Our Sweet Sydney Koleos Adventure - Day Two

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Day Two of our sweet, sweet trip dawned pretty much a repeat of Day One – persistent rain and a persistent damp feeling in our sneakered areas.

Sigh.

Undeterred, we sploshed through the puddles up York Street and into The Rocks, where we navigated sopping pavements and winding steps on a mini-exploration through this gorgeously historic part of town. I was so excited to return here after many years, and gee they've done a fantastic job of making it sterile.

The Rocks Market was also disappointing. It was like a flashback to 1987; the wares were that tired and overdone and totally targeted at tourists with a passion for expensive tack. Set under a series of beautiful, peaked sail cloths and tucked into a corner under the Harbour Bridge, the market has a situational possie the envy of stallholders all over the world, yet there was little to tempt a wallet-opening and the only thing even remotely resembling sweets was an old fashioned lemonade stand. At least that was cute and contemporary.

We did manage to find a sweetie shop called Sticky in the Rocks Centre, where great hulking slabs of raspberry and lemonade candy were being kneaded into heart-shaped moulds to create shiny lollipops. Enamoured, we begged to buy a couple but they had to be cooled, counted and bagged before sale. We instead settled for pre-packaged pops which weren’t nearly as pretty.



Back outside, we continued around to the Harbour foreshore (it had stopped raining!) to a magnificent view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Circular Quay, with green and yellow ferries chugging through the water, their bows thoughtfully penned with monikers like Lady Herron, Queenscliff and Friendship.

Even in the rain, you cannot beat this stunning Harbour






We jumped on the Queenscliff shortly afterwards, totally attracted by the half hour trip (you can triple that time if you want to take the car, sorry Koleos) to Manly Wharf. At only $10 for our entire family, these tickets could be reused on buses, trains and ferries all day long. Bargain.
The kids loved the ferry and the only hairy moment was crossing the heads, where the sea swell took us on a bulging ride for a couple of minutes. Otherwise, the journey was beautifully smooth.
Manly was pumping when we arrived thirty minutes later. In the throws of the Manly Jazz Festival, with artists from all over the world, there was marquee after marquee of soulful tunes skitting and a-skatting through the streets.
After a wander down the mall, we stopped for fish and chips and took them down onto the sand of Manly surf beach where Riley and Husband went bananas with a soccer ball and Ella performed cartwheels until she was pink in the face.





We then went for ice cream at SoShi at New Zealand National ice cream store in the mall, which features the first ‘sushi’ style ice cream in Australia. You can get it in several flavours including vanilla and banana, but of course, I opted for green tea.
A quick ferry ride back into town, we walked down Pitt Street and wandered through the Strand Arcade and ogled all the gorgeous shops before stopping off at Cupcakes on Pitt for a belly-candy array of divine cakelets.

We took home raspberry, rocky road, cherry ripe and the best lemon meringue cupcake ever to have passed lips – complete with a juicy nugget of lemon curd deep inside a drippingly moist cake and spectacularly tanned meringue peak on top.

It was blissful to sip a cup of sweet, sweet tea from T2 at the Queen Victoria Building. Both Husband and I adore this store. Our sweetest finds were pu-erh tea, Sydney breakfast and Melbourne breakfast teas, and Citrus Punch (a caffeine-free, loose leaf fruit tisane).
Being NRL Grand Final day, we decided on our best-of-all dinner – a collection of deli nibbles like pesto, crackers, brie, olives, goat feta, semi dried tomatoes, fresh snowpeas and avocado. We shopped at Woolies, trudged back wearily to the Medina and, after a bracing swim, devoured our treasures in front of the grand final.

It’s truly worth staying in Sydney’s centre when you visit with kids. We walked almost everywhere and it’s an easy 20 minute trot from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay. If little feet get weary, the public transport system is superb and you have stacks of choice for a quick lift, from buses and trains to the monorail and a plethora of cabs.

With an IMAX Theatre, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World, St James and Hyde Parks, the Botanical Gardens and a stack of cinemas, theatres, galleries and museums all within a half hour-walk radius, it’s total kiddie heaven. The hardest part for us was deciding what to spend our limited time on.

Tonight we’re hoping to toddle down the street and see G-Force, then tomorrow after breakfast, we’re off to the Chinese Garden of Friendship at the southern end of Darling Harbour, before nipping over to Taronga Zoo, and stopping for a peek at Luna Park on the way home. Or perhaps Carriageworks for the Sydney Children’s Festival currently running. Oh, how can one decide?

And the Koleos? Thanks to the rain and the projected traffic jams we’d inevitably experience in the wet (remember my traffic jam paranoia?), she had a nice little rest in the Medina carpark today, but we’re taking her out for a spin tomorrow to the zoo.

We’re all going to the zoo tomorrow, how about you?

For more on getting around Sydney, car-free (sorry, Koleos), see:
http://www.sydneyferries.info/
http://www.cityrail.info/
http://www.sydneybuses.info/
http://www.metrotransport.com.au/
First published in entirety on the Australian Women Online website.

2 comments:

moggies said...

You know what I am going to say here....Woolies.....deli....Tapas...meze...kill me now....I am in heaven...reminds me of a certain opulent dinner in CBR.....minus the burnt bagels.......

Jane said...

It is hard to choose from all that. I was disappointed to read your review of the Rocks Market ... it's been years since I've been to the Rocks and I thought then the markets were good ... there's obviously been a decline in quality, which is ridiculous when you consider what Kingston Bus Depot offers!

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