Sydney - My "Amazing Race" Version in Which I Try to See Everything in 6 Hours
There have been a few moments in my life where I have stood at a spot on the earth and marveled, thinking, "Wow. I really am here in____" (insert super cool place there). Such as when I was standing in front of the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and Big Ben in London. I had another one of those moments when working on a cruise shipand we turned starboard and sailed into Sydney Harbor.
This is what I saw:
Ok, not entirely. Because I didn't see myself in all my 5am glory...
As soon as 8am hit and my call shift was over, I was off the ship. I had this day and this day only to see all that I could see in Sydney and I was going to attack this city like I was a contestant on The Amazing Race!
First task: The world famous Bondi Beach. It's six miles from the city center and using my guidebook, I found that the 333 bus would take me straight there. Buy two tickets from a corner stand (one for each way). The bus drivers don't sell tickets onboard.
I arrived at Bondi Beach about 30 minutes later and quickly decided that I liked this place. I could have stayed most of the day, but I had other things to see too. I took pictures, watched some surfers, and walked along the beach of course!
Once back in town, I got off on the stop near Hyde Park. Beautiful area, and looked at the war memorial for the Australian and New Zealanders that perished in WW1. I walked through Hyde Park following my map for my next objective...
I was given specific instructions from my colleague from Sydney to go have my first Aussie meat pie at Harry's Pie Cart at Cowper Wharf in Woolloomooloo Bay. I had a little dot on my map and easily found it.
I ordered the "Tiger", which is a steak pie, topped with "mash" which is mashed potatoes, gravy, and "mushy peas" which are exactly what it's called...mushy peas. I actually enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to trying other meat pies in the future. They had plenty of flavors on the menu, but I was following strict instructions.
After my brunch of a meat pie, I walked through "The Domain" and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Which led me to the trendy shopping area.
I made my way back up to the harbor and walked up to the Opera House to get close up shots, and not just as seen from the ship. It's a pretty impressive structure. They have tours of the inside, but it was now 2pm and I had been up since 1:30am and had been running. I was super exhausted, and I still had to go check out one more area of town...
Over by the ship terminal is the area they call "The Rocks," it's old warehouses that were built when convicts were first arriving. But of course, they've fancied up the area and all those cool old brick buildings are stores, restaurants, and museums. According to my guidebook, people arriving in Australia were often so sick with various diseases after the long journey that the hospital and surgeon's tents were placed right there.
So, there you have it: a really brief overview of Sydney. Another popular activity is to climb the Harbor Bridge, but I wanted to spend my limited time getting out and exploring more of the city.