Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sydney Day 5

After the somewhat frantic pace of the past two days, we went with a much slower itinerary today. We walked to the area known as The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney so-named because of all the rocks located there. It was established shortly after the colony's formation in 1788. It was also where the convicts were brought over from England. We had breakfast at a place called Pancakes on the Rocks - cute name for a place known for their fabulous pancakes.

On Sundays the area is filled with vendors selling their wares, so it was fun to walk through there on our way to the part of town called Barangaroo. Jim had heard of the new park called Barangaroo Reserve, and he wanted to check it out. I'm so glad we did. What an amazing place! Opened in August of 2015, the park was designed by American landscape architect Peter Walker in association with Johnson Pilton Walker of Sydney.

The park was built on a 16 acre lot that once housed the oldest industrial site in the area. The concrete container terminal has been reimagined into a rocky outcropping, landscaped with over 75,000 native trees and shrubs. Dual pathways allow walkers, runners and bicyclists to co-exist safely. The 10,000 blocks of sandstone were excavated directly from the site during the project.

Today we saw many people utilizing the park - walking, running, riding bikes and scooters, and just enjoying the beautiful sunny, 69 degree weather. It is quite a show-stopper with the never ending water views. It was great to be able to see it.

Once we left the park we decided to try to find a grocery store to pick up a few things. The concierge at our hotel had given us directions from Barangaroo to one, but we were having a hard time finding it. While we were looking at a map, a kind Australian man asked if we needed help. He said the place we were looking for was closed on Sundays, but he could direct us to Cole's. In fact, he walked part of the way with us, discussing politics as he was interested in Donal Trump. Yeegads!

We found the store with no problem, and were surprised to see that we had to take an escalator down below street grade to enter the store. It was not a large grocery store, but it had all we needed and it was fun to look at their different products. We then went back to the hotel and snacked a little while resting our feet. We are having no problem getting our 10,000 steps a day here. In fact, we normally hit that number by noon.

In the early evening we walked down to the Opera House to see how it is lit at night, and then grabbed some Vietnamese food from a street vendor for dinner. The food was okay, but nothing to write home about. Oh wait, I guess I just did that, didn't I? Ha...

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