Monday, December 02, 2013

Sydney Wanderings

Well, I haven't posted in a week, but it’s not because I haven’t found anything worth posting about. I’ve been busy with work, catching up with old friends, and seeing and doing things that I wanted to do the first time I was here and didn’t get to, or things I missed when I left Sydney. I’ll share just a few of the highlights so far.

Saturday was my first day off, and I spent it wandering around Darlinghurst, Paddington, and Surry Hills looking at all the little shops and markets. One thing new I did was stop by the Paddington Reserve. This used to be a reservoir for drinking water. After it was emptied in the 1920’s, it had several reincarnations as a car park, a lawn, and I think a market. Then the roof fell in, and the city decided to turn it into a sunken garden. One part of the garden still has the old supports for the roof. The second part (which was closed off) still has the roof and lets you see what the reservoir looked like back when it had the roof on it. 
Reminiscent of the Roman Aqueducts 
The pool is a nod to the Reserve's history.
Cool, but a little creepy. This was just a small area though.

It was really pretty, but I didn’t stick around too long because there was a wedding happening that afternoon and I didn’t want to crash it. The officiant informally invited me to stay, but I really didn’t feel comfortable in my jeans and t-shirt with everyone else all dressed up.

After that, another stop on my list of things I always meant to do: have a drink at the Captain Cook Hotel. For those of you who don’t know, there’s a Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. But it’s a high end hotel, whereas the one in Sydney is a local pub. I was dying of thirst, so all I asked for was water, but I’m glad to say I’ve been to the Captain Cook Hotel in two hemispheres.

Captain Cook: representing drunks worldwide since 1779
On Sunday, I went to Paddy’s Market in the morning to buy some fruit and vegetables. Paddy’s Market has a lot of stalls full of crap of questionable quality and sourcing, but the fruit and veg section is pretty good. I was looking for mangosteen, but didn’t find any. I guess it’s not in season. So I got a mango and a papaya instead. I’ve never prepared a fresh papaya so I will have to look up how to do that!

Fruit at Paddy's Market
 One of the interesting things I saw at Paddy's Market was durian, which is supposed to smell absolutely terrible but taste absolutely grand. However, they were huge! I wasn't about to buy this massive fruit that I might not like to try to eat it on my own.

The durian are the weird spiky melons under the calendar.
Next, I went over to the Royal Botanical Gardens just to hang out by one of the best views in Sydney. It was also a good chance to enjoy some of my favorite Australian birds, the rainbow lorikeets and the sulfur-crested cockatoos. I only saw one cockatoo, but the lorikeets were out in full force.

I never get tired of this view.
On the way home, I had the chance to enjoy some great guitar music by one of the buskers near Westfield Mall. He was probably one of the best buskers I’ve seen. I stayed and watched him play for at least fifteen minutes.

Today, I went snorkeling at Clovelly Beach. I didn’t take my camera, so sorry for the lack of pics. But I enjoyed the snorkeling even though the water was a bit cold. I even got to see one of the big blue groupers they have in the area! He was really pretty, but I was glad they only eat coral, or else I might have been intimidated by his size.

Something different I’ve been doing this time is writing my experiences in a travel journal. My grandparents suggested it the last time I came over, but I really didn’t know what to write, or how I was going to maintain a travel journal for 2 years. Then, my friend Erica bought me one that I used when we went to Japan and I really enjoyed it. It’s a little hard to keep up when I’m tired at the end of the day, but I like to go back and read the things I wrote and look at the things I’ve drawn. And it will be helpful to remind me of things for composing blog posts in the future!


eaf said...

I thought the Captain Cook was condemned!

L said...

I seem to remember that too. Or it sold, or something. But it's still there, and open. Not too many customers at 3:30 p.m. on a Saturday, though.

Andria Crowjoy said...

Shudder, cockatoo flashbacks! I'm sorry you didn't get to crash the wedding, that is SO much fun! (It's easy to find people fascinating when you only know them an hour or two.) Maybe next time!

L said...

Andria, I probably would have stayed if I had been invited by the bride or groom and not just the officiant!