So it was a two and a half hour trip up the highway from Nowra to Sydney negotiating our way through all the traffic. For Sunday midday it wasn’t really that bad on the roads but we have definitely noticed an increase in the volume of the traffic since we lived here back between late 1988 and early 1991 – oh, so very many years ago now.
We arrived at our friends Darryl and Sue’s place who live in a suburb about 10k from the city in a suburb called Chiswick. They have a three bedroom townhouse almost identical to our townhouse back in Calgary. It is very handy to a direct bus into the city as well as the ferry down to Circular Quay along the Parramatta River.
We know Sue and Darryl from when we lived in Muswellbrook. Darryl was actually his boss at Mount Arthur North Coal Mine.
We had a quick lunch at the house and then caught the bus into the city which took about half an hour. We got off at Sydney Townhall and then due to massive construction of a tram line down George Street that they are in the process of building, we had to walk down to the Quay. This is all very familiar territory to us.
The picture below is taken from the area called The Rocks. The Rocks is a neighbourhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The area became established shortly after the colony’s formation in 1788. The original buildings were first traditional vernacular houses, of wattle and daub, with thatched roofs, and later of local sandstone, from which the area derives its name.From the earliest history of the settlement, the area had a reputation as a slum and the arriving convicts’ side of town, often frequented by visiting sailors and prostitutes. Now you would not be able to buy anything under 3+ million!
We went into the oldest pub in Sydney and listened to some music for a while and then wandered around the Rocks and the Quay before deciding that we would head back home for dinner.
For the non Aussies who are not familiar with Sydney, you have The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera right next to one another. It is a short stroll from one to the other. We decided we would catch the ferry back to Chiswick to have a nice leisurely trip on the water.
Of course we passed one of the most iconic buildings of the world. For those of you not in the know, here is a little bit of history on the Opera House. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the building was formally opened on 20 October 1973. Costs and scheduling overruns plagued the building and Utzon resigned and never returned to see the Opera House finished. It’s final build was quite different to his ultimate plan. On 28 June 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Cruising up towards The Coathangar as it is referred to by Sydneysiders and then…
Underneath her. There are much bigger bridges than the Sydney Harbour Bridge but it is on the most magnificent Harbour in the world. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed steel through arch bridge that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. Construction commenced in July 1923 and was completed in March 1932.
For $2.50 on a Sunday you can go from the city all the way up the Parramatta River on one of the river cats or else go from the city to Manly in the opposite direction. Pretty cheap harbour cruise if you ask us.
We are getting our true doggy fix as Sue and Darryl have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Tiffany and she is just beautiful- just don’t anyone mention it to Toque. She has found a perfect spot on our bed and moved in. It’s great to be back in Sydney after so many years and we have four days to enjoy it and relive our time here.