We fly to Sydney, arriving in the late afternoon. We're staying in the Rocks area, not far from the Harbour Bridge. The Rocks is the historic heart of Sydney, close to Circular Quay from where the ferries depart. It was the first part of Sydney occupied by Europeans and consequently, has a number of historic buildings. It features a variety of souvenir and craft shops and some themed and historic pubs. The Rocks Market operates each weekend, with around 100 stalls. At this time of the year they run Friday evening markets too which feature street food and entertainment.
Our temporary home is the new Youth Hostel here, built just a couple of years ago and according to our younger daughter - too expensive for her to stay in when she was in Sydney. We leave our baggage and head downhill to the harbour which is on our doorstep.
We take a variety of shots in front of the Opera House, trying to capture the essence of the place in a single frame. None do justice to the architecture, so we settle for a few cheesy poses that make the simple statement: we're here. We capture the Manley Ferry as it passes in front of the Harbour Bridge. These boats are double fronted - both ends are 'the sharp end'. They don't need to turn: they simply sail the way they're pointing. This is of interest to us as we plan to take the Ferry to Manley Beach later in the week.
It seems like a good idea to take in a show since we've come all this way but there is nothing on that takes our fancy. Last week, yes. Next week, sure. But this week nothing we'd pay to see. Let's take a tour of the interior instead, Monica suggests. We find they run every half hour and cost seventy dollars - each! Even by Australian standards, this is somewhat extreme. As we stand in the foyer, in our shorts and sandals, we are passed by the local gentry in dress suits and cocktail dresses, on their way to a concert. We settle instead for a stroll around the waterfront, photographing any historic buildings that catch our fancy, just like good tourists should.
It is a hot and humid evening. About 11:00 pm, there is a powerful thunder storm with lightening and very heavy rain. I know it's insensitive to say this, given the weather you in the UK and Ireland have been experiencing but this is the first rain we have seen since we came to Australia. Virtually every day has been sunny with blue skies - look back at the photos. Is this a sign of things to come now we are in the big city?