Monday, May 17, 2010

Exploring Sydney

This past Saturday, Amy and I took the opportunity to join Debs and James on a trip to the city (note: not The City as a point of clarification for my NYC peeps) to check out some points of interest. Our ferry trip in was eventful in that there were huge waves and an armada of ships out to welcome home Jessica Watson, a 16 year old Aussie girl who was due to arrive home in Sydney that afternoon.

The city pulled out all the stops for her, making it a big PR event and giving her a hero's welcome. It was cool to see the myriad of boats out and people seemed really proud of her.
We didn't have to travel far before one of the ladies was detained on a shopping related errand. James and I ducked into the nearest bar, Bar 333 for sanctuary. We watched rugby and a bit of American Ice Hockey (Bruins vs I don't remember) oddly enough. Not a bad bar overall but a bit posh for our basic needs of shelter from shopping.

We ventured forth from there to what was probably the fanciest mall I have ever been in, The Queen Victorian Building complete with a giant victorian clock to grab a quick bite and then made our way to 3 Wise Monkeys, an English style pub. This was more our style and we luxuriated here among the dark wood and tasty beers.

Next was a stop in Sydney's Chinatown for lunch and...more beers. Chinatown is small but packed with places to eat. We found a great, random spot for lunch and sat out on the veranda, watching the crowds of tourists shuffle by.

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Lunch was a smorgasborg served family style. We gorged on calamari, chicken (satay perhaps? I realize that is not chinese), and a beef dish as well as eggrolls and another battered, fried concoction. It was a good find for random stumbling.

After lunch, we walked off our food hangovers at Paddy's Market, a place where we had heard one could find good deals on various goods. Although I won't dispute this I will say that this must be the place to go for knockoff American baseball jerseys, ugg boots, ninja weapons, and what looked like inferior quality electronics. If you have the good fortune of being in Sydney and having the opportunity to go to Paddy's famous Market, feel free to avoid it. Call me instead. We'll go surfing.

We now ventured onward to Darling Harbor, a large area in Sydney that often holds festivals and expos. We planted ourselves in the final bar for the day, the nautically named Helm Bar with a lovely view of the boats in the harbor and watched the sun go down over a few additional beers. This was a classy joint that wasn't too pretentious and was a great way to spend some time before we boarded the ferry back home to sweet Manly.

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We ended the evening in Manly - or "God's Country" as James calls it, I find it hard to disagree - at the delectable Ashiana Indian RestaurantAddress:‎ just off the Corso, which is the main strip that run between the ferry wharf and the beach. Here in addition to some great food, we enjoyed those last few beers which led to a rueful next morning.

In this and other matters, let my epitaph read:

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