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September 9, 2008

Tuesday in Sydney

Filed under: Australia 2008, Travel — anotherheader @ 8:42 pm

Sydney residential iron work

Sydney residential iron work

We started our last full day in Sydney heading out to the quiet, older neighborhood of Darlinghurst for breakfast at Bill’s. Darlinghurst is lined with a web of tree-lined streets flanked by Victorian era houses. There were many examples of the iconic Australian house with a corrugated galvanized roof usually including a curved roof over the porch. The houses, though otherwise simple, are frequently highlighted with railings and porch post supports made with an intricate cast iron web painted to stand out. You will find way too many pictures of these in the link at the bottom.

Though the breakfasts that we have been getting in Australia have generally been good, Bill’s was the best. We had light and airy ricotta pancakes and corn fritters that were basically fresh corn kernels barely held together in a web by corn meal. The doors of the dining room were open and Sydney’s fresh, cool, ocean-tinged breeze cooled the room on an otherwise warm day.

From Darlinghurst we did a bit of a walk about, ending up in King’s Cross. King’s Cross is a backpacker/red light type of neighborhood. The streets are dotted with a vibrant mix of backpacker inns, coffee shops, adult stores, pharmacies, Internet cafes, and sex clubs. A lively mix during day, but the area surely changes character at night. Becky, getting tired of me, went shopping in an adult store for an adult, but they didn’t seem to have any for sale. At least that’s what she told me.

Yum!  Ricotta pancakes at Bill's in Darlinghurst.  Still makes me hungry!

Yum! Ricotta pancakes at Bill's.

Next we took a combination of the subway train and ferry to Manly Beach. Though maybe not at the convenience level of the Paris Metro, the combination of trains and ferries is a quite serviceable way around the town.

The forty minute-odd ferry ride to Manly Harbor gave us good views of the outer harbor and a glimpse of the Pacific. After a short, shop-lined stroll through the pedestrian mall across the peninsula, we reached the ocean side and Manly Beach. The beach was a beautiful, fine golden white sand crescent packed with sunbathers. Only a few folks were in the water. We did a loop by walking up the beach on the paved path and down, barefoot, along the water’s edge. The water was a bit cool, in the low 70’s, much like the ocean in Southern California. On the shore, many translucent purple jellyfish had washed up. We would have lingered longer, but it was windy, so we headed back to the ferry dock for a cold, unpasteurized German Lowenbrau before our ride back to Circular Quay.

Manly beach bather

Manly beach bather

On the way back to Circular Quay, the ferry passed through a heavy rainsquall. By the time we reached the quay, the rain had stopped and we exited onto the rain soaked dock having managed to dodge the showers.

After a return to the room and a brief cricket induced slumber, we headed out to a fine meal at Bilson’s in the middle of the skyscraper canyon. The all-Australian wine pairings were particularly notable with the Greenbrier Park 2007 Riesling and the Petaluma 1998 Merlot standing out.

Becky on Manly Beach

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge

Scenes from Sydney:

Residential iron work from Sydney:

Amusing signs, at least to us, from Sydney:


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