The Rocks, Sydney historical site

21st of February, 2018

On Sunday I moved again. This time I rented an apartment from other friends, who temporarily moved out. I also arranged a house sit (with a cute doggy) for the week after. In December I became a member of two Australian house sitters websites, but the dates were never convenient or the “sits” were too far away from Sydney’s center. This time I am lucky; the right dates and bordering my daughter’s neighbourhood. It always takes a day or so to get settled, find the stores, get the groceries and explore the area. On my second day I decide to walk from Chippendale all the way to Circular Quay for a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. A breeze is clearing the cloudy sky and the light is getting perfect for pictures! Along the quay the Chinese New Year’s celebrations are still visible. At this point I discover The Rocks, just situated after the museum and the quay. The museum has to wait!

This was the area where the first settlers of the new colony arrived. “First Impressions” is a sandstone sculpture, which symbolizes the convicts, soldiers and free immigrants, who arrived after 1788.P1000380.jpg As later the houses were built of local sandstone, the area got its name ‘The Rocks’. It used to be a neighbourhood with a rough reputation. Many houses and buildings were demolished in between 1900 and 1920, due to their bad condition and later during the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Cadmans Cottage is supposed to be the oldest building in The Rocks and was built in 1816. It is named after John Cadman, who was sent to Australia after stealing a horse. Later, he became ‘superintendent of boats’ and lived with his family in the cottage. It also served as Water Transport Headquarters, Sailor’s Home and Headquarters of the Sydney Police. In the area are two historic pubs, well visited by locals, as well as by tourists.

Via the cobbled streets you climb towards the bridge and get a view of the old and new town.

It is possible to go with a tour all the way up the bridge for around AUD 300. For a bit less, you can choose a lower level. I decide to stay underneath the bridge and enjoy the view from there……..

 

 

Pyrmont, a room with a view

16th of February, 2018

Today, we all move for a weekend to the apartment of friends, who left for a couple of days. Not only the apartment is one of a kind, the view is also amazing. On one site you see the famous Anzac Bridge. At the far end, the skyscrapers of Sydney are dominating the horizon. The balcony is made for living outside and ships are sailing up and down right in front of us.

 

I have a quiet day, but decide in the evening to collect my daughter from her work at Circular Quay, in CBD or Central Business District. There should be a walk-way along the water, starting down at the apartment. It all looks pretty dark outside and I don’t know how safe it is, but I still want to try hiking to town. Within ten minutes I notice I am not the only one enjoying the cooler evening’s temperature and once arriving on the pedestrian Pyrmont bridge, which takes you to central Sydney, the crowd is overwhelming.  I totally forgot it is Chinese New Year! During the first couple of days, I noticed already that Sydney is mainly occupied by Chinese people, but tonight it is only Chinese! Except me……and a few others……

 

I work my way through Pittstreet, until I reach my daughter’s workplace. Circular Quay is bordering the touristic harbour, the Opera House, the Rocks and the train station. It is all happening here! In the park around the harbour, you can find enormous blown-up animals of the Chinese Zodiac and tonight is the start of the New Year and it is just crazy out there! I go up to my daughter’s workplace, right here in CBD and sip a wine, while she and her team are waiting for the last customers to leave. We decide to walk all the way back and by now it is past eleven in the night and the streets are filled with drunken people! Mind you, more Aussie’s and foreigners now……

17th of February,

It is my birthday and the ‘son in law to be’ is still working his way through the weekend, but my daughter is off and we go for a hike over the Anzac Bridge, towards Blackwattle Bay.  The Anzac bridge is one of Sydney’s outstanding landmarks. With a cost of around $170 million it became a key link between the city and the suburbs to the west. It is the longest cable-stayed span bridge in Australia. The finished deck is fully supported by the cables!

 

 

The hiking trail takes us all around the bay, with different parks and panoramic views.

 

 

Finally, we reach the Fish-Market, where people are not only buying, but also eating! Again, I have the feeling that I arrived in China.

 

 

My daughter advises me to go to another company at the same location, where it is quiet and relaxed. Here, at De Costi, we buy prawns, a very tasty seaweed salad and a few Rock Oysters. We already brought our own wine and sit down for a delicious meal! I definitely want to go back before I leave…….

 

 

In the evening we walk to Newtown Hotel, where the balcony reminds me of New Orleans. My daughter worked here a few years ago. We meet up with a friend and look down from the balcony on the street, while sipping a beer.

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After, I am treated for a tasty birthday meal at ‘Hartsyard’, also in Newtown. Again, we share all different courses and I am impressed with the “fine cuisine” here in Sydney. Our evening continues on the balcony of the apartment, soaking up the amazing views over the city and enjoying the heat of Sydney’s summer night.