Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sydney Days 8, 9, 10 and 11 (Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed): Palm Beach, Darling Harbour, Writer's Festival, ferries and pancakes

Back again.... I’m in the airport waiting for my flight to Tokyo, so I have a bit of time to write. Whew...
I’ll try and do a quick rundown of my life since Saturday. It may not be as quick as I’m hoping... as you may guess.

Sunday morning we had a great brunch at a cafe on the waterfront, then went back to the bach and lay in the garden in the sun and read most of the day. We had been planning to go for a walk around the headland, but didn’t get around to that because our books were too interesting.... and the sun was too beautiful to pass up reading in the garden. After a few hours I worried I’d be sunburnt, but the sun’s not too harsh and I was fine.
We had pizza for dinner from a place that’s set up a bit like Subway – you order your pizza, and then they assemble it in front of you. We got Mediterranean lamb and vegetables. I guess you could probably have a do-it-yourself one by pointing out what you want. It was good – probably one of the healthier pizzas I’ve eaten.

On Monday we drove up to Palm Beach, where they film Home and Away, and took lots of photos of the beach and the pier and the “Summer Bay Surf Life-Saving Club”. We wandered past some people doing a professional photo shoot, and thought it might be promotion photos for Home and Away. More French people at the kiosk where we got ice-creams... they’re everywhere!!!

I didn’t remember about togs/swimsuit until we were almost at the beach, and it was probably a bit cold for swimming anyway. Instead we lay on the sand and read in the sun, but there was a good breeze coming off the sea and in the end we retreated to the car, shivering.

I met my friend Girl Who Knows Her Chocolate Shops (name will become clear) for dinner. We found a place on Darling Harbour that was good, and sat on the balcony near the water and watched the lights twinkle. I hadn’t been to Darling Harbour before (I think. The Hopeful Gardener may correct me), so we took a stroll around the edge and admired everything. Later we got hot chocolates at a cafe, which were beautiful, and GWKHCS recommended some other chocolate boutiques.

Tuesday! Wow, I’m powering through this. On Tuesday I caught the bus into town early and went to the Secondary Schools Day at the Sydney Writer’s Festival :D I’d booked tickets last week, and was assured that you didn’t have to be a secondary student to attend, but I went in high school camouflage anyway and didn’t mention my age to anyone.

There were four speakers, who were all very entertaining: Michael Pryor, who spoke of the public park near his house that is infested with knights in shining armour and ninjas in trees, Belinda Jeffrey, who spoke of floods and giving birth and Albert Einstein, Cassandra Clare, who spoke of driving people around in the boot of her car, and Bernard Beckett, who spoke of burning down schools and free will. Their books were all set up in a lovely display in the foyer, and I really felt the 700g left in my suitcase before it becomes excess baggage. I didn’t buy any, but I’m going to see if they have e-books. Or real books in the UK...

I got some Cassandra Clare books signed for The Angel’s friend, snuck my notebook in to be signed as well and got a picture with her too! Be jealous, those who know who I’m talking about :D

I still hadn’t taken a ferry anywhere, so I picked a wharf at random and took the first ferry that came. It dropped me off at Garden Island, where they first tried to grow crops for ships in 1788, and which is now a naval base. There’s a rock where some people carved their initials in 1788 (the oldest evidence of European presence in Australia), and a huge tank I thought was a water reservoir, but actually turned out to be filled with oil!

I had time to venture into the Sydney Apple Store before heading home – it’s all very slick, and I love the staircase, which is a shaft with spotlights at the bottom and a sheet of light at the top, and two flights of frosted glass stairs. I went back and took a picture today, so I might post it later.

Dinner was a $10 steak special at a cafe on the beach front, which was very, very good. I took some long exposure shots of the waves and the moon above and wished I wasn’t leaving so soon...

Now for Wednesday. I tried to meet Fifties Film Star at Pancakes on the Rocks, but Google Maps is at times terrible and sent me to the wrong side of the Harbour Bridge. I did a lot of aimless, frantic wandering (yes, I’m sure those words can go together), stared at the cafe that was number 8, the brick wall extending into the distance beside it, and wondered where number 4 could possibly be. A man at Sydney Theatre pointed me in the right direction, and I was only 20 minutes late... and rather tired from running up steps.

My Bavarian apple pancakes were great, and too much to eat. We walked through the city and took a look at Myers department store, which has at least seven floors, and browsed a few shops. Then I had to bus back to Dee Why Beach, which involved a spot of bus surfing because there were so many people on the bus, and get my suitcase to drive out to the airport.

The Angel got us there with no help from the GPS. She took us through the Harbour Tunnel (which I was very excited about) and craftily drove a back way to the international airport. She really is an Angel :D

The lady at the check-in desk scared me when she asked if I had a visa for Japan, but I don’t need one if I’m staying for less than 90 days. Whew. I went through customs and security, was asked if I was Swedish, and now I’m sitting in a comfy chair with free wifi listening to the bing-bongs of final calls.

I really hope I can sleep on the plane. Next stop, Tokyo!


  1. Oh yes I do believe you've been to Darling Harbour before :-) although the Maths Linguist claims no memory of it either... I think we had dinner at a very large smorgasbord that I knew about because I'd been there with a work crew, and been very impressed by a colleague who'd limited himself to the giant prawns. Just prawns on his plate. And the next plate. And the Could it have been that's where we went for your birthday dinner? (I remember the place, but not the reason :-/.)

    Wonder what sort of contrasts you'll notice most between Tokyo and Sydney :-). Am impressed at the number of iconic sights and experiences you managed to fit in between books lol...

  2. Absolutely loving the blog! And you put a smile on my face with the nickname "Fifties film star"!!

  3. Yay! Glad you like it! :D yes I enjoy my codenames lol


what do you think?