Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ben's Adventures in Sydney: Train and Ferry Day.

Wednesday, ah yes, I slept in 'till 10 I think. I decided to take it easy and start off with a train ride. I ended up at Berowra via the North Shore. On the way back to the city I stopped off at Waverton and Wolstoncraft for a bit of gunzel photography (I'm a sucker for a curved platform), although I wasn't really into it and the results weren't too good.

By the time I got back to the city it was about 2:00pm. After a quick bite of lunch I decided to hit the ferries for the afternoon. Focusing on routes I haven't been on before, I chose Woolwich and Mosman. Having missed the Mosman ferry, Woolwich was the go.

I always enjoy the ferry to Darling Harbour as it goes under the bridge and through the less well known parts of the harbour. The Woolich ferry was no exception, passing all kinds of boat yards, and more "mundane" harbour side suburbs. I just love the "industrialness" of this area. We called at warves such as Birchgrove and Grenwich before arriving at Woolwich. At Woolwich we appeared to suffer some sort of engine trouble and the captain came down to inspect the engine. It can't have been too serious as we were soon on our way back to Circular Quay, via a few extra wharves in Balmain and the like.

Once at Circular Quay we appeared to play chicken with a number of larger boats before berthing. These included cruise boats such as Captain Cook and Matilda, as well as the larger Manly Ferries. I wasn't complaining, I was enjoying my cruise. Once on the wharf I needn't have exited the barriers as the Mosman Ferry departed from the opposite side.

The Mossman ferry was an experience and a half, it's like Toorak with water up that narrow inlet. Certainly a very nice part of the world to live, but limited to the privileged few. I'll add that to places in Sydney I would live if given the chance (yeah right!).

From there I decided to go and check out Kings Cross and Potts Point. Taking the train, I went the long way via Museum meaning I had to change at Central instead of Town hall. My main reason for going there was to have a look at some accommodation I considered staying at, both places seemed reasonable, and I might stay at either next time.

What struck me the most was the Contrast between Kings Cross and Potts Point. You walk out of the Kings Cross train station and turn left, passing all the sex shops, backpacker oriented shops and homeless people as you go. Then you turn the corner in to Macleay Street (it's the same street, but there's a bend) Potts Point. Everything is neat and very up market, the people are well dressed and there's luxury cars driving down the leafy street. It's almost like there's a line drawn across the road and the footpath, odd indeed. Back into King's Cross and heading south down Victoria Street I did consider eating at one of the two Thai noodle restaurants nearby, but decide I was not hungry enough.

Next stop was Bondi Junction for a bit of a look around, but by the time I got there, all the shops were shut. So after a brief walk around the Mall it was back on the train to Town Hall. When I got there I decided to take the Monorail to Darling harbour. It's clearly targeted at the dumb tourist and priced to match, but for me it's one of the things to do in Sydney. I could have used my daytripper on the bus instead, oh well.

So after wandering around the Harbourside "Tourist Trap" shopping complex I had Oporto for dinner. After wandering around a bit more I ended up at Star City Casino. By now I was buggered, so decided to tram it back to the hostel. On the way I got a little side tracked, and ended up having a few beers at a bar in Haymarket before going to an internet cafe I was familiar with in George Street for a while.

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