01.02.2016 25 °C
This morning I woke to cloudy skies and once up I set off for a bit more of an explore of the city. First stop was to The Rocks area, a few stops up the train line. The train system in Sydney is very good with clean, frequently running trains which are double decker so never too crowded. Even the seat backs move so that you can face the direction of travel, a great idea! I needed to pop to the shops as I was looking for a waterproof pouch that I could store mynphone etc in when I went swimming, but to my increasing frustration nowhere seemed to have anything and the people in the shops were not being very helpful, I must have visited every outdoor shop in Central Sydney! A replenishing coffee and cake later and I decided to leave the shops behind and walk across the Harbour Bridge.
I got a whole different perspective on this amazing feat of engineering while walking across, there is an option to walk up one of the pylons but this was not for me, even at the height of the roadway you realise the bridge is really quite high. Once on the other side of the bridge I walked along the harbour side, taking in Luna Park, some very colourful plants and flowers and beautiful residential areas with some very modern houses mixed in with some pretty, smaller, older houses. Even the clouds had started to break a little giving way to some sunshine.
Once I reached McMahons Point I caught the ferry across to Darling Harbour, the ferries are also run very well, are quite cheap and efficient. Once at Darling Harbour I was aware of big black clouds and within a matter of minutes of stepping off the ferry there was a thunderstorm - the weather really couldn't make its mind up today! However, Sydney has thunderstorms I like, they last about 5 minutes then the sun is back out and the pavements are drying in a matter of minutes, they also help to calm the humidity. I walked round Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay looking at all the lovely restaurants, most offering fresh fish on the menu and onto Barangaroo.
Barangaroo looks like the edge of the financial district but there also is a lot of regeneration in the area. It was strange to see squat little buildings from the 1800's bang up against skyscrapers. It does look like the older buildings are being left though so it is quite nice to see the contrast. Once I had walked round the headland of Barangaroo I had that great view of the bridge again and I continued walking round through an old wharf which had already been regenerated into smart apartments and restaurants. Again they had left a large amount of the old wharf equipment in place and it was great to look at some of the old machinery. So much of this has been lost in the UK and it was lovely to see how it has been incorporated here.
As I started to head back to Circular Quay it started to rain a little again so I took shelter under the bridge at Dawsons Point Park. In the distance, just behind the Opera House there was a thunderstorm and I took a moment to watch the lighting fork into the Harbour. Heading onto Circular Quay, the sun was back out so I decided to walk into the Botanic Gardens and read my Kindle for a while before heading back to where I am staying.
I have learnt today that despite the weather being very changeable there is still tons of things to find in Sydney, very different to Melbourne! Tomorrow the weather is due to be a bit more sunny so I am hoping to head to Manly Beach and some sea swimming and snorkeling.