I’ve made the executive decision to write one post today about my final thoughts on Sydney, then write a separate post about Christchurch. Otherwise, it would just end up as a very long post, which nobody wants to read and I don’t want to write.
On my last day in Sydney… it rained. After all that sunshine for the rest of the week, I don’t think it actually stopped raining at any point on Saturday. It’s a shame, but it actually meant that I put less pressure on myself to do something and end up walking miles again on sore feet. Silver linings!
That isn’t to say that I didn’t do anything on Saturday. I still had a fairly active day, I just gave the tourist activities a miss for the most part. As I was once again up stupidly early, I decided to get the local train over to Redfern and check out the weekly farmer’s market I had read about online. I’m very glad I did! I got there just after 8am (basically just after it opened), and there were already quite a few people milling around. As I didn’t have much cash left at this point in my trip, and would be leaving the following day, I didn’t end up buying anything. Even so, it was definitely worth the short trip out (and I had the money left on my Opal card to use, so why not?) just to have a browse. I like markets – I hardly ever buy anything, but they’re a good way to pass the time. Saturday was very much a market day.
One of the best things about the farmer’s market was that it was under cover, so you could browse at your leisure without getting soaked to the skin. As with all farmer’s markets everywhere, there were a couple of greengrocer stalls, a stall selling locally-made cheese, a couple of coffee stalls and, of course, a couple of bakery stalls. A bit more unique to Sydney, there was a stall selling freshly-made pho (at 8am! and people were buying it!), one that cured their own fish, an artisan granola company… hmmm, what else? Oh! There were 2 stalls selling their own handmade pasta and sauces. I’m sure there were others, but I can’t remember now. So much temptation! Luckily for me, a lot of the stalls had free samples, so I got to try lots of the different products on offer (sadly neither of the pasta stalls had samples at that time, though).
After the farmer’s market, I headed back up to Circular Quay and The Rocks for their Saturday market (no pictures of that one due to the rain. Trying to get a decent picture of plastic-covered stalls in the rain is sadly still beyond my skill level). Walking from the train station at Circular Quay over towards the street market, I got a perfect view of the Queen Mary 2 berthed (how do you say “parked” for a ship?) by the Harbour Bridge. I’m sure those that were finishing or starting their cruise in Sydney that day (I assume they were either setting off or disembarking, there was a lot of luggage if not!) were less than pleased about the weather greeting them, but money doesn’t buy everything 😛 Apparently, the Queen Elizabeth was also in the harbour, but it was further around and so I didn’t get to see it. As both ships were in the harbour, it made the evening news in Sydney on Saturday night. They showed you the inside of the ship, and while it looked very luxurious, I’m not sure cruise life is for me. I like to be able to work to my own schedule and spend several days in the same place.
After a wander around The Rocks market, where I once again didn’t buy anything, I headed back to the hostel to spend some time in the covered patio of the cafe next door. I wanted to finish my book before leaving Sydney so that I could leave it at the hostel, and I only had a few chapters left (The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, in case you were wondering).
That’s it, really. Not much else to report about Sydney. Overall impressions were good, I definitely enjoyed my time there, but I don’t think I would want to live there. At least, not in central Sydney. I could certainly cope with living by the beach 😉 I didn’t get sunburn, which is quite impressive if you know my usual success at wearing suncream. I’d certainly go back if I got the chance, and it would be interesting to see more of Australia one day. Maybe if I do make it back to Sydney one day, I’ll go in search of one of the Antill Streets, Closes, Crescents, Ways, etc.!
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Coming up next: Kia Ora from Christchurch! (Hopefully tomorrow, but maybe Friday).