Monday, June 11

Central Sydney

After a late start I was dropped off at the train station at around 1130am. The place I was staying was around a thirty minute train ride away from the Sydney Harbour area, and I was a bit miffed at the delay in getting started; I was going to leave for Brisbane the next day and so I wanted to get as much, if not all I wanted, done here as possible.

I disembarked at Milton Point, which is on the northern end of the Harbour Bridge. The bridge itself was pretty immense: it was more of a brute than any of the Thames bridges, but impressively so. It also offered some brilliant views of the harbour, including the iconic Opera House toward the southern end. Pictures of the harbour area can be found here.

Once I had traversed the bridge I checked out The Rocks on the way to Circular Quay. This was where all the harbour ferry routes depart from. I was told that the best way to experience the harbour was by getting on a ferry, and since I wanted to check out Manly I decided to take a boat there.

Manly sits seven miles away from Circular Quay, and the ferry took half an hour to get there. My plan was to get a quick look at the Pacific Ocean (Manly beach was supposed to have been pretty too) and catch the ferry back to carry one with Central, but I missed my return trip and so hung around and had lunch instead. I'm glad I did too - although I didn't check out Manly properly it was nice just sitting at the beach; the Pacific really is wonderful to watch. Pictures here.

I finally made it back to Circular Quay, and it was clear by that point that I wouldn't be able to finish Sydney off today. But I carried on with Sydney harbour anyway, getting a closer view of the Opera House. Like I do with most landmarks, I found it less impressive close up, when you begin to notice the warts and all. Still, I must admit getting the pang to watch an opera there.

I headed further south, and to Hyde Park. This was a small ornamental central park with fountains and monuments. I found it strange actually; it wasn't as "open" as the parks I usually see - it was more of a botanical garden than a place in which to have a picnic.

Next up, I headed to the Sydney Tower. This was kinda pricey but totally worth it, offering sine pretty stunning views of Sydney Harbour from 250 metres up. I made out Botany Bay, the ocean and even the Blue Mountains I had seen the day before. And although it took an absolute age to get in, I did catch the sun setting while I was up there which made the otherwise inconvenient timing of the whole day suddenly worth the bother. If you ever get to do the same, make sure you get to see Sydney by day and night.

Between Manly and the Tower, my day had almost been spent. The allegedly hip and happening Darling Harbour was close by though, so I decided to make that the last stop of the day. It was pretty lucky that I did too; I managed to catch a free hour long concert by a band called True Live. They were pretty awesome; the blending of classical music and hip hop, although done many times before, was executed perfectly by these guys. I'll definitely be looking up these guys once I get back home. Pics and videos here.

And that pretty much concluded my day. Looking back, I got a lot done and it was ambitious of me to have thought that I could fit in the things that I had missed (I was particularly miffed about skipping Darling Harbour by day and Bondi Beach altogether). Still, I didn't regret how the day panned out - both Manly and the Tower sucked up time but were well worth it, and I wouldn't have ever been able to plan the brilliant sunset and concert I experienced either.

Maybe I can catch the things I missed tomorrow?

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