manly, healthy condition. The beach is typical of Sydney's ocean facing beaches - clean green waters of the Pacific Ocean lapping against the golden sand with a backdrop of green trees. And with the ubiquitous wet suit clad surfers with their boards in the water. Today was just too fine a day for surfers, with hardly any waves for them to ride.
We then made our way to North Head. This is a part of the Marine Parks reserve, overlooking the northern entrance to Sydney Harbour. There is a nice walking track that offers sensational views across the Pacific Ocean, on the one side, and Sydney city, on the other. Walking along this track, it is easy to understand why Sydney is consistently voted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The CBD was my first view of the non - touristy side of Sydney - that of the business capital of Australia. There were more people in suits and jackets walking around than I expected (might also be because it's winter).
We also got our first glimpses (it was not much more than that) of two man made landmarks of Sydney - The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Syndey Opera House - from Circular Quay. After our meetings, we proceeded to the University of New South Wales. The Uni (as it is called here) is massive, spread over a large area right in the heart of Syndey. After finishing a few formalities there, we took our third bus trip back to Coogee.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
We did not venture out much on the first day, only taking a walk around Coogee Beach. The beach is small, but beautiful. The sand is clean and golden, with clear blue waters. There was a flock (?) of sea gulls on the beach. Very few people were strolling on the sands, but there was one brave man having a bath in what must surely be freezing waters at this time of the year. Though it was only past 5 PM when we were near the beach, it was quickly turning dark in the Southern winter. There was a strong breeze blowing, which was really making it cold outside, So we decided to cut short our first outing in Sydney.
It was nice to see a few things that we also get back home. The dish Tv in the common room (FoxTel) was exactly like Tata Sky, with the same remote! There were also a few common channels (Channel V). Outside, it was good to see McDonalds and Subway. We walked into a grocery store to buy some stuff for dinner, and saw Maggi Noodles! These small things remind us that the world we are living in is truly a global village.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The Qantas flight into Sydney was easily the best international flight I have taken. The aircraft was an Airbus A 330, with a seat layout of 2 - 4 - 2. We were lucky to get the window seat. It was the first flight I had with entertainment on demand, so managed to watch a few movies. The food was average, but service was friendly. Though we started late, we managed to make up some time and arrived in Sydney at 12:45 PM on Saturday, the 12th of July.
The airport, for such a large city, was surprisingly empty. Though we were warned that it costs money to use trolleys at the airport, we discovered that that was not the case. We were also a bit apprehensive about the quarantine process, but that also went through smoothly. After the procedures, we sought out the International Students Service desk at the airport. We were given directions to our temporary accommodation, along with a pre paid taxi card.
It took us about 15 minutes to reach our budget accommodation, located very close to Coogee Beach, called 'The Beachhouse'. Here, we had to wait over 30 minutes for the office to open after its afternoon break. Our room is medium sized, with a bunk bed (double bed at the bottom with a single bed at the top). The bathroom facilities are shared, but very clean. There is a common room with comfortable seating, tables to eat on, Tv with dish TV, and, very importantly, a heater. There is also a common kitchen, with round the clock tea and coffee.